Jack Cardiff received a 1960 Oscar Nomination as Best Director for this lush, engaging film starring Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell and Donald Pleasence, which was adapted from D.H. ... See full summary »
Jack Cardiff received a 1960 Oscar Nomination as Best Director for this lush, engaging film starring Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell and Donald Pleasence, which was adapted from D.H. Lawrence's classic novel. A young man with artistic talent who lives in a close-knit, English coal-mining town during the early 20th Century finds himself inhibited by his emotionally manipulative, domineering mother. Written by
Wendy Hiller was always Jack Cardiff's first choice to play the mother. He had been told that this was impossible as she was performing in a play on Broadway. Luckily for Cardiff, the play folded very quickly and Hiller was delighted to take the part. See more »
I probably saw this film when I was in college and it made a big impression.
It then seemed to vanish, at least for me, until, amazingly, the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles screened it on a Monday night some months ago. I was extremely impressed with it again, especially the BxW CinemaScope cinematography (and I agree, wide-screen is the way to see this rare film, if indeed you ever can).
So many thanks to the Cinematheque for this unusual revival.
RE the musical score (by Italian composer, Mario Nascimbene): actually the theme was so melodic Percy Faith recorded it as a follow-up to his hit single of Max Steiner's SUMMER PLACE theme, (complete with similar 1950s piano triplets in the accompaniment!) In spite of the nod to '50s pop the SONS AND LOVERS theme was not a hit, but it remains one of the more lyrical (and obscure) movie themes from this period.
Remember when movies actually had original musical themes????
Ultimately I feel SONS AND LOVERS ranks with Russell's WOMEN IN LOVE in the admittedly small canon of excellent cinematic Lawrence adaptations.
It's also one of the adult Dean Stockwell's best roles, a long, long day's journey away from the almost too adorable, curly headed moppet in ANCHORS AWEIGH.
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