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Priest of Love (1981) Poster

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Christopher Miles, this film's director, prior to this movie had directed the filmed adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970). That was his third feature film and was made and released about eleven years prior to this film.
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Many of the actual locations that D.H. Lawrence and Frieda Lawrence lived in and visited during their last six years together were used as locations in this film. The film's closing credits declare that the movie was "made at Shepparton Studio Centre, England and on location in the places where the Lawrences actually lived in England, France, Italy and Mexico".
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This film, from conception to release, took director Christopher Miles about a decade to achieve fruition.
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This D.H. Lawrence biopic film was released on the heels of 1980, this being the 50th Anniversary year of the death of writer D.H. Lawrence.
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In preparation for this film, director Christopher Miles read over four hundred books about D.H. Lawrence.
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The meaning and relevance of this film's title is that it is taken from a quotation by D.H. Lawrence. It reads: "I shall always be a priest of love and a glad one. Once you've known what love can do, there's no disappointment and no despair."
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This film was released around the world in the same 1981 - 1982 time-frame as two other D.H. Lawrence filmed adaptations, The Trespasser (1981) and Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981).
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Portraying D.H. Lawrence in this film, actor Ian McKellen actually comes from the same Northern English country background as Lawrence.
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For his role as D.H. Lawrence in this movie, Ian McKellen lost weight and grew a beard. McKellen has said of his make-up on this film: "My hair was dyed auburn; like [D.H.] Lawrence's own my mustache and beard were augmented by some false hair around the chin".
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Apparently, actress Janet Suzman, portraying Frieda Lawrence in this film, had actually played her character before, prior to playing her in this movie.
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Reportedly, this was Ian McKellen's first major movie role for about twelve years. His last had been in Thank You All Very Much (1969).
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Actress Janet Suzman was pregnant at the time of filming.
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Debut feature as a producer for director Christopher Miles.
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D.H. Lawrence stories mentioned during the film included "Kangaroo" (1923), "The Rainbow" (1915), "The White Peacock" (1911), "Lady Chatterley's Lover" (1928) and "The Virgin and the Gypsy" (1926/1930).
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The film was made and released about seven years after its source biographical book "The Priest of Love: A Life of D.H. Lawrence" had been first published in 1974 with revised editions being further published in 1976 and 1980.
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The name of the sea-going vessel was the "Aquitania".
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The motion picture's opening title card reads: "The office of Herbert G. Muskett - London, 1924". Muskett was portrayed in the film by Sir John Gielgud the film being Gielgud's first released after Arthur (1981) where he had won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award (Oscar).
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This filmed adaptation of its source biographical book "The Priest of Love: A Life of D.H. Lawrence" by Harry T. Moore shortened the title to just the book's prefix and dropping the definite article "The" to make the movie's name simply Priest of Love (1981).
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The movie's music score was billed under the pseudonym of "Joseph James" a nom de plume for the joint names of Stanley Joseph Seeger and Francis James Brown respectively.
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The motion picture's opening title card reads: "The office of Herbert G. Muskett - London, 1924".
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This picture was the first film that actor Sir John Gielgud was seen in after Arthur (1981) where he had won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award (Oscar).
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The film's opening prologue states: "In November 1915, 1005 copies of "The Rainbow" by D.H. Lawrence, were destroyed for alleged obscenity. The solicitor for the prosecution was Mr. Herbert G. Muskett. The sentence of the court was carried out by the Public Hangman in front of The Royal Exchange, London".
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