Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981) DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.5
Video 8.0
Audio 7.0
Special Features   0.0
Total 7.3
Running Time: TBA
Classification:
 M15+
Reviewer:
Felix Staica

7.3


Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981)

Directed and written by Just Jaeckin and largely dismissed by reviewers at www.imdb.com, this adaptation of the classic D H Lawrence novel provides a very useful illustration of some of the concerns of the book. 

Lady Constance Chatterley ‘Connie’ (Sylvia Kristel) is an aristocrat who marries a young upper class man Sir Clifford Chatterley ‘Cliff’ (Shane Briant). However, the War intervenes and he comes back an impotent paraplegic. The young couple’s ante-bellic amorousness is replaced by a sterile co-existence.
Cliff realises that Connie’s ‘feminine needs’ cannot go unmet and so invites her to find a lover, even perhaps one who will one day produce an heir for the Chatterley line, so that the line may continue. However, the one man she chooses is Oliver Mellors (Nicholas Clay), the gardener and game-keeper. Connie and Mellors make minutes of filmic lover right before our eyes. 

Lawrence, Mellors and Clifford are so utterly obsessed by class, status and iniquities that it leads to a tragic spiral… or so you’d think…. Add to this a manipulative menopausal widow/nurse who so positions herself as to end up with the estate her hard labour would never have delivered her. 

While this is surely a case of ‘the book is better than the film’, it does not warrant discarding the Jaeckin production wholesale. There is merit perhaps in reading the book and then seeing one interpretation. Or seeing the movie and then reading its source. I find either way helps to furnish some sense of period to the narrative. The transfer from the film is not as crisp as we have come to expect this day and age, but it that’s only a minor inconvenience. The attempts at sensuality and symbolism come off a bit awkward. 

Felix Staica






 
 



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