The casting here is the thing, even to the smallest role. It intriguingly begins suggesting D.H.’s bisexuality showing him leaving his Cornish farmhouse and sleeping wife for an early morning naked swim where he is joined by a strapping Cornish farmer – Graham Faulkner, required to strip again but showing a more robust physique than he did as St Francis in Zeffirelli’s BROTHER SUN SISTER MOON. In Italy too the manager of their estate, Italian pop singer/actor Massimo Ranieri is pleased to disrobe to pose for D.H.’s paintings. Other names in the extensive cast include Julian Fellowes (now writing DOWNTON ABBEY) and Gareth Forwood (the actor son of Glynis Johns and Anthony Forwood, later Dirk Bogarde’s partner). Scripted by Alan Plater and filmed at the places the Lawrences stayed at it looks handsome and perfectly in period. Miles directs with a sure touch (his sister Sarah appears in one of the deleted scenes) and the new dvd has extensive interviews (including a new one with McKellen) and additional material. One wonders how that other Lawrence expert maestro Ken Russell would have souped it up?
For Miles's THE VIRGIN AND THE GYPSY review, see Franco Nero label.