Women in Love 1969

Women in Love

Critics Consensus

A quartet of nuanced performances and Ken Russell's off-kilter direction brings D.H. Lawrence's battle of the sexes to tactile life.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 23

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,776
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Movie Info

Close friends Rupert Birkin (Alan Bates) and Gerald Crich (Oliver Reed) begin romances with siblings Ursula (Jennie Linden) and Gudrun Brangwen (Glenda Jackson). After the couples wed, they take a joint honeymoon to Switzerland, where things begin happily -- but they become increasingly complicated as the trip continues. Rupert and Ursula are determined to stay faithful to one another, while the aloof Gerald and the eccentric Gudrun turn to infidelity and sexual exploration.

Cast & Crew

Alan Bates
Rupert Birkin
Glenda Jackson
Gudrun Brangwen
Oliver Reed
Gerald Crich
Jennie Linden
Ursula Brangwen
Eleanor Bron
Hermione Roddice
Alan Webb
Thomas Crich
Phoebe Nicholls
Winifred Crich
Sharon Gurney
Laura Crich
D.H. Lawrence
Writer (Novel)
Roy Baird
Associate Producer
Martin Rosen
Co-Producer
Georges Delerue
Original Music
Billy Williams
Cinematographer
Michael Bradsell
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for Women in Love

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (4)

  • Despite a growing portentousness towards the end, and moments of silliness scattered throughout, a surprisingly restrained, even respectful adaptation of DH Lawrence's novel.

    June 11, 2019 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Directed with style and punch by Ken Russell, this is an episodic but challenging and holding pic.

    June 11, 2019 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Bates and Reed's homoerotic sparring would be sexy and shocking in any context. But Women in Love's talkier scenes are more exciting than any screen nudity could be.

    November 29, 2017 | Full Review…
  • A sterling confluence of three distinct icons, Women in Love is a key masterpiece of 1970s era British cinema, and one which has outlasted its infamous bits to reveal a decadent, lush, study on the amorphous subjects of love and sexuality.

    August 25, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The most successful adaptation of a Lawrence novel to the screen.

    June 30, 2020 | Full Review…
  • All these people pushing the film in personal ways are really dominated by Lawrence and his apocalyptic vision. So the movie ends up like a gaudy chariot pulled by twelve furious stallions who have been nibbling on locoweed.

    June 13, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Women in Love

  • Jun 14, 2018
    Bates, Linden, Reed, and Jackson are all superb. Russel's willingness to push the sexual content to a near frenzy gives the film a wild and unpredictable energy that is endlessly rewarding.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2016
    This film is adapted of course from D.H. Lawrence's novel, which continues on from 'The Rainbow' and has the Brangwen sisters, Ursula and Gudrun, contemplating men and marriage. They're played by Jennie Linden and Glenda Jackson, respectively, and the two soon find themselves in relationships with characters played by Alan Bates and Oliver Reed. I found Glenda Jackson to be the star here, though she's given lines that are sometimes overwrought (e.g. "How are your thighs? Are they strong? Because l want to drown in flesh. Hot, physical, naked flesh.") As with a lot of Lawrence's work, the story explores sexual freedom, monogamy, and life and death. It also explores homosexuality, and in one somewhat shocking (and extended) scene, Bates and Reed strip down to wrestle naked in front of a roaring fire, ending up glistening with sweat and on top of each other. It's liberating in its depiction of sexual honesty, but it's a bit bleak in its outlook about whether its characters will find happiness. The movie is certainly not shy about showing the naked body, both male and female, consistent with the movie having been made in the 'Age of Aquarius'. There is quite a bit of frolicking in nature and putting on performances of one sort or another, and the film is quite often gorgeous in its cinematography. Overall it lacks cohesion and is a little silly at times. Maybe that's how life is though.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • May 30, 2014
    Prior to her political turn, Glenda Jackson was actually one of the up and coming stars in British film. This is a prime example of what she can do when pressed. No longer controversial but terribly entertaining.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • May 21, 2014
    A gathering of couples turns sour when one couple drowns. If I ever come up with a philosophical manifesto or some revolutionary paradigm, then I hope that I can find someone like D.H. Lawrence to dramatize my philosophical precepts with the degree of felicity and verve that Lawrence treats Freud. The "death drive," the relationship between sexuality and violence, repressed emotions, latent homosexuality, and projection of childhood trauma all receive due attention. It's impossible to understand anything going on in this film without a working understanding of Freudian philosophy and psychology, and therein lies the film's primary strength and weakness. On the one hand, it's great to see a smart film for smart people, but on the other hand, it shouldn't be necessary that one study Freud in order to "get it." What is more, to paraphrase Hamlet there is more in heaven and earth, Mr. Freud, than is dreamt of in your philosophy. The actors all commit to their roles, often with full nudity, which was controversial for the film's time, and it must be difficult to convey a character based more on a psychological profile than on human actions. Overall, Women in Love is a strong film, but it's not for everyone.
    Jim H Super Reviewer

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