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Sons and Lovers (1960)

Not Rated | | Drama | 22 July 1960 (West Germany)
In the early twentieth century, an artistically talented young man living in an English coal mining town is inhibited by his domineering and emotionally manipulative mother.

Director:

Jack Cardiff

Writers:

Gavin Lambert (screenplay), T.E.B. Clarke (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Trevor Howard ... Walter Morel
Dean Stockwell ... Paul Morel
Wendy Hiller ... Mrs. Morel
Mary Ure ... Clara Dawes
Heather Sears ... Miriam
William Lucas ... William Morel
Conrad Phillips ... Baxter Dawes
Ernest Thesiger ... Mr. Hadlock
Donald Pleasence ... Pappleworth
Rosalie Crutchley ... Mrs. Leivers
Sean Barrett Sean Barrett ... Arthur Morel
Elizabeth Begley Elizabeth Begley ... Mrs. Radford
Edna Morris Edna Morris ... Mrs. Anthony
Ruth Kettlewell Ruth Kettlewell ... Mrs. Bonner
Anne Sheppard Anne Sheppard ... Rose
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Storyline

Jack Cardiff received a 1960 Oscar Nomination as Best Director for this lush, engaging film starring Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell and Donald Pleasence, which was adapted from D.H. Lawrence's classic novel. A young man with artistic talent who lives in a close-knit, English coal-mining town during the early 20th Century finds himself inhibited by his emotionally manipulative, domineering mother. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll never forget the young lovers in... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 July 1960 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Sons and Lovers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jerry Wald Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Jerry Wald never went to England during the film's production, communicating with his director only by long letter. See more »

Quotes

Miriam: You know, my mother disapproves more and more of the books you bring. She blames you for putting ideas into my head.
Paul Morel: Does she think heaven frowns on ideas? Your mother breathes religion through her nostrils!
Miriam: Do you think that's wrong?
Paul Morel: It's not religious just to be religious! I think a crow is religious as it sails across the sky. It's showing the glory of God but it doesn't know it. God doesn't know things, he is things.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kate & Allie: Sons and Lovers (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

The Night My Old Lady Left Town
(uncredited)
Written by Hal Shaper
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A lean and powerful drama
31 October 2012 | by bandwSee all my reviews

This is an admirable adaptation of the 1913 D.H. Lawrence novel of the same name. The story concentrates on young Paul Morel and the relationships among him, his parents, his brothers, and his two lovers. This is a case where the title provides a good synopsis.

The relationships are complex. Paul's father is a rough coal miner and his relationship with his wife is quarrelsome. We get a glimpse into how that relationship came to be, when in fact they were lovers. The intense relationship between Paul and his mother is at the core of the story--the dynamics of all the relationships are spin-offs of this central one. Paul talks of wanting to be free while being uncommonly devoted to his mother; this emotional tug-of-war is central to Paul's personality.

Trevor Howard is wonderful as the father and the rest of the cast does not lag far behind. Contrary to some opinions, I found that Dean Stockwell was well cast as the sensitive, emotional young Paul.

The filming is truly outstanding, earning Freddie Francis an Oscar for best cinematography. The composition of every scene reflects the work of a superb visual artist. Francis' ability to exploit the black and white CinemaScope format is a joy to behold. The 2.35:1 aspect creates a tremendous sense of freedom, making any other format seem rather claustrophobic. Black and white photography is ideally suited to the stark emotional and physical environment of this movie, a movie that depends a lot on facial expressions. I sincerely regret the passing of the art form of this super wide screen black and white filming. The most recent movies to film in this format, exclusively in black and white, are Woody Allen's "Manhattan," and "The Elephant Man" in 1980. Think how the facial closeups would lose impact if filmed in color, and how the scene with the young couple frolicking on the beach would be made insignificant. The final scene between Paul and his first girlfriend, Miriam, is so beautifully filmed as to make it hard to forget.

The dialog is subtle and insightful, thanks to a good screenplay, but also thanks to D.H. Lawrence I assume. Consider this comment Miriam makes to Paul when he suggests they call it quits:

"I could hate you for making me love you. Making me fail you."

The only minor negative comment I can come up with is that the music gets a bit too aggressive on occasion.

This movie deserved its seven Oscar nominations and it puzzles me as to why it is not more honored in film history.


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