Splendor In The Grass

Essay by ldygodivaHigh School, 12th gradeA+, April 2004

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Splendor in the Grass

Splendor in the Grass is a remarkable film written by playwright, William Ingle and directed by the infamous Elia Kazan (Dirks 5). The film embraces daring controversial topics of the time - sexual repression and neurosis. The public received the film with applause and concern. Ingle was nominated for best original screenplay on one hand, yet on another issues found within the context of the film were of a disturbing nature for the time period.

The film is set in a rural southeast Kansas town in the 1920s and 30s at the start of the depression. It is also the setting for an intense first love between Deanie (Natalie Wood) and Bud (Warren Beatty), and the devastating consequences to repressed sexuality constricted by society. However, with all the reprimands the film received a rather unnoticed component of the film is quite disconcerting. The element of male superiority:

Bud: You're nuts about me, aren't you? You're nuts about me

Deanie: No, Bud...

Bud: (He pushes her down to her knees in front of him.) At my feet, slave.

Deanie: Bud, don't.... Bud, you're hurting me.

Bud: Tell me you can't live without me. Say it.

Deanie: I do love you.

Bud: And you can't live without me...And you'd do anything I'd ever ask you, anything.

Deanie, I didn't mean to hurt you. (She lies on the floor, curled up protectively.) Deanie, I was just kidding. I thought you knew that.

Deanie: I can't kid about these things. Because I am nuts about you, and I would go down on my knees to worship you if you really wanted me to. Bud, I can't get along without you (Dirk 8).

This scene occurs when Deanie denies Bud all intimacies except for kissing, and he becomes sexually...