Low-brow, but oddly appealing, version of the famed novel.
One of literature's most controversial and secretly read novels ever is
given a somewhat shallow, but surprisingly faithful and opulent,
treatment in this dewy film. Kristel plays a young woman of high social
standing whose husband Briant is badly wounded during WWI. He cannot
walk nor, more importantly, make love, and the passionless, lonely
world Kristel inhabits on their expansive, but bleak estate begins to
take its toll on her. Briant encourages her to take a lover, an idea
that she finds unpleasant until one day she chances upon the gamesman
(Clay) giving himself a soapy wash behind his shelter. Fascinated by
what she's seen, yet aware that he is of another class and manner, they
embark on a tenuous friendship that eventually turns sexual. Kristel is
physically reawakened and finds much solace and pleasure in Clay's
company, sexually and otherwise. However, her relationship with Briant
suffers when he suspects that she's done what he asked of her, but with
someone far beneath them in the social strata. An overbearing nurse
(Mitchell) only adds to the estrangement, taking on a maternal role
with Briant and wavering between wishing happiness for Kristel while
beginning to take her place at the same time. Kristel, not someone
who's ever been known for her incredible acting skills, is decent here
if a bit vacant at times. She's on hand primarily because of her exotic
looks and her lack of modesty about performing nude. She's undeniably
striking and does manage to perform several scenes with freshness and
commitment. Briant overacts tremendously, not aided at all by two very
obnoxious eyebrows, and plays his role with a lack of dimension. He's
annoying, nasty and condescending practically all the time, taking most
of the chances for compassion or empathy away. Clay is wonderful. Like
Kristel, he was never one to shy away from abandoning his clothes, but
he also presents a multi-faceted character, one who knows his station
in life, but can't help but wish for more. His bathing scene is a real
eye-opener. Mitchell is hard to read, perhaps intentionally, but
certainly excels at playing the controlling and overstepping nursemaid
aspects of her character. Considering the director and producers (and
cast), this could have been a lot worse. A decent atmosphere is
established thanks to a truly magnificent house filled with many lovely
furnishings and with sizeable grounds. Considering the budget, the
makers accomplished a lot with a little. Costuming leans toward the
impressive too, with only an occasional misstep (Lady Chatterley in
pants?!) Though the film does away with some of the supporting
characters of the novel and glosses over some of the deeper aspects of
it, this remains a pretty valid representation of the story and manages
at least a bit of suspense for those who don't know the outcome. This
was a staple of pay cable television in the early 80's, affording many
folks to pore over the attractive bodies of it's stars in their
extended and frank love scenes..
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I havent seen the movie yet...
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Mackennas Gold: A Great Movie.
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I love this film. I own it on DVD. The reason I give it ten points out of ten is that it has the incredibly sexy and talented Nicholas Clay in it. He plays Oliver Mellors, the gamekeeper of an estate, that is having an affair with the lady of the house. She is married but her husband cannot do his husbandly duties because he came back from World War 1 in a wheelchair. She is an upper class rich woman while he is considered low class and poor. She doesn't work and in the beginning tends to her husband until he decides to get a caretaker for himself. This leaves her with time on her hands to wander the grounds of her estate where she comes upon Mellors nude and bathing himself by the chicken coop. She lusts after him and they strike up a relationship although rocky at first. The have a passionate affair. I won't reveal the ending. I truly believe this is Nicholas Clay's finest work although he is probably known best as his role of Sir Lancelot in Excalibur (he is naked in that movie too). I think this version is best. Lady Chatterley was made into another film in 1993 starring Joely Richardson and Sean Bean but no one compares to British hottie Nicholas Clay.
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Nice movie, Sylvia Kristel was gorgeous in her younger years. .
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almost banded by British courts - this film challenges conventional views of british culture..
this is the best film ever.
British Bourgeoisie Society & Double Standard for Women's Sexuality
1981 VHS & 2005 DVD are based uponby British novelist D.H. Lawrence's
last (1928). In it's time, "Lady Chatterley's Love" was (re)viewed as
"sexually scandalous"; so much so, D.H. Lawrence suffered continuously
due to charges of obscenity. Like the (1928) novel, the (2005) DVD
contains direct depictions of different-gender adulterous sexual
intercourse. Many 'obscene' (at least for 1928!) sexual words are part
of Lawrence's novel & the screenplay. As a result, the novel upon which
the movie is based wasn't fully published in Britain, though it had
long been available in other countries.
During the 2nd half of the 20th century, in 1960, Penguin books bought
out the expurgated edition & was summarily prosecuted for violating the
Obscene Publication Act of 1959! Even the trial was scandalous; though,
the publishers prevailed & were acquitted. Their acquittal has been
viewed by academic literary & cultural critics to this day as a
catalyst for the new freedom of literature & artistic expression. Some
critics have regarded Lawrence as the greatest British man novelist of
the early 20th century (Virginia Woolf, the woman).
On to the film: it is equal to the novel in its sexological study of a
paralyzed Sir Clifford Chatterley, who strongly advises his wife, Lady
Constance Chatterley, to find a lover for herself in order to satisfy
what Sir Clifford cannot ever give her, or so he thought: sexual
fulfillment. (That belief would seem quite naive now since a wide
variety of sexually satisfying techniques do not require a man who is
paralyzed to be fully functioning! What is sexual & what is sexual
satisfaction & pleasure has measurably changed since 1928).
Lady Constance Chatterley reluctantly takes her husband's advice, being
quite young & beautiful. But, after beginning a very sexually intense
affair with a proletariat man, Mellors, their butch & brawny country
gamekeeper, Lady Chatterley's affair shocks her husband who suggested
it & the high society in which they take part.
It is definitely not a movie for children because the sexual content is
steamy & blatant. By contemporary standards, it is still a story of a
scandalous love affair with an interesting plot; but, certainly the
movie is not pornographic or unusual ("Asylum" is somewhat similar, for
example). It is as much a sexology of 1920's British social class mores
as anything else. Because it is a period piece that does examine an era
& the moral standards of a particular class of a society, it is a more
than notorious for its history of scandal: "Lady Chatterley's Lover" is
loaded with Lawrence's observations & remarks about the mixture of
mores for British bourgeoisie society & its double standard for women's