Sons and Lovers

1960, Drama, 1h 43m

9 Reviews 250+ Ratings

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Movie Info

In a small English coal town, aspiring artist Paul Morel (Dean Stockwell) sets out to break free of the difficult mining life that has hardened his father, Walter (Trevor Howard), and killed his brother. His wishes appear to come true when local art lover Henry Hadlock (Ernest Thesiger) offers to send him to art school in London. However, Paul's deep love for his kind but possessive mother, Gertrude (Wendy Hiller), threatens to keep him from abandoning his old life.

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Critic Reviews for Sons and Lovers

Audience Reviews for Sons and Lovers

  • Jul 02, 2012
    Victorian morality is pitted against teenage sexual urges in a small mining town. D.H. Lawrence's concentration on the decay of old sexual mores is on full display here, but unfortunately the depth of his characters is not. Miriam, as the film presents her, is thoroughly naive and uninteresting, and her third act scenes seem inconsistent considering all that has come before. I also thought the Oedipal relationship between Paul and Gertrude could have been more developed. We don't need to be pounded over the head with it, but the connection between Paul's sexuality and his devotion to his mother could have been more obvious. With no small contribution from the fantastic performance by young Dean Stockwell, Paul is the only character who is fleshed out and developed. In Stockwell's hands, Paul is what he is in the book, a man who is out of place and ahead of his time but confined by the morality of his place and time. Some of the scenes between Clara and Paul would have fallen flat in the hands of a lesser actor, but with Stockwell, never has a game of cribbage been so smoldering. Operating within the standards of the time, <i>Sons and Lovers</i> does its best to convey sexuality without the tired <i>Risky Business</i> trains-through-tunnels metaphor, but for once I found myself hoping for voice overs that could feature some of Lawrence's original language, so rich in feeling and sound. Overall, this version of <i>Sons and Lovers</i> is quite good, but if only we were able to transport the 1960 version of Dean Stockwell into today's time, I think we would have a better, immortalized look at Lawrence's masterpiece.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 07, 2011
    Strong performances all around elevate this hard drama of crushed and stalled hopes. Not a surprise that this received many awards including several Oscar noms, the excellent cinematography won. A fine film from an era when cinema was about the human condition.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2011
    It was ok. The acting was surprisingly realistic and there was not a bad performance to be found. However, I didn't find the plot very interesting and I found the movie to be a bit boring.
    Lauren D Super Reviewer

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