We gave it an A
The groundbreaking male nudity and eroticism of Ken Russell’s best film caused quite a stir when Women in Love first opened; today, its emergence from a major studio would be just as shocking. Russell and writer-producer Larry Kramer’s adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s magnificent novel about the currents of sexuality that roil through the lives of two sisters and their men in 1920s England is as jolting for its fascination with ideas, its refusal to pander or overexplain, and its thoughtful renovation of a literary source as for its frankness. The Oscar-winning performance by Glenda Jackson, the great lost actress of her generation, remains startlingly fresh, as does the work of Alan Bates (never sexier) and Oliver Reed (never better). The disc comes with a fine commentary track by Russell and an especially smart and incisive one by Kramer, whose recently published annotated screenplay makes an ideal companion to this release.