This movie, based on a novella by D.H. Lawrence, was probably pretty revolutionary for its time, but it hasn’t fared all that well with time. Sandy Dennis and Anne Heywood are lesbians (though I didn’t see all that much evidence of that) living on a rural farm. Keir Dullea shows up and says he is the grandson of the previous owner, has been away at sea for years and didn’t know the old man was dead. They take him in for a while … and somewhere in there I lost interest. I read about it, and it seems Dullea comes between the two women, making love to Heywood. Later Dennis is killed by a falling tree, and the couple can go off together. How convenient.
This doesn’t seem all that honest to me. It’s entirely possible that Heywood was bisexual, but still. It just plays into that old saw that all a lesbian really needs is to fuck a real man, and she will convert. But the real thing that drove me away is Sandy Dennis. I loved her in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Up the Down Staircase and liked her in The Out-of-Towners, but she can be very annoying. Her whiny voice grates on my nerves, and here she is so insecure I could hardly stand her. That’s not her fault, of course, that’s the part, but I had enough of it before we were halfway through.