This compelling rendition of the literary masterpiece is a visual stunner and very likely the most sensuous film ever made (N.Y. Daily News). Glenda Jackson garnered the first of her two Oscars®* for her superb performance in director Ken Russell and writer Larry Kramer’s brilliant exploration of the complexities of sexuality and romantic love. Growing up in the sheltered society of 1920s England, Gudrun (Jackson) and Ursula (Jennie Linden) know little about the ways of love. So when they pursue thrilling, torrid affairs with a notorious playboy (Alan Bates) and a brooding philanderer (Oliver Reed), what they discover about their lovers, and themselves, may be more all-consuming and dangerously volatile than they ever dared imagine. –MGM
British director Ken Russell started out training for a naval career, but after wartime RAF and merchant navy service he switched goals and went into ballet. Supplementing his dancing income as an actor and still photographer, Russell put together a handful of amateur films in the 50s before being hired as a staff director by the BBC. Russell made a name for himself (albeit a name not always spoken in reverence) during the first half of the ‘60s by directing a series of iconoclastic TV dramatizations of the lives of famous composers and dancers. And if he felt that the facts were getting in the way of his story, he’d make up his own — frequently bordering on the libelous. If he had any respect for the famous persons whose lives he probed, it was secondary to his fascination with revealing all warts and open wounds.
A film director since 1963, Russell burst into the international consciousness with 1969’s Women in Love, a hothouse version of the D.H. Lawrence novel. No director… read more
Outstanding direction and cinematography. Though I found some scenes a little outta place, the movie works fine as a whole. Also, its exploration of nudity, love and sexuality is incredibly audacious. The Bates/Reed naked wrestling scene is not only memorable, but one of the most homoerotic moments I have ever seen.
Flawless direction by Ken Russell. I found the intersecting lives of all four protagonists mesmerizing. Several scenes in the film stand out: From Glenda Jackson's taunting dance in front of a herd of cattle to the naked 'Gladiatorial' performed by Alan Bates and Oliver Reed. Even the enigmatic, open-ended expression on Jennie Linden's face at film's end. A sense of throbbing perversity permeates each frame.