Lady Chatterley - DVD
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From the director of Women in Love and Altered States comes a retelling of the literary classic that launched the most celebrated obscenity trial of the 20th century. In adapting the famous tale of unbridled passion, Ken Russell has made a moving love story and some of the most talked about television of the 1990s. Joely Richardson (Return to Me, The Affair of the Necklace) stars as the young, sexually repressed Lady Chatterley, whose paralyzed husband (James Wilby, Gosford Park) urges her to find fulfillment and an heir for his fortune in the arms of another man. Sean Bean (Patriot Games, The Lord of the Rings) is the lowly gamekeeper whose scandalous attentions awaken her senses. DVD special features include an exclusive interview with writer/director Ken Russell, behind-the-scenes photo gallery, broadcast trailer, cast and crew filmographies and DH Lawrence biography.
Those who believe British miniseries to be too proper and corseted may want to make an exception for Ken Russell's 1992, four-hour BBC adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's scandalous novel. Between the full frontal female nudity and empowering shed-rocking sex scenes, this is something for everyone to have a randy good time. To save you the bother of fast-forwarding, episodes two and three contain the very naughtiest bits involving the illicit affair between "loyal wife, good companion" Constance Chatterly (Joely Richardson) and Oliver Mellors (Sean Bean), gamekeeper to Constance's embittered, paralyzed husband (James Wilby). When he insists his wife take a lover and produce an heir to his fortune, he didn't have the lowly "wild man of the woods" in mind. Neither did Constance, but soon enough the woods are alive with the sound of heavy-panting and frantic gropings up against trees. The production is impeccably mounted--no pun intended--and the performances (particularly the daring Ms. Richardson) impassioned. Save for one dream sequence involving a black horse (a symbol of passion, one character helpfully explains), and the, at times, overheated musical score that threatens to overwhelm the lovers, Russell (Tommy, Altered States) holds his tendencies toward excess in check. --Donald Liebenson
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Top Customer Reviews
The British VHS box for Lady Chatterley boasts that it is filled with "very, very erotic sex." That is about the most accurate statement you can make about this movie. Lest one get the wrong idea, however, this made-for-TV movie is not pornography. It utilizes the original plot, cutting out some of the more social aspects of the novel, to tell a beautiful story about one woman's search for love -- sexual and otherwise -- outside of her marriage and class.
Joely Richardson, best known in the U.S. for cavorting with Mel Gibson in "The Patriot," here bares it all early and often with Sean Bean. Both of them shine in their respective roles. Ms. Richardson is brilliant as a strong, independent woman whose husband is crippled during WWI, thus basically ending her sexual life prematurely. Sean Bean plays her lowly, gamekeeper lover, Oliver Mellors. The dirty, scruffy, growling Mellors is the perfect vehicle for Sean Bean's talent -- part bad guy, part sensual lover, in many ways a guilty pleasure (much like Sean Bean himself!)
This is not a movie for immature audiences -- it is as beautiful a story as it is erotic, much the way D. H. Lawrence wrote it. Nor is it for the faint of heart -- the sex scenes are revealing and very intense. It is beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, and overall, is an amazing cinematic experience. The 3.5 hours are well worth watching, at least for fans of Joely Richardson or Sean Bean.Read more ›
Great compliments go to all the actors, including Joely Richardson and Sean Bean, whose chemistry is perfect. Thanks to that, it makes the relationship between all characters believable.
Though the music soundtrack is not the same as the one used during the original broadcasts, apart from the music played on the piano by the characters, I found the public-domain music used on the dvd very good. Though it would have been nice to know from Ken Russell in his interview which english composers he used for his original broadcast.
Anyway, an excellent tv series to watch.
Lovely Joley Richardson plays Lady Constance Chatterley, in the title role, as a sexually and socially repressed young English woman in the early 1920's. She is married to Sir Clifford Chatterley, played by Michael Wilby,as a titled, WW1 British officer, whose war injuries have paralized him from the waist down.
We watch as Constance accepts her fate at first, and loyally looks after her demanding,upper-class husband. The isolation and Sir Clifford's constant need for care take its' toll, and soon Lady Chatterley's mental and physical health is in question. A nurse-companion, Mrs. Bolton, is hired from the local colliery town of Tevershall, thus relieving Connie of her duties, giving her more time to visit with her family members and,to go for long walks in the near-by woods. Soon, her wanderings cross paths with Sir Clifford's reclusive,irrasible,lowly bred game keeper, Oliver Mellors.
Actor Sean Bean, with his rakish and sensual "bad boy" good looks, plays Mellors with great intensity and honest passion. He is perfectly cast as the angry, down trodden man who finds new life and "the only freedom" he has ever known,in the love he shares with the independant, and equally passionate Lady Chatterley.
This adaptation follows the literary novel closely. (Please read the book, if you haven't already, as some of the warmly passionate and meaningful scenes have been left out for the sake of censorship and the movies length). The video "fleshes out" (pardon the pun!)the novel that features lots of dialogue in the book.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I am a huge fan of Sean Bean and this film was so well-done I watch it over and over again. Both he and Joely Richardson are fantastic and their chemistry is palpable. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Anna
I was impressed with the quality of the video as compared to the computer version. The content of L C ,although it does not follow the original book ,is a study of early 20 t h... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Gail I H Smith
Brilliant! I bought this movie because of Sean Bean (I just wanted to hear him saying "lass"...) and because I love british drama. I just finished it and I am not disappointed. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2003
Now available in a DVD format, Lady Chatterley is the dramatic and passionate BBC miniseries directed by Ken Russell and based upon the D.H. Read morePublished on Oct. 18 2003 by Midwest Book Review
This adaption of D.H. Lawrence has fairly explicit content, for a BBC adaption, and certainly won't be on Masterpiece Theatre, any time soon; at least, without some heavy editing. Read morePublished on Sept. 22 2003 by Michael D. Chlanda
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