7.1/10
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19 user 15 critic

Sons and Lovers (1960)

Approved | | Drama | 22 July 1960 (West Germany)
A young man with artistic talent lives in a close-knit coal-mining town and finds himself inhibited by his emotionally manipulative mother.

Director:

Jack Cardiff

Writers:

Gavin Lambert (screenplay), T.E.B. Clarke (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Trevor Howard ... Walter Morel
Dean Stockwell ... Paul Morel
Wendy Hiller ... Mrs. Morel
Mary Ure ... Clara Dawes
Heather Sears ... Miriam
William Lucas ... William Morel
Conrad Phillips ... Baxter Dawes
Ernest Thesiger ... Mr. Hadlock
Donald Pleasence ... Pappleworth
Rosalie Crutchley ... Mrs. Leivers
Sean Barrett Sean Barrett ... Arthur Morel
Elizabeth Begley Elizabeth Begley ... Mrs. Radford
Edna Morris Edna Morris ... Mrs. Anthony
Ruth Kettlewell Ruth Kettlewell ... Mrs. Bonner
Anne Sheppard Anne Sheppard ... Rose
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Storyline

It's the early twentieth century. The Morel family lives in the coal mining community of Bestwood, England, just outside of Nottingham. There is little connection now between husband and wife, Walter and Gertrude, due to their differences, while each quietly or not so quietly is able to manipulate emotionally their now adult sons. While eldest son William has escaped the clutches of his parents by moving to London, each of the two remaining sons have ended up having a natural alliance or connection to one parent. Arthur, like brusque Walter, works in the mines, something that Walter believes is their duty and legacy. Artistically inclined Paul, who is self-taught in his art, instead has a lower paying office job, in Gertrude's mind it a longer path but to greater financial gain, Paul who is never to work in the mines. Paul, arguably, would live as a painter if he was able. Paul's relationship with two women is shown in light of the influence Gertrude has had in his life, he who has ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll never forget the young lovers in Sons & Lovers See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mary Ure replaced Joan Collins. See more »

Quotes

Miriam: You know, my mother disapproves more and more of the books you bring. She blames you for putting ideas into my head.
Paul Morel: Does she think heaven frowns on ideas? Your mother breathes religion through her nostrils!
Miriam: Do you think that's wrong?
Paul Morel: It's not religious just to be religious! I think a crow is religious as it sails across the sky. It's showing the glory of God but it doesn't know it. God doesn't know things, he is things.
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Connections

Version of Sons & Lovers (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Night My Old Lady Left Town
(uncredited)
Written by Hal Shaper
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User Reviews

 
Ravishing Visually And Often Intense and poignant
16 February 2006 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

Freddie Francis's cinematography is in some ways the star. It is not showy or intrusive. It's totally organic to the unfolding of the plot. Yet it is exquisite -- both with landscapes and with actors. This is especially true with Trevor Howard, very powerful as a boozy miner.

The other star is that great actress Wendy Hiller. Her role is far from entirely sympathetic. She suffocates her favorite son, well played by Dean Stockwell. She is demanding in a quiet way and selfish in a manner passing itself off as martyrdom. But what a gorgeous performance! Mary Ure was a fine actress. Somehow, though, the character she plays doesn't entirely work in my view. It seems more from kitchen-sink realism, like the Shelagh Delaney plays that were filmed around this time. (And where have they gone? Why don't we ever see "A Taste of Honey" or "The Leather Boys" anymore?) Heather Sears is good but I have to admit, to my embarrassment, I found it hard to shake her excellent performance in the tile role of "The Story of Esther Costello" from my mind. Her being a bright young woman taken with Stockwell, therefore, startled me throughout. That is my own failing and surely not hers.

This is a superb movie. All of it is good. But for me, the scenes involving Hiller are the most compelling. Howard, too, is superb. And Stockwell as Paul. The family story is heart-wrenching.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 July 1960 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Sons and Lovers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Jerry Wald Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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