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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Priest Of Love (1981)

The last years in the life of the author D.H. Lawrence (Ian McKellen). After being hounded by the British censors for his "obscene" books, Lawrence and his German wife (Janet Suzman, NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA) move to America then Mexico and Italy. While slowly dying of tuberculosis, Lawrence writes his most notorious novel, LADY CHATTERLY'S LOVER. Films about artists whether they be writers, painters, composers etc. are problematic in that it's near impossible to recreate the artistic mindset, the need to create without falling into cliche. Christopher Miles (who earlier directed a film version of Lawrence's THE VIRGIN AND THE GYPSY) does better than most but it's still not enough to make PRIEST OF LOVE markedly different than similar biopics. That being said, the film focuses on Lawrence's often tempestuous relationship with Frieda Lawrence as much as it does on writing and with more success. The film benefits from the location shooting, in particularly the Italian sequences, by Ted Moore (DR. NO). The director cast his sister, the actress Sarah Miles as a film star, but edited her out of the final product. Remaining in the cast are Ava Gardner, John Gielgud, Penelope Keith, Jorge Rivero and James Faulkner as Aldous Huxley.

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