Lady Chatterley’s Lover

1964. LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER (1955-France). WITH danielle darrieux, leo Genn. Directed by marc ALLEGRET. Based on the novel by D.H. LAWRENCE. For three decades, D.H. Lawrence’s notorious, scandalous novel was banned In the United States. While not as sexually explicit as would be allowed today, this adaptation is effectively subtle and literate as it explores the emotional state of its heroine. Still, when released theatrically, it sparked controversy on these shores if only for the seduction sequences, depiction of adultery and other assorted sexual innuendo. Lawrence’s novel is set during the 1920s, but director Marc Allegret (who also co-scripted) updated it to the 1950s, Danielle Darrieux, one of France’s all-time-great movie stars, is cast in the title role: Constance Chatterley, wife of Sir Clifford, whose legs were smashed by a shell during wartime and, as a result, has been paralyzed from the waist down, The beautiful Constance is satisfied to remain chaste, and dutifully plays the role of her husband’s nurse and companion. However, there is conÂstant pressure to be unfaithful. “I realize you are fond of Clifford” one admirer tells her, “but you know nothing of love.” Constance refuses to give in to this coercion, explaining that she dislikes deception and especially abhors being preyed upon by men who pity her for being wed to an invalid. Her feelings about adultery change when she becomes enamored of Mellors, the Chatterley estates muscular caretaker. With Mellors, all of her hidden sexual desires are allowed to come to the surÂface-but not without a host of complications. In French with English subtitles. 101 minutes. Drama