Sons and Lovers

I awoke slowly and went out to the office, where I worked on grading some papers.  I had some time before my class, so I watched “Sons and Lovers.”  It was in black and white, and it was made in 1960.  Two of the main characters were played by Dean Stockwell and Trevor Howard.  Howard was the father who worked in the mines, and Stockwell was the artist son who had the chance to leave and develop his talent but for his mother.  Stockwell seemed like he was in the wrong country.  He had the sex drive of another D.H. Lawrence character.  He made the foolish decision of staying in his hometown and being with his mother instead of going off to London.  He had a close girlfriend who was brought up with religious morality and was uptight.  His attraction to the wrong woman derails him.  The mistake is in the form of a suffragette played by Mary Ure.  She talks about free love, but somehow you have to question all of her convictions.  If she’s separated but not divorced it seems that she’s not committed to anything.  Ten years makes a big difference as far as D.H. Lawrence adaptations go.  “Sons and Lovers” feels like everything is suppressed, where “Women in Love” with Glenda Jackson is freer and something of a classic.  Paul was a fool also for getting involved with a married woman.  This was dangerous because the husband was capable of jealous violence.  Paul wasn’t much of a fighter, probably like Lawrence himself.  Paul needed an escape from his family troubles, an oaf of a father, a possessive mother and a possessive girlfriend.  I thought he was reasonable in his assessment that his relationship with his girlfriend was going nowhere.  How can you feel excited about such a cold young girl?  I thought that Dean Stockwell imitated some of the things that James Dean had done on the screen.  Trevor Howard added something memorable to the film with his performance.  He was believable with his anger and resentment.  I’m not old enough to remember the Trevor Howard of 1960.  I only remember what he looked like at the end of his life.  Donald Pleasence was in this movie, several years before he was a James Bond villain.  “Sons and Lovers” wasn’t a great movie, but all in all I liked it.  It captured some of the feeling of youth and attempting to make your life meaningful.  I couldn’t see Paul turning into any kind of fantastic artist.  You’ve got to get away from your mother and see the world.  He painted his father and some daffodils and I don’t know what else.  “Sons and Lovers” was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.  I can’t recall very many other movies that were released in 1960, but I will say that “The Apartment” was a great movie.  The ending of “Sons and Lovers” was different from the end of the novel.  Some things still weren’t acceptable yet of the movie audiences of that time.  I gave a lecture to my class that lasted not quite two hours.  I was relieved when I got that done, and I headed back home.  I stopped for two tacos and a Coke at Gordo Taqueria.  I watched “Riot” with Jim Brown and Gene Hackman.  I thought the idea of trying to escape from a prison was fruitless.  You’re going to get caught eventually.  That’s especially true today in the information age.  I spent a few hours checking items on Amazon.  I tried to see how much money I would have to spend to get an item with all four of the Beatles’ autographs.  I was also interested in Marilyn Monroe’s autograph.  I could get Raquel Welch’s autograph for not quite too much money.  I read something Dan Hill had written about how “Sometimes When We Touch” overwhelmed his life.  He originally wrote the song when he was 19 years ago, of course in an attempt to impress a girl.  A lot of the lyrics are really rotten.  I think he lost the girl to a football player.  The movie channel was showing “The Assassination Bureau” again.  I thought about how much it would cost me to complete my Avengers video collection.  They were also showing “Fathom” again.  Raquel looked like she knew how to fold a parachute.  Roger Ebert disliked this movie.  Some of the people who died on March 16 include Tammi Terrell (1970), T-Bone Walker (1975), Arthur Godfrey (1983), and Ivan Dixon (2008).  Today is a birthday for Lauren Graham (50), Erik Estrada (68), Victor Garber (68), and Jerry Lewis (91).

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