Review: ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’

This Franco-British production of Lady Chatterley's Lover is a cop-out adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's one time scandalous literary hymn to human sexuality. It's coy and superficial, worth little as erotic fare and not considerably more as sentimental drama.

This Franco-British production of Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a cop-out adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s one time scandalous literary hymn to human sexuality. It’s coy and superficial, worth little as erotic fare and not considerably more as sentimental drama.

The sex scenes are all the more unmoving because the surrounding story and characters are inadequately realized. Lady Chatterley (Sylvia Kristel) is the wife of an English aristocrat wounded in the World War I and totally paralyzed from the waist down. Starved for carnal affection, she becomes the lover of Chatterley’s gamekeeper and meets him daily for long sessions of passionate lovemaking.

The love scenes are commonplace, summary, tritely lyrical and lacking in sensuality; no more daring than equivalent scenes in any other commercial product with a frank romantic angle.

Kristel is attractive but inexpressive as an actress. Nicholas Clay lacks rawness and definition as her lower-class lover.

Lady Chatterley's Lover

France - UK

Production

Producteurs Associes/Cannon. Director Just Jaeckin; Producer Andre Djaoui, Christopher Pierce; Screenplay Just Jaeckin, Christopher Wicking; Camera Robert Fraisse; Editor Eunice Mountjoy; Music Stanley Myers; Art Director Anton Furst

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Sylvia Kristel Shane Briant Nicholas Clay Ann Mitchell Elizabeth Spriggs
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