Splendor in the Grass (1981 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Splendor in the Grass
[[File:[Splendor in The Grass Melissa Gilbert & Cyril_O'Reilly.jpg]|850x581|upright=1.13]]
Melissa Gilbert And Cyril O'Reilly 'Splendor In The Grass'
Genre Drama
Written by John Herzfeld
Directed by Richard C. Sarafian
Starring Melissa Gilbert
Cyril O'Reilly
Ned Beatty
Music by John Morris
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Raymond Katz
Producer(s) Arthur Lewis
Hal W. Polaire (associate producer)
Cinematography Ted Voigtlander
Editor(s) Robert Florio
Running time 96 minutes
Production company(s) Warner Bros. Television
Katz-Gallin Productions
Half-Pint Productions
Distributor NBC
Original network NBC
Original release October 26, 1981

Splendor in the Grass is a 1981 television film directed by Richard C. Sarafian. The film is a remake of the 1961 film of the same name, written by William Inge and starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty.


The film takes place in the pre-Depression era in Kansas. Deanie Loomis and Bud Stamper are a high school couple, being pressured by the enforced rules. Especially Deanie's old fashioned mother is against their relationship, warning her daughter he only wants to sleep with her. She fears her daughter will eventually go all the way with him, after which he will lose his respect for her.

Meanwhile, Bud wants to have sex with his girlfriend and is frustrated she is determined to wait. Not wanting to wait his entire teen life, he considers sleeping with one of the promiscuous girls of the town. He is unhappy at home and is fighting all the time with his father Ace, who wants his son to go to Yale University, but Bud is more interested in settling down with Deanie and owning a ranch. Meanwhile, Deanie is driven mad by her mother and is on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

The film also focuses on Ginny, Bud's younger sister who uses her looks to get what she wants. At one moment, Deanie, who is seeing a psychiatrist to work on her mental problems, finds out Bud is cheating on her.



Melissa Gilbert was initially set to star in the remake of Miracle on 34th Street, which also starred Natalie Wood. In 1981, she landed in the role of Deanie Loomis, a remake of a 1961 film, starring Wood.[1] It was one of her first 'meaty roles'. Gilbert, only a 17-year-old by the time, started dating co-star Cyril O'Reilly while filming. She eventually lost her virginity to him on the last day of filming.[2]

The film was received with mixed reviews and it was much criticized for remaking the film scene for scene. The New York Times criticized the plot, for having no conclusions. The critic praised the performances of both Gilbert and O'Reilly and called the direction of Richard C. Sarafian 'sensitively unobtrusive'.[3] Gilbert was nominated for a Young Artist Award in the category 'Best Young Actress in a Television Special'.[4] She lost the award to Dana Hill for her portrayal of a lonely kid in Fallen Angel (1981).


  1. ^ Official website of Melissa Gilbert Biography
  2. ^ E! Entertainment "Celebrity Profile:Melissa Gilbert," 1997.
  4. ^ Website about Michelle Pfeiffer Details about the movie - Awards

External links[edit]