Sons and Lovers (1981)

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D.H. Lawrence's semi-autobiographical novel Sons and Lovers was filmed in 1960, and suffered from the censorial dictates of the period. One would assume that the BBC2 TV miniseries version of the same property, produced in 1981, would be a bit less inhibited. While the basic story, that of a young Nottingham miner who yearned to become a renowned artist, was harmless enough, the sexual trimmings of the tale were fairly steamy -- but not so much so that a TV adaptation was impossible. In typical fashion, the BBC producers tended to bury the source material in lavish production values and flashy directorial touches, causing some critics to complain that the treatment was a betrayal of Lawrence's famed "naturalism." Unfortunately, contemporary viewers may never get the chance to judge for themselves, since the seven-part TV version of Sons and Lovers can be seen only if one has access to a private film archive. Fortunately, Trevor Griffiths' teleplay has been published and widely circulated in the British public library system.