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488 Ratings

Women in Love

Directed by Ken Russell
United Kingdom, 1969
Romance, Drama


The battle of the sexes and relationships among the elite of Britain’s industrial Midlands in the 1920s. Gerald and Rupert are best friends who fall in love with a pair of sisters Gudrun, a sculptress and Ursula, a schoolteacher. Rupert marries Ursula, Gerald begins a love affair with Gudrun.

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Women in Love Directed by Ken Russell

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1971 | Winner: Best Actress in a Leading Role

1971 | 3 nominations including: Best Director

National Board of Review

1971 | 2 wins including: Best Actress

BAFTA Awards

1970 | 11 nominations including: Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music

Golden Globes (USA)

1971 | Winner: Best English-Language Foreign Film

1971 | 2 nominations including: Best Director

In an appreciation of the novel "Women in Love," the critic Camille Paglia recalls in her collection of essays "Vamps & Tramps" that a poster portrait of Lawrence was a dorm-room pinup — perhaps only among English majors — in the late '60s. This cultlike objectification is akin to Russell and Kramer's film: a robust, entertaining, tastefully vulgar celebration of Lawrence's philosophy.
November 29, 2017
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Russell's filmmaking, with the incomparable aid of the great cinematographer Billy Williams, attacks with physical force. They often employ hand-held camerawork, not affected like so much modern wobble-cam stuff, but charged with sweeping energy, to give the film a hungry, compulsive feel.
December 07, 2011
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In retrospect, it seems surprisingly sane and classy for him, though his themes of excess and abandon bubble beneath the surface. Though the plotting is largely shucked in favor of image and atmosphere, it remains Russell's best-told film apart from Savage Messiah. The delirious romanticism is not nullified, in Russell's usual way, by a sour awareness of its absurdity, which may account for the film's persistent popularity.
January 01, 1980
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What are people saying?

  • Ethan's rating of the film Women in Love

    This is one of the most beautiful and sensuous films ever made with a mix of harsh reality and cynical judgments on relationships between men and women and the ever going debate on who is more shitty men or women. Ken Russell is a true master of the cinema as he evokes powerful emotions from the brilliant camerawork to the perfectly crafted drama that unfolds throughout this hypnotic film.

  • Matthew Martens's rating of the film Women in Love

    Lawrence stripped down and dressed up. Russell provides strictly the bullet points with respect to the novel's characters and sexual ideology -- in fact, the former would serve little purpose except as a delivery system for the latter were it not for Russell's perhaps still greater fascination with stylistic effulgence and its concomitant erotic charge, culminating in a wrestling match in which beauty is the beast.

  • Frankly, Mr. Shankly's rating of the film Women in Love

    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.

  • Christopher R. Smith's rating of the film Women in Love

    Russell brings his trademark histrionic energy to infuse riveting life into what could easily have been another stodgy English costume drama. The principal cast is some of England's very best at their very best. A number of classic sequences, even if the final act does drag on a bit too long. Russell would go on to make even more powerful films, but this is perhaps the first time he worked to his full potential.

  • Richmond Hill's rating of the film Women in Love

    A neat distillation and sieving-out of key Lawrentian metaphors and concerns into a richly textured film, that overcomes most of the author's sometimes lumpy motifs. It works best as a kinetic visual gallop and is gloriously realised by all concerned. That said, the stronger portion of the film is the earlier exposition rather than the concluding scenes which don't quite translate into cinema here. Jackson is a treat

  • Ghostman's rating of the film Women in Love

    Women in Love is a terrific & provocative film that explores class relations, gender divisions, & sexuality in a way that still feels fresh despite its 1920s setting. Adapted from D.H. Lawrence's novel & directed by Ken Russell, the film is bold & flamboyant for a British period piece. Russell's movie is an adult & nuanced work that is unafraid to push its themes and ideas with daring, head-on vigor, & fearlessness.

  • Jason's rating of the film Women in Love

    Dealing in approximately twelve strong ideas per second, Ken Russell entered the big time w/ a D.H Lawrence adaptation that does far more than merely lustily subvert what would come to be known as capital-H Heritage. Russell and Lawrence have something fundamental in common: they both testify to the fact that art and life ought mount revolution at the site of the everyday. Glenda Jackson descended from Mount Olympus.

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film Women in Love

    **1/2. Gerald's mother laughing at her husband's funeral, Gerald's sister drowning her husband in a muddy lake, Gerald's horse being whipped to blood in front of a train by its rider: it's all about Gerald. An unhealthy movie.

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