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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.


Jack Cardiff


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




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


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


From the Frank and Passionate Pages of D.H. Lawrence's Masterpiece See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Mary Ure replaced Joan Collins. See more »


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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Referenced in Kate & Allie: Sons and Lovers (1985) See more »


Only One Fellow
Written by Hal Shaper
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User Reviews

Ranks with WOMEN IN LOVE
29 October 2005 | by rossco-3See all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

22 July 1960 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Sons and Lovers See more »


Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Jerry Wald Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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