Splendor in the Grass

Fieber im Blut
Kansas, 1928. Deanie and Bud are in love. She is firmly middle-class; his family is the richest in town. His father has big plans for Bud, which start with him going to Yale. The young man pines for Deanie but is unable to stand up to his father. Deanie is determined to have sex with Bud, but with his promiscuous flapper sister Ginny in mind to deter him, he refuses. When another classmate tries to force himself on Deanie, she tries to commit suicide and ends up in a mental hospital. Meanwhile, in New Haven, Bud meets the daughter of the house in an Italian restaurant. Deanie also makes a new acquaintance … Cracks appear in rural American society in the lead up to Black Monday. Young love comes square up against the class divide and unforgiving puritan morals. Splendor in the Grass is a key work in the “teen angst” genre. As director Elia Kazan wrote in 1962, “In the last five minutes, the author makes the point that the important thing in living is to find out who you are and live by your own lights; neither to follow a social attitude of success and ambition, an accepted social moral attitude, nor the strong demands of an authoritarian person such as your parents on you”.
by Elia Kazan
with Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle, Audrey Christie, Barbara Loden, Zohra Lampert, Fred Stewart, Joanna Roos, Jan Norris, Gary Lockwood
USA 1961 English 124’ Colour Print: BFI, London Rating R16

For the 2023 Retrospective, internationally renowned directors, actors, and screenwriters were asked to select their personal coming-of-age favourites.
Pedro Almodóvar has chosen Splendor in the Grass.


  • Natalie Wood
  • Warren Beatty
  • Pat Hingle
  • Audrey Christie
  • Barbara Loden
  • Zohra Lampert
  • Fred Stewart
  • Joanna Roos
  • Jan Norris
  • Gary Lockwood


Director Elia Kazan
Screenplay William Inge
Cinematography Boris Kaufman
Editing Gene Milford
Music David Amram
Sound Edward Johnstone
Art Director Richard Sylbert
Costumes Anna Hill Johnstone
Make-Up Robert Jiras
Producer Elia Kazan
Associate Producers William Inge, Charles H. Maguire

Produced by

NBI Productions

Newton Productions

Additional information

Print: BFI, London