Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981) R

I recently had the opportunity to again see the classic erotic film Lady Chatterley's Lover. The film is one of the three classic erotic films produced by Just Jaeckin. His other two are The Story of O and Emmanuelle. Lady Chatterley's Lover, despite its age, continues to be one of the best-filmed stories with a real plot and real erotic scenes.

The movie is an adaptation from a novel by D.H. Lawrence. The story mixes two classic themes. This first is a devote wife's sexual adjustment to a war injured husband and the permission she receives to satisfy her erotic needs outside the marriage. The second classic theme is her erotic affair turning to love, and love with a man "beneath her class." The wife played by Jaeckin?s favorite actress Sylvia Kristel, is caught between her devotion to her paralyzed husband and her erotic lover. The lover, a husky gamekeeper played by Nicholas Clay is torn between his passion and class rules of proper relationships. D.H. Lawrence mixes both story line taboos in a story woven with explicit erotic content. The story remains controversially today. Just Jaeckin takes the full story and adds excellent costumes for turn-of -the century England and his trademark superior on-location filming.

Many people ask for an erotic story with a real plot. This film delivers in both areas. Though at times the film drags a bit (as did Gone with the Wind), the photography, costumes and set keeps the audience engaged. Then there is the sex. Probably the most famous sex scene is a long segment where the Lover places one flower after another down the body of Lady Chatterley. Each small flower fills the screen. We watch as the flowers move past her breasts and to her genitals. Lady Chatterley is filmed with full frontal nudity though the male Lover is usually film nude from the back. Nonetheless, the filming was ahead of its time both in sensual filming and erotic content.

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