Written in 1928, D H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover had only been available, unexpurgated, in Britain since Penguin Books‘ famous 1960 obscenity trial at the Old Bailey.
But it wasn’t until 1981 that somebody had the bright idea to film an English language version on home turf.
Reunited for the first time since Emmanuelle (1974) were French director Just Jaeckin (who co-wrote the script with Christopher Wicking) and actress Sylvia Kristel, in the role of Lady Constance Chatterley.
Mellors the gamekeeper was played by Nicholas Clay, seen previously as Lancelot in Excalibur (1981).
To those familiar with Jaeckin’s previous films, this movie’s fuzzy focus, endless dissolves, dripping rain, heaving buttocks and auto-erotic self-exploration would have been very familiar.
From the crass opening, where the outbreak of the Great War is toasted at a Wragby Hall ball, to an upbeat finale of a pregnant ‘Connie’ meeting Mellors as he emerges from the pit, the film is a tedious travesty.
Lady Constance Chatterley
Sir Clifford Chatterley