Natalie Wood: A Tribute to Brilliance in Splendor in the Grass
1928 in Southeast Kansas
Splendor in the Grass movie year was in 1928; and filmed in Southeast Kansas--- is more than a love story. It was the time of oil wells in front and back yards and a boot-legger around every corner to sell their illegal whiskey.
This movie touched my heart and left its footprints of pain across it---letting us know that sometimes--- love hurts. It reaches out and pulls your heart in and twists it as the real life is told here--not a fairy tale--but the raw truth of how a love can break a young heart for a lifetime.
Splendor in the Grass has stayed in my thoughts through the years for many reasons. And flashes through my mind whenever I hear her name or read about her in the news---I will always remember her-- because I am a great fan of Natalie Wood.
Childhood by William Wordsworth.
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
Young Love and Issues
Wilma Dean Loomis—nickname is Deanie (Natalie Wood) and Bud Stamper (Warren Beatty) are parked by rushing waterfalls--- kissing madly like all high school teenagers in those days and I am sure today also. However, the difference here is their relationship has not gone---beyond kissing.
But the kissing is getting out of control and Deanie tells Bud to stop. Bud gets mad and gets out of the car and stands looking at the falls.
Deanie begged---Bud---don’t be mad.
Bud scratches his head and says---I had better take you home.
After arriving home Bud said to Deanie---I think we had enough kissing for tonight.
Deanie nods her head and turns to open the screen door---then Bud catches her arm and turns her to give her a long passionate kiss to remember.
When Deanie walks in her home---her emotions are like a runaway roller coaster---she knows what is right---but she also know she loves Bud and doesn't want to lose him. (I can relate to these emotions---can you?)
Mrs. Loomis---Deanie's Mother
Mrs. Loomis (Audrey Christie) calls down from the top of the stairs---Deanie—has Bud Left?
Deanie replied---Yes Mom.
Mrs. Loomis---Great news today the Stamper Oil Stocks went up 14 points today---think of it honey---that means if we sold those stocks we would make $15,000.
And, maybe we can even send you away to college next year. Well---we are not going---to sell. Your father says the stocks are going up even higher.
Mrs. Loomis—Didn’t Bud tell to you about the stocks.
Deanie---Bud doesn’t know anything about his father’s business Mom. He doesn’t care about that.
Mrs. Loomis---What were you and Bud going all this time?
Deanie---Studying---I am going to bed Mom---I am tired. So Deanie goes up stairs to undress for bed with her mom hot on her trail calling after her.
Mothers Never Give Up
Mrs. Loomis---Wilma Dean---now Wilma Dean. (When a mother says your first two names—a long talk is coming for sure---so you might as well face it.)
And for her it is the forever talk---Mrs. Loomis---Boys don’t respect a girl they can go all the way with---they want a nice girl for their wife. Wilma Dean? Wilma Dean you and Bud have not gone too far already have you?
Mrs. Loomis---Tell me the truth!
Deanie---No Mother we have not gone too far.
Mother and Daughter Talk---Remember this?
So Deanie asked her mom if she ever had those feelings for a boy. And of course her mother tells her no. That no nice girl does.
But Deanie would not let it go---she asked her mom--- didn’t you feel that way about Dad?
Her mother answered---He did not touch me until we were married. Then I just gave in because that is expected of a wife. Women do not enjoy things like men do---a woman just lets her husband come near her in order to have children.
(Now if that does not damage one’s mind for love and sex---nothing will.)
Deanie's Room is a Tribute to Bud
Deanie is trying to filter all these emotions while trying to comprehend her mother’s advice about being a good girl. She knows she loves Bud and believes in her heart he loves her too.
Her room is a tribute to Bud with his photos on her walls and mirror. She touches each one as she adores his handsome face and she kisses his pictures goodnight. Then she says her prayers on her knees. He is truly branded on her heart forever as one can see it in her eyes.
Mrs. Loomis tells her husband---Del Loomis (Fred Stewart) Deanie and Bud are in love---he will be the catch of a lifetime Del.
Ace Stamper---Bud's Father
Bud’s father Ace Stamper (Pat Hingle) is an oil baron who has Bud's future planned for him. Without ever asking Bud his aspirations in life.
He asks Bud about Deanie and then tells him that Del Loomis and he grew up together as boys. He said I don’t hold it against him for being poor. I am just more ambitious than he is. I think Deanie is a sweet pretty girl. And Bud you haven’t done anything wrong have you? Because if you do and she gets pregnant you will have to marry her---you know that boy---it is the only right thing to do.
Bud just nods as he cannot get a word in edge-ways in his father’s one man conversation. He puts a lot of pressure on Bud to do what he wants and has never asked Bud what he wants.
Ace Stamper told his son---don’t disappointed me son---I've had one big disappointment already. And Bud mother (Joanne Roos) comes down the stairs as Bud asks if his sister Ginny is home.
His father tells one all in his loud voice--- Yes, she has been thrown out of another school. Your mother spoiled her by sending her to that finishing school.
Bud tells his father he wants to marry Deanie and I don’t want to go to college. His father said all I am asking you is to go to Yale. After that if you want to marry her then I will send you two to Europe on a honeymoon.
Bud said--- I love Deanie.
His father replied---I know son I know you love Deanie, but what you need now is another kind of girl.
New Year's Eve of 1928---A Calamity
New Year’s Eve Dance was shaking the rafters to ring in the New Year of 1929. People were celebrating and enjoying the dance and socializing.
But thank to Ginny and her unprincipled actions it turned into a catastrophe. First she flits from one man to another. Then she tried to hug her dad but he pushed her away and told her to behave.
Ginny is embarrassed from her father not hugging her. The room became so silent--- you could’ve heard a pin drop---because no one would say a word again such a wealthy and powerful man as Ace Stamper.
Most of the town either worked for him or was getting rich from investing in his oil stocks. His company was one of the leaders in the stock market that year. A fact he was proud of but never bragged---he just enjoyed it in silence.
After Ace told Ginny to behave---she really showed herself by asking every man to dance with her---she went from table to table---but the men declined.
Ace Stamper could not take anymore of Ginny acting like a floozy so he asked his son to take her home. Long story short---Bud got into a fight with about eight guys who were taking turn with his sister in a car.
Bud was really beaten up and bloody when Deanie found him. Bud took Deanie home and told her I don’t think we should see each other for a while. Bud loved her so much and he knew his passion for Deanie was getting out of hand and he did not want her to end of like his sister---not Deanie.
Deanie is struggling being without Bud---She is fragile and every one of her classmates began to comprehend the fact she may be in real trouble and cannot handle it alone.
The night of the last dance before graduation Deanie goes with Toots (Gary Lockwood) but ends up with Bud outside---begging him to make love to her---he would not so she runs from Bud to Toots who takes her to the Waterfalls to park. She tells Toots no when he tries more than kissing and jumps out of the car and runs to the top of the falls.
She jumps in not really think---she just wanted the hurting to stop--- five other guys jumped in to save her. Deanie had a complete nervous breakdown. and is in the hospital with her parents and Bud together in the waiting room.
Mrs. Loomis looked at Bud and tells him to stay away from Deanie---it is his fault that she is where she is.
Finally---Bud stands up to his father and tells him---he is going to marry Deanie. Bud runs down the hall to Deanie’s room. Bud finds her lying in the hospital bed staring at the ceiling and moaning ---completely unaware that he is standing over her bed.
Bud goes to the hall and breaks down crying---he loves her so much. The doctor tells Bud to stay away from her. And Bud wants to know for how long. The doctor said until she is well and I don’t know how long that will take.
Deanie hears Bud crying and asked the nurse who was crying and she said---no one.
Bud Goes to Yale
So Bud goes to Yale as an unhappy guy while Deanie is in a mental facility. Bud meets Angelina she is a waitress in her familys Italian Restaurant and she listens to him and feeds him pizza.
Bud has never had pizza before---nor has he had someone to care about him since Deanie. Deanie was not there now---but Angelina was there with a big smile and with a pizza.
Ace Stamper went to visit Bud at Yale because he was failing all his courses. Bud tells the Dean he did not want to be at Yale---that all he ever wanted to do is be a rancher.
Ace Stamper takes his son to New York for the weekend and while there because of the stock market crash he jumps out a window---he could not take the stress of watching his oil empire dwindle to nothing.
Bud took his Dad back to Kansas---his home for his last resting place. Now, Mrs. Stamper was without all Ace's millions---but she was strong as she had a husband to bury and a son to console.
Deanie is in her doctor’s office talking and she is going home after over two years and tells her doctor that John whom she met in while in their care has asked her to marry him. John is now in Cincinnati---busy with his medical practice and he talks to Deanie every day.
The rest of the movie I will leave for you to find out---because this is so good I do not want to spoil it for you.
Is the Ending Sad? Or is this Real Life?
You will find out:
What happened to Mrs. Stamper? What happen to Ginny Stamper? Will Deanie look Bud up when she get home? Will her mother try to manipulate Deanie?
Will her father finally step in if she does? Is Bud married? Where is he living now? Is Deanie really well this time?
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; will this poem stay with you forever and a day.
I know it has with me and I loved William Wadsworth words as they took a path across my heart to be branded in my mind to be recalled whenever i hear the name Natalie Wood.
William Wordsworth would be one the people I would visit if a "Time Machine" actually was available to travel back in time.
Natatlie---She Sparkles and Shines in Our Hearts Still
Note: Natalie Wood was 23 years old when she made this movie and Warren Beatty was 24 years old. The movie premiere was October 10, 1961.
Natalie was born Natalia Nikolaeuna Zakharenko---on July 20, 1938 in San Francisco, California. However, since her parents Maria and Nicholas were Russian émigrés who changed their name to Gurdin a more American name. Natalie’s legal last name would be Gurdin.
Natalie Wood is the name we all knew her as and loved her as she took our breath away on the silver screen. There was no one else like her and never will be again---as she was uniquely breathtaking and extremely talented.
She made 56 films for television and the silver screen. And was nominated for three Oscars---how she did not get all three---shows me that it is still an asinine tribute that overlooks the “Cream of the Crop” and settles for “Skim Milk.”
Natalie Wood will always be one of my favorite stars---as her star shined and sparkled in “Splendor in the Grass.” She will never be replaced in the hearts of her fans. Her unique star will glow forever in the Heavens above us.
PurvisBobbi44 is the sole author of this article and if copied anywhere else on the Internet or printed in magazines or books it was taken without written consent and is strictly prohibited.
Splendor in the Grass
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