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Women In Love [DVD] [1969]

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Product details

  • Actors: Alan Bates, Oliver Reed, Glenda Jackson, Jennie Linden, Eleanor Bron
  • Directors: Ken Russell
  • Writers: Larry Kramer, D.H. Lawrence
  • Producers: Larry Kramer, Martin Rosen, Roy Baird
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Dutch, Greek, Swedish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Aug. 2004
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00029RDV8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,589 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Best friends Rupert Birkin (Alan Bates) and Gerald Crich (Oliver Reed) spend much of their time analysing love, especially when they meet two sisters (Glenda Jackson and Jennie Linden). While Rupert loves then marries one of them, Gerald and Gudrun's relationship is not so straightforward.


Before director Ken Russell's name became synonymous with cinematic extravagance and overkill, he actually directed what is one of the most passionate and involving adaptations of DH Lawrence in recent memory. Oliver Reed and Alan Bates star as friends who fall in love with a pair of sisters (Jennie Linden and Glenda Jackson, who won an Oscar for the role). But the relationships take markedly different directions, as Russell explores the nature of commitment and love. Bates and Linden learn to give themselves to each other; the more withdrawn Reed cannot, finally, connect with the demanding and challenging Jackson. Shot with great sensuality, Women in Love was surprisingly frank for its period (1970) and includes one of the most charged scenes in movie history: Bates and Reed as manly men, wrestling nude by firelight. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lou Knee on 16 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a nice film, satisfying in so many ways, even if the sad conclusion is anything but, but that's the nature of romantic tragedy. This is Oliver Reed's finest film performance (apart from maybe Gladiator), and must be Ken Russell's best movie bar none. Good authentic adaption of DHL, a writer whose works often arouse strong emotions one way or another. In fact human emotion is often the main focus of all his works, rather than the more overt themes of class, or raw passion. This film has a lovely period feel to it, is very intimate in its portrayal of the relationships between people with different personalities and feelings, and it distills the mood or essence of DHL perfectly, including clear undertones of misogyny. If you're prepared for a slightly more detached and arty kind of romantic drama then this film is for you. More emotionally engaging than it may look, with its emphasis on the visual rather than the dramatic, as always with Russell. But what saves this becoming a mere art piece is a great piece of acting from Jackson in particular, but also a deep and broodingly memorable performance by Reed, which was probably coaxed out of him by his great drinking partner, Russell.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Philoctetes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 April 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Watch five minutes of this classic British film and if you've ever read any D.H. Lawrence you'll sense his spirit at work. I was drawn to this after watching the perplexing recent TV adaptation on the BBC

Women in Love [DVD]

which attempts, one presumes not ambitiously but for the sake of economy, to amalgamate Women in Love with its prequel The Rainbow. There is a difference of attitude, I found as well, with the 21st century spotlight inclined to sneer (disbelieve) in Lawrence's ideas and to overplay the Rupert-was-a-homosexual perspective.

However we may live now, within half an hour I had concluded that this Oscar-winning film directed by Ken Russell was so immeasurably superior to the TV version as to make its production feeling totally pointless. The beauty of the locations and the romantic quest for sensuality and self-actualization, on the part of all four leading actors, is so vivid, the script better shaped to delineate those characters and the colour of mind and spirit which makes each so very unique.

In a way it can't help being coloured by the era of production, the 1960s. At times I felt they were living in the '60s, not after WW1 but the spirit of the '60s apparently has more in common with the 1920s than our hyper-post-ironical-modernism in the new millennium.

Alan Bates and Oliver Reed make much more plausible lovers than the recent chaps and the ladies here are more bewitchingly and passionately intriguing than the duo of Rosamund Pike and Rachael Stirling - attractive though they are. The film is full of unforgettable scenes: Hermione's dance of the widows, Gudrun spooking the cattle, the tableau of drowned lovers, Rupert and Gerald wrestling, Rupert running from the house and going feral, etc.

Visually stunning, winningly scripted and superbly cast.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ian Hunter on 22 Sept. 2010
Format: DVD
Ken Russell did us all a great service by trying to break the conventions of film-making. In this interpretation of love, he juggles the underlying emotions between the two couples with the essential love between the two men. The latter was not a homosexual love but a love of the spirit and the mind. The naked wrestling scene remains a piece of innovation in the cinema. The use of the weapon of jealousy is woven into the fabric of the character perpetrated by Jackson and endured by Reed. The final exchange between Bates and Linden remains for me, the epitome of love.

Ian Hunter.
Author of The Early Years
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Ken Russell was a maverick, wayward genius among film makers.
At times controversial, confrontational and willfully shocking
he, nonetheless, also possessed a deeply-rooted romantic spirit which
was quintessentially English to its very core. His 1962 film 'Elgar' and
'The Song Of Summer' (1968), about the deep friendship between the
composers Frederick Delius and Eric Fenby, demonstrated Mr Russell's
great love of music and his almost uncanny ability to marry sound and
images in a visually striking and deeply affecting way. There were a
few mishits along the road : his 1984 movie 'Crimes Of Passion' was a
bit of a stinker and his adaptation of The Who's "rock-opera" 'Tommy'
(1975) missed the inherent tenderness of the work by a mile and a half
with its gaudy and excessively sensationalist treatment but in as long
and distinguished career as his these anomalies are easily forgiven.

His 1969 account of D H Lawrence's great novel 'Women In Love' is
a masterpiece; one of the finest visual translations of a book I
have ever seen. Largely faithful to the narrative (notwithstanding
the inclusion of the poem 'Figs', sensually performed by Gerald
- Alan Bates firing on all six cylinders) Mr Russell demonstrates
a deep understanding of the motivation of Lawrence's characters.
The cinematography is ravishing throughout. The scene in which
Gerald stumbles deliriously off into the woods after being cracked
over the head with a paperweight for humiliating the grotesque
Hermione at one of her pretentious country weekend soirees is
Read more ›
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