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. ...
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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
excellent Lawrence adaptation, absorbing and detailed
This is perhaps Jack Cardiff's best known film as a director, and it is certainly not a letdown. 'Sons and Lovers' was DH Lawrence's most autobiographical novel, and here, although some aspects have been shorn down or removed, the substance of that novel comes through.
In the main roles we have US actor Dean Stockwell as Paul Morel, the son who is suffocated by his overbearing mother, and derided by his miner father. His parents are played by Wendy Hiller and Trevor Howard, and they are brilliant in difficult roles. Stockwell, less so, although he certainly looks the part.
The women in Paul's life are played by Heather Sears - another annoying part as Miriam which reminds me of her 'Room at the Top' performance a few years earlier - and Mary Ure, who is a little bland but watchable as Clara. Somehow Ure never really found her niche on the screen.
The film looks sumptuous and the black and white photography is exactly right. There are moving scenes and moments of comedy, plus a wicked cameo appearance by Ernest Thiesinger as an art collector.
This film is much less known than more showy Lawrence adaptations such as 'Women in Love', but it is excellent, well-paced, and is far from a disappointment.
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