Splendor in the Grass
Splendor in the Grass, an American movie from 1961, tells a story of sexual repression. Written by William Inge, who appears briefly as a Christian minister, the film was directed by Elia Kazan. It stars Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle, Audrey Christie, Barbara Loden, and Zohra Lampert.
Parents advise their children to abstain from sex
Mrs. Loomis advises her daughter not to give up her virginity to her boyfriend, Bud:
- Mother: What were you and Bud doing all this time, for Heaven's sake?
- Deanie: We were stu—udying together. [Awkward, suspicious pause.] I'm going to bed, Mom; I'm awful tired.
- Mother: Deanie. Now, Wilma Dean.
- Deanie sighs.
- Mother: Deanie. I want to talk to you. Now, Wilma Dean, Bud Stamper could get you into a whole lot of trouble—and you know how I mean. Boys don't respect a girl they can go all the way with: boys want a nice girl for a wife. Wilma Dean, you and Bud haven't gone too far already, have you?
- Deanie: No, Mother.
- Mother: Tell me the truth, Wilma Dean.
- Deanie: No, Mom; we haven't gone too far.
- Mother: That's a relief.
- Deanie: Mom.
- Mother: Mhm?
- Deanie: Is it so terrible to have those feelings about a boy?
- Mother: No nice girl does.
- Deanie: Doesn't she?
- Mother: No. No nice girl.
- Deanie: But, Mom, didn't—didn't you ever—well, I mean didn't you ever feel that way about Dad?
- Mother: Your father never laid a hand on me until we were married. And, then, I—I just gave in because a wife has to. A woman doesn't enjoy those things the way a man does. She just lets her husband come near her in order to have children.
Having bid her daughter a good night, Mrs. Loomis then talks with her husband, enthusiastically informing him that their daughter and the son of the richest family in town are in love and that Bud would "be the catch of a lifetime".
In the next scene, Bud's father encourages him to abstain from sex with Deanie:
- Father: Been out with that little Loomis girl?
- Bud: Yes, Sir. I—I'm—
- Father: She's watchin' herself with you now, ain't she, Son? You—you're not doin' anything, Boy, you're gonna be ashamed of, are you?
- Bud: Oh; no, Sir. I—I tell you, what I—
- Father: Oh, she's a nice kid, Son; she's a good-looker. I known her folks ever since—well, old Dell and I were boys together. I got nothin' against 'em, Bud, 'cause they're poor; I'm not a snob or anything like that: the only difference between me and Dell is that I got ambition.
- Bud chuckles.
- Father: But, if—
- Bud: Well, Dad I—
- Father: —if anything was to happen, you'd have to marry her. You—you'd have to marry her, Son; you realize that, don't you?
- Bud: Uh—
- Father: You get a girl in trouble, Boy, and you gotta take the consequences.
Deanie's mother believes that sex would ruin her daughter's chances of marrying Bud. Bud's father believes that sex, especially pregnancy, would force his son to marry Deanie. One parent wishes for such a marriage, while the other seems to warn against it.