Sons and Lovers Reviews
Listen out in the score for a strange use of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, when the husband brings his wife a cup of tea to her in bed the morning after one of their rows. Or did my ears deceive me?
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, Sons and Lovers does its best to convey sexuality without the tired Risky Business 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 Sons and Lovers 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.
However, I didn't find the plot very interesting and I found the movie to be a bit boring.
Ignore the 2003 remake. This is the stuff. The actors do D.H. Lawrence proud.