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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 oldfashioned 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 loses his respect for her.

Meanwhile, Bud desires 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. He wants his son to go to Yale Universitymarker, but Bud is more interested in settling with Deanie and own a ranch. Meanwhile, Deanie is driven mad by her mother and is on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

The film also focusses 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. It was one of her first 'meaty roles'. Gilbert, only 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.

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'. Gilbert was nominated for a Young Artist Award in the category 'Best Young Actress in a Television Special'. 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

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