BBC TONES DOWN LADY CHATTERLEY
Sex scenes have been toned down in the television version of D.H. Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover, to ensure it has a prime slot.
Ken Russell will be the director of the UKL3.7 million BBC series, Lady Chatterley. It stars Joely Richardson and Sean Bean. The book was the subject of an obscenity case after it was published by Penguin books in 1960. The adaptation treads carefully round the earthy language and explicit descriptions of Lady Chatterley's sexual exploits with her disabled husband's gamekeeper. The series is likely to be screened in January and Barry Hanson, the executive producer, said, "We aim to get something transmitted on BBC1 prime time, around 9 pm."
Lady Chatterley is part of a ú147 million line-up of drama for the autumn and winter unveiled yesterday. The BBC says it is providing a record 400 hours of drama, an increase of 125 hours on last year.
BBC TONES DOWN CHATTERLEY'S LOVER FOR THE
by Alexandra Frean, Media Correspondent
Date and Source Unknown
The BBC is to screen a toned-down version of Lady Chatterley's Lover, the erotic novel by D.H. Lawrence. The production, directed by Ken Russell and starring Joely Richardson, is to be shown in June as part of BBC television's ú180 million spring and summer schedule.
Alan Yentob, launching his first schedule since taking over as controller of BBC1, described the series as "quite proper" but said that it would not be broadcast before the 9pm watershed that divides family and adult viewing. "You cannot put this book wholesale on television. There are things you have to leave out," he said.
Addressing public concern over violence and sex on television, Mr. Yentob said that the schedule had the same proportions of these elements "as in our own lives." "There is nothing in any of our programmes to give serious cause for concern. Anyone who runs a TV service who does not think of these things is shirking his responsibility. There is crime on the streets and we will reflect that."
Ms. Richardson, 27, daughter of Vanessa Redgrave, plays the title role in Lady Chatterley, Russell's adaptation of Lawrence's book. Sean Bean, who played a calculating womaniser in the television bodice-ripper Clarissa last year and who is also the star of the heavyweight costume drama heading ITV's spring schedule, Sharpe, plays Mellors.
THE EARTHY LADY CHATTERLEY
by Jonathan Cooper
Scottish Daily Express
Sexual Promise Sells Ken Russell new television series to millions of viewers
It was, said the TV reviewers, too tame. There they were with their tapes in their video, fingers on the pause button, waiting expectantly, hopefully, lustfully even, for Sean Bean and Joely Richardson, well, to do It. And they didn't.
They were joined on Sunday night for the first part of Lady Chatterley, Ken Russell's adaptation for the BBC of D.H. Lawrence's book, by more than 11 million viewers around the country who were probably watching (probably? definitely) for reasons that had little to do with literature and a lot more to do with voyeurism.
What, those 11 million were wondering, was all the fuss about? With all the pre-programme hype, with all the reminders that this book was once put on trial for obscenity, the only thing that could possibly have troubled clean-up television campaigners was keeping their eyes open. But this first episode was a mere taster, foreplay if you like, for what happens next. And that, while not quite red-hot and blue is - as our pictures show - rather earthy.
Clothes finally come off, nakedness is displayed and sometime later in the series the woodland lovers actually use a bed.
It would be churlish to give too much away, but the breathing does start to get very heavy in episode two when Bean, as the gamekeeper Mellors, and Richardson, as the frustrated wife of the crippled Sir Clifford Chatterley, take to grappling in and around what looks like a pheasant coop. They also stand against a tree in an uncomfortable position and there are a lot of close-ups of loosened stockings and parted lips. Those who prefer their love to involve even a minimal amount of tendresse, who prefer their screen lovers to gaze wistfully into each other's eyes and their amours to love rather than lust will have to wait for another Sunday.
As a spokesman for the BBC said: "Several people said there wasn't as much passion as they had expected, but the sex certainly hots up in parts two and three." Penguin Classics republished Lady Chatterley's Lover in 1990 as part of their 20th Century Classics series. This edition has sold the grand total of 3,929 copies.
When they published an edition with a picture of Joely Richardson on the cover with lilies in her hair, a gold band around her head and wearing a suggestively crumpled silk thing, they sold 29,950 copies.
Can there be any better argument that sex sells?
BEING NAKED FOR THREE DAYS TAUGHT ME A LOT!
June 7, 1993
He's the hottest British actor for decades... and for his latest role as Lady Chatterley's lover, Sean Bean brings his unique brand of raw sex appeal to the steamiest TV scenes ever! Garth Pearce reports
He's the other Mr. Bean. But actor Sean Bean, lying naked opposite Joely Richardson on their third consecutive day of making love, couldn't be further removed from Rowan Atkinson's gormless character.
Sean is playing gamekeeper Mellors in director Ken Russell's four-part television series Lady Chatterley, which begins this week on BBC1. Faithful to D.H. Lawrence's controversial novel, and not for the faint-hearted, it contains some of the most explicit sex scenes ever seen on the BBC.
But Sean says his on-screen passion did anything but turn him on. "You have to be joking," he says. "There was a film crew, dialogue to be delivered, and Ken constantly changing camera angles.
"I was thinking about two things," he smiled. "The first, 'Thank God I've known Joely a long time.' The second, 'My mates are never going to stop pulling my leg on this one!'"
But 33-year-old Sean isn't going to protest too much about a reputation for raw sexuality which is fast establishing him in the UK and US as a man to be reckoned with.
Like his latest character Mellors, Sean himself is from the wrong side of the tracks. Whereas Joely - mother, Vanessa Redgrave; father, the late director Tony Richardson; grandfather Sir Michael Redgrave - has an acting pedigree of three generations, Sean is a former welder from Sheffield who still can't quite believe his good fortune.
His parts have always had an edge of danger... The ruggedly sexy Richard Sharpe in ITV's recent Sharpe's Rifles and Sharpe's Eagle, the highbrow rogue Lovelace in the BBC's Clarissa, a ruthless London villain in Fool's Gold on the Brink's-Mat robbery, and an Irish terrorist opposite Harrison Ford in the hit movie Patriot Games.
Casting directors can certainly see Sean has lived a bit. "I'm no goody two-shoes, that's for sure," he says. "I have my run-ins with people by just being myself. But I never go looking for trouble."
He was married at 20 to a local girl from his home town Sheffield, only to break up in his early 20s. Now he's married to actress Melanie Hill, who played Aveline in the last series of Bread, with daughters Lorna, five, and Molly, one.
"It was a case of marrying too young," he says. "I wasn't an actor and could never have imagined a life like this. But I thought long and hard about marriage the second time around. In fact, we waited eight years!
"Melanie understands this business - that long separations are a part of life, and that sex scenes on television or in movies aren't for real."
They met when Sean went to audition at prestigious RADA. He was a lad from the sticks, whose previous acting experience was at a community centre in Rotherham.
"I was never made to feel like some yob who shouldn't be there," he says. "Despite my background, the things in my head were always music and art. It just gave me the chance to realise those ambitions."
That said, Sean Bean has had his moments. He was fined UKL50 for Actual Bodily Harm while still a student at RADA: "There was a bit of a ruck at a party and I ended up hitting a bloke a couple of times," he recalls.
Then there was a ban from the famous Dirty Dick Pub while he was acting at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. "They had an empty Yard of Ale hanging inside," he says. "I tried to get it down and drink some beer from it..."
Sean even drove up to Sheffield one afternoon before a performance of Romeo and Juliet to watched his beloved United playing Leeds, finally getting back to his dressing room as the audience was filing into the theatre "A bit of a close one, that," he remembers. "It felt like I was singing in the crowd one minute and playing Romeo the next."
These days, he's more responsible: "There can't be much messing around if you want to succeed," he reasons. "When you look at an actor like Harrison Ford - who struggled in his early years - you realise the importance of dedication to detail."
Sean's movie career began in bed with Melanie Griffith five years ago in the little-known film Stormy Monday. It's now reached the stage where Julia Roberts wanted him to be considered for the part of Shakespeare in a film on the bard's love life. Unfortunately, though, Sean was away filming and the movie floundered because Julia was unable to find a suitable co-star.
But despite the call of fame, Sean Bean has no intention of ever swapping his Yorkshire accent or deserting old friends: "One of the many things I loved about Lady Chatterley is that it's about breaking down the class barriers," says Sean. He gives a wide, relaxed grin: "Acting stark naked for three days teaches you such things...."
FURY AT LADY CHATTERLEY SEXIEST TV SCENES
Beeb blasted over 'disgusting' romps
By Matthew Wright
The Sun June 11, 1993
The most explicit sex scenes ever shown on British network TV will be screened on Sunday night.
Millions will see the graphic moments in part two of BBC1's Lady Chatterley soon after the 9pm watershed.
The programme opens with actress Joely Richardson as the Lady having her panties ripped off by her secret lover Mellors.
Viewers will then see the gamekeeper's hands slide up her legs, pulling her dress up above her waist. Seconds after they have sex on a bed of filthy old sacks in his shed.
That's just for starters. The next sex scene eight minutes later borders on rape.
Mellors, played by Sean Bean, pins Lady Chatterley against a tree and ravishes her as she screams wildly.
A few minutes later she is alone in her bedroom, peeling off her nightie to expose her breasts. Lady Chatterley then begins to caress herself.
The 55-minute programme's steamiest moment is another romp inside Mellors's potting shed. The scene lasts almost two minutes and again leaves nothing to the imagination.
The episode is the hottest in the four-part series. BBC bosses ordered director Ken Russell to keep the sex scenes to a minimum to avoid a barrage of complaints.
But last night Tory MP David Arness slammed the decision to screen the show at 9.35pm.
He said: "It's disgusting. That's only 35 minutes after the watershed. Many children will not have gone to bed.
"I am staggered the authorities are allowing this to be broadcast."
Dame Jocelyn Barrow, chairman of TV watchdog The Broadcasting Standards Council, defended the show.
She said D.H. Lawrence's story was "a well-known bit of literature" worth being turned into a telly show.
A BBC spokesman said: "Viewers will see an honest portrayal of passion within the bounds of what is acceptable."
STAND BY FOR SHOCKS IN LADY CHATTERLEY
by Karen Hockney
TV Super Guide - The Sun
Joely Daring but Not Very Sexy
Lady Chatterley star Joely Richardson felt silly rather than sexy as she filmed nude romps for the ú4 million series based on D.H. Lawrence's novel.
Joely, 27, daughter of Vanessa Redgrave, says: "It's ridiculous to have to pretend it's all passion when you're trying not to move in case you fall off the tree!
Everything is so technical that it is all far from being sexy. We are both married and both our partners know that."
Joely, wife of film producer Tim Bevan, had just six weeks to get into shape to play Lady Chatterley after the birth of first daughter Daisy, now 14 months old.
She says: "I haven't done anything nearly as intimate before - it is very revealing. But it is an intrinsic part of the story."
In one scene tomorrow she shocks her crippled husband Sir Clifford by dancing around wearing nothing but a veil.
Joely says: "If she had gone in in her undies and Clifford had rejected her, it wouldn't have the same impact. It makes her all the more vulnerable."
Joely also defended the rough sex, an integral part of her screen affair with gamekeeper Mellors.
she says: "All the love scenes are completely faithful to the book.
"If you compare it to The Camomile Lawn, Fatal Attraction or Basic Instinct, it is a lot more innocent."
I've Never Bean a Bit of Rough
Sean Bean, seen last month as swashbuckling Sharpe, switches from war to love in Lady Chatterley.
He plays strong silent gamekeeper Mellors, her ladyship's bit of rough in D.H. Lawrence's story of unbridled passion.
The four-part series, directed by Ken Russell, includes some of the most explicit scenes screened this year, mainly in next week's second episode. But not as many as you might expect.
Sean, 33, says: "If we had done every scene in the book the BBC would never have shown it. Ken Russell did as much as he could get away with.
"It's a release of passion and love. It's very powerful and I hope that comes across on screen."
Of Mellors' rough attitude towards his aristocratic lover, Sean says: "It's not my style to treat a woman in the way he does, so I used my imagination!"
His wife, Bread's Aveline Melanie Hill, confessed to the odd pang of jealousy as she watched her husband making love to another woman.
But Sean says: "It's my job and Melanie's big enough to understand."
Sean wasn't embarrassed about stripping in front of an entire film crew.
It was easier for him because he knew screen partner Joely from drama college.
He says: "It helped that we did most of the sex scenes one after the other, a few in the woods and lots in the studio."
Only once did he regret it.
"We caught fleas off the sacking after one scene in a barn," says Sean.
"We itched like mad, they were biting us all over, but nowhere too tender!"
TRICKY ART OF LOSING LADY C'S KNICKERS
by Graeme Kay
The People - TV First
5-11 June, 1993
The sex scenes between gamekeeper and mistress will look suitably steamy on the night. But it was tough doing them. The fleas didn't help, either.
Anyone expecting a non-stop rustic romp from Joely Richardson and Sean Bean in Lady Chatterley's Lover will be disappointed. Of 210 scenes, only four involve sex.
"It's ridiculous playing those scenes because you're trying to pretend that it's all very passionate, but it's actually ridiculously technical," says Joely, who plays Lady C. In one scene, the couple make love against a tree. "Not only was I having to think about camera angles, but I was trying not to move because I might fall," says Joely. "At the same time Sean was trying to pull off my underwear. It was like a magic trick just getting those knickers off."
Bean, who plays gamekeeper Mellors, recalls: "There was a bit we were doing in a barn and we started itching because the seed sacks we were lying on were infested with fleas." Fortunately, he wasn't bitten in any sensitive spots!"
Bean agrees that love scenes "are always difficult," adding that Mellors' earthy style has little in common with his own. "I think he was quite gentle," he says. "Gentle and rough alternately."
SEAN BEAN: A LOVER'S GUIDE
from NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY
by Rupert Smith
5-11 June, 1993
Sean Bean is fast cornering the market in raffish literary lovers. After acclaim for his sneering, leering turn as the wicked Lovelace in BBC2's Clarissa in 1991, it was fitting that he should turn to one of the 20th century's most notorious fictional figures, Oliver Mellors, the gamekeeper lover of Lady Chatterley.
"A lot of people have heard of Lady Chatterley's Lover," says Bean, "but not many people have read it. You get a nod and a wink when it's mentioned. It's regarded as a bit of a joke. I'd not read it till I was offered the part; I was strictly a nudge-nudge man before that. But now I like it a lot. I feel very close to what D.H. Lawrence was saying. He understands sex; he understands the relationship between the classes; he's got the whole thing off to a T."
Given director Ken Russell's reputation for cinematic extravagance, was Bean not afraid that this job would prove too much, even for him? The actor is diplomatic. "Ken's quite an expert on Lawrence. He's filmed his books before, and I think he's trying to be as faithful to this book as possible. He wasn't in the business of shocking people."
But even the phlegmatic Bean admits that the prospect of enacting Lawrence's famous sex scenes, particularly directed by the flamboyant Russell, made him a little nervous. "The descriptions of sex in the book are great, but very literary," he says. "When Joely [Richardson, who plays Lady Chatterley] and I were in front of the cameras, it was very real. You're lying there with your pants down surrounded by dozens of people. It's not exactly an everyday situation, but after the initial shock you get used to it and just get on with the job."
Bean and the rest of the company are concerned that the inevitable ballyhoo surrounding such a production should not detract from the significance of the story. "You know there are going to be people who'll condemn what we've done as obscene or corrupting, but I ignore that sort of rubbish. I take all that with a pinch of salt now; it's just a way people have of getting attention. What matters is that we can talk about sex and love in a more enlightened way than people in Lawrence's time could. Back then, it was looked upon as a sinful and dirty thing. Things have changed. It's nothing to be ashamed of when two people fall in love and make love. It's the most wonderful thing in the world."
Craig Brown on a week filled with the ludicrous, lascivious exploits of lords and ladies real and imagined.
The Sunday Times
13 June 1993
For 15 years, television companies have been trying to come up with a comedy as funny as Fawlty Towers. With Lady Chatterley, I think they might have found it.
There will be those, of course, who accuse it of being too direct a copy of the original. The Basil Fawlty character - with just a hint of Crossroads' Sandy Richardson - is Sir Clifford Chatterley, hilariously bad-tempered, snobbish and touchy. The Sybil character - put-upon, self-willed and exasperated - is renamed Lady Chatterley. The sensible one (Polly in Fawlty Towers) keeping the whole show on the road is Sir Clifford's nurse, and the role of the troublesome servant, Manuel, is here taken by the gamekeeper, Mellors.
But though based on Fawlty Towers, Lady Chatterley is never afraid to borrow from a broad range of other classics of British comedy. Some of the scenes in the first episode were brilliantly accurate parodies of the gritty northern novel, every bit as good as Brass, but with added slapstick. For instance, the show opened with Sir Clifford and Lady Connie driving in a tremendously smart car through a gathering of grubby urchins, Sir Clifford cackling viciously as one of them bit the dust. "How ghastly this war between the classes!..." sighed Lady Connie. "...Why does Ragby come between us and those people?" How we hooted!
And did I detect a homage to Are You Being Served? "You've got your brake jammed," said Lady Chatterley's red-faced father as he got into a car. "You want to get your axle greased, know what I mean?" Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more. I howled with laughter too at a wicked parody of a Ken Russell dream sequence, complete with the statutory scatterings of dead youths with naked torsos, a black horse, and the grotesque head of a drowning man.
Will Lady Chatterley take its place among the comedy classics? Is it up there with the real all-time greats, such as Melvyn Bragg's "A Time to Dance"? It's early days yet, but all the signs bode well. Will Sir Clifford start screaming, "Don't mention the war!" and doing his Silly Walk? Will Lady Connie discover that the source of her angst is an in-growing toenail? Will Mellors soon be running around in circles wearing a moose's head and screaming, "Fire! Fire!"? I simply can't wait.
LADY CHATTERLEY - THE ISLE OF WIGHT
Source and date unknown
The Isle of Wight doubled for the South of France for the controversial 1993 production of Lady Chatterley.
The Old Park Hotel at St. Lawrence was the location for the beach and woodland walk scenes and the aviary scenes were shot at the Tropical Bird Park also at St. Lawrence.
The maze at the clifftop theme park, Blackgang Chine, and Lisle Combe, the house at the Rare Breeds Park at St. Lawrence played Lady Chatterley's father's south of France home, Mandalay.
The house is not generally open to the public but can be seen from the Park and one section of it is open for bed and breakfast. And Lady Chatterley star Joely Richardson actually stayed in one of the rooms during a break in filming.
Havenstreet Station, part of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, which runs from Wootton to Smallbrook Junction was featured in the final episode of the BBC adaptation when Lady Chatterley returns home from France.
If you fancy recreating the final scene from Lady Chatterley, where Mellors and Connie embrace at the stern of a ship as they set off for Canada, then book a place on the Southampton to Isle of Wight Red Funnel ferry, Cowes Castle.
For the ship, which was built in 1965, much later than the series was set, doubled as a transatlantic cruise liner sailing from Southampton water. It was picked because it has a traditional wooden hand rail and by cleverly filming from different angles Director Ken Russell was able to make the ferry look like a liner - and not like a ferry full of passengers on a normal crossing to the Isle of Wight!
The scenes at Lady Chatterley's home were filmed at Wrotham Park, near Barnet, just north of London but it is not open to the public.
BBC REBUKED OVER LADY CHATTERLEY SEX
by Jamie Dettmer
Date and Source Unknown
Sex scenes in an episode of the recent BBC television adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover were criticised by the Broadcasting Standards Council yesterday for being too long and too rough.
The council also ruled that the love-making in the second episode of the four-part dramatisation of D.H. Lawrence's novel was shown too early in the evening. The programme began at 9.35 pm.
Lady Chatterley, played by Joely Richardson, and the gamekeeper Mellors, portrayed by Sean Bean, had sex three times in the second episode of Ken Russell's adaptation.
The council received more than 20 complaints from viewers about the explicitness of the sex scenes and the timing of the June broadcast.
In its submission to the council, the BBC, which had toned down much of the sex in the dramatisation, argued that viewers had been warned in announcements before the broadcast of the "explicit scenes of passion" to follow and that the audience was "not taken unawares."
The corporation also said that to be faithful to the book it was important that the physical aspects of the relationship between Mellors and Lady Chatterley be explored. It rejected the contention that one of the scenes amounted to a portrayal of rape. "It was sufficiently clear that Mellors' actions represented urgency rather than force and that Lady Chatterley's consent was ultimately not in doubt," the submission stated.
The council, while accepting that any adaptation of the novel required "explicit treatment of the sexual aspects" upheld some of the complaints. It said that the three love-making scenes were "unduly protracted."
The council also criticised the programme's starting time as too early.
When Joely Richardson and Sean Bean were filming a new adaptation of D.H.
Lawrence's steamy classic, Lady Chatterley's Lover, they found they were bitten
by more than the love-bug...
by Kathryn Spencer
What's On TV
5-11 June, 1993
Joely Richardson will never forget the scenes in Lady Chatterley where she had
to writhe around in the nude with her hunky co-star, Sean Bean. But not,
perhaps, for the reasons you'd imagine!
"It was far from erotic. Sean and I were attacked by an infestation of fleas
while filming in an old building," reveals the 27-year-old actress, who plays
Lady Chatterley. "So we said to the director, Ken Russell, 'No more until this
place has been fumigated!' "
This four-part serial is based on D.H. Lawrence's steamy novel, Lady
Chatterley's Lover, which was first published in Italy in 1928. The book's
explicit content meant it did not appear in full in Britain until 1960, when it
was the subject of an obscenity trial. It tells the story of Constance
Chatterley, who betrays her crippled husband, Clifford (James Wilby), to have
an affair with Mellors (Sean Bean).
Trapped in a stifling, sexless marriage, Constance learns the joy of sexual
fulfilment. But her happiness is short-lived when she discovers she is pregnant
and is forced to choose between her husband and Mellors.
Despite the explicit sex content, viewers will be seeing less of Joely than
they think, as she asked for a body double for many of the nude scenes. Filming
began just two weeks after she had given birth to her daughter, Daisy, now 15
months, and Joely admits she didn't feel happy with her figure.
"I was flattered Ken chose me, but I did not have much time to prepare for the
part," she admits. "I was breast-feeding Daisy so couldn't go on a diet. I knew
that a passionate sexual relationship is vital to the story, so I asked Ken for
a body double."
Constance Chatterley became one of literature's most notorious femmes fatale
when the book was first published. But Joely, who is married to the producer,
Tim Bevan, says she has nothing but respect for her character.
"My life is very different from Lady Chatterley's - but I do think she is a
very brave and courageous woman," says the actress. "It's not just a sexual
relationship with Mellors - the two of them are liberated by their love for
Joely and Sean are, in fact, old friends. They met six years ago when they were
both in the Royal Shakespeare Company.
"I felt inhibited at first but in the end I just gave it my all," says Sean of
his role, "but there was a moment when I first took my clothes off that I just
wanted to hide in the corner!"
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