‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ Ending, Explained: Do Connie And Oliver Unite? What Happens To Clifford?

D.H. Lawrence is one of the most controversial writers in the history of English literature. Writing about sexuality, intimacy, and emotions, using bold and alliterative language, were his specialties. His works have had a history of getting banned and widely protested for using language that was dubbed indecent and for spoiling the minds of the readers. But D.H. Lawrence kept on writing, and now he is regarded as one of the most renowned writers of the 19th century. His novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” has found itself in the movies several times since it was first published, from being adapted into Malayalam movies to a BBC series. The latest adaptation to hit the block is the Netflix film of the same name, starring Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell. 


Spoilers Ahead

‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?

The Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell starrer movie mostly stays true to the original work by the author. The director, Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, took her liberties in bringing the characters to life on screen. Akin to Lawrence’s words, there was no filter in the visuals either. There is a fresh approach to the story as compared to the previous adaptations. Being made in this time period, the makers are taking a much more unfiltered and conscious approach to showing nudity and physical intimacy on screen.


“Lady Chatterley’s Lover” begins with Constance Reid’s marriage to Sir Clifford Chatterley. The newlyweds barely get a day to spend together before Clifford has to leave for war. After the marriage, Constance is addressed as ‘Lady Chatterley’ by most and Connie by her husband and sister. When Clifford does come back from the war, he is haunted by it and has also lost mobility in his legs. He was born into a typical aristocratic family and is imbued with the values of the demarcation between the upper and lower classes. Upon his return, Clifford and Constance move to his family estate in Wragby. Constance, aka Connie, spends her days looking after Clifford. Clifford is occupied with writing a novel, and Connie religiously helps him with it. But the days grow dull for her, and she soon falls sick. Connie’s sister, Hilda, notices this and makes an arrangement for a personal maid for Clifford. The maid is Mrs. Bolton, who used to take care of Clifford when he was a child. With the maid’s arrival, Connie has a lot of time on her hands. Clifford thinks about venturing into the mining business, and soon, that is all he can think of. He barely notices Connie. She goes off on her walks and begins talking to the gamekeeper of the estate, Oliver Mellors. She grows interested in him, and soon the two begin an affair. Meanwhile, at the Wragby estate, Clifford makes Connie a proposition that she could take a lover and have a child since Clifford is physically unable to do so. Connie and Oliver’s affair is largely a secret. The two go around the woods and spend a great deal of time together. The lovers dance in the rain without any clothes or inhibitions. The intimate moments between the two are quite graphic, and there is no censorship. Connie suspects that she might be pregnant with Oliver’s child. Oliver, who isn’t actually divorced from his wife, has his concerns. The lovers have a short spat but soon reconcile as Connie prepares to leave for a short vacation to Venice with her sister Hilda. Clifford and Connie’s relationship has strained a lot over the years. Connie is conflicted by Clifford’s narrow views towards the working and the lower class people. Since he took over the mines, he has been exploiting his workers and has little regard for them as fellow humans. One day, Ned visits Oliver’s hut and demands half of Oliver’s pension. Ned is the lover of Bertha, Oliver’s estranged wife. Oliver refuses to give him any, and Ned leaves. After Oliver and Connie have left the hut, Ned comes and snoops around. He finds pieces of Connie’s silk nightgown in the fire, along with a book with her maiden name, and he also steals a few coins. He spreads rumors about Connie and Oliver’s affair.

The news of Connie and Oliver’s affairs soon reaches the townsfolk and eventually Clifford. Connie, who had left for Venice by then, returns to find Oliver leaving somewhere. He promises that he will find her and will meet her soon once he is back on his feet. When in Venice, Connie’s pregnancy is quite visible, with her stomach growing with each passing day. The women in Venice who might have heard of Connie back in London begin talking and sneering at her plight. Hilda soon delivers a letter from Oliver to Connie. In his letter, he mentions having a small farm and a hut with a small income. Connie immediately goes to find him there, and the lovers are finally united.


‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ Ending Explained – Do Connie And Oliver Unite? What Happens To Clifford?

In the final moments of the film, we see that Connie visits Clifford after the news of her affair with Oliver breaks. She demands a divorce from Clifford and finally lightens the burden on her chest by calling him out for his negligence toward her. She finds closure after getting away from a marriage that had a rocky start and was very unfulfilling in its course. Clifford only cared for himself greatly. Despite telling Connie that he loves her, he never actually shows her that love. Whenever Clifford had said those words to her, Connie had never said them back, perhaps because she never fell in love with her husband. She did love Oliver, though, and was pained to be separated from him. She held onto his promise that he would find her again, and she lived each day with that hope. When Connie storms out of Clifford’s study, asking for a divorce, Clifford is crushed and visibly shaken. He ends up crying, perhaps the only time he actually shows any emotion for or towards Connie.

In his letter to Connie, Oliver mentions that he heard rumors of their affair, and people never mentioned their names, but he knew they were speaking about Connie and Oliver because they mentioned “a lady in love” and a “gamekeeper” whenever they spoke of it. Connie reaches Oliver’s hut and looks for him. He comes from behind her and hugs her. Connie calms down visibly, and then the two lovers are finally reunited. Amidst all this, we don’t know if either of them was successful in divorcing their partners from their previous marriages. Perhaps they did not, and they have found a new life for themselves in the Scottish countryside. Connie is still pregnant when she meets Oliver again, so one can only assume that their child must have been born soon after. Oliver’s income is quite limited and not what Connie is used to living on, but for love, she is ready to face all odds.


What the movie tells us is that love transcends the fiscal barriers of class and money. As long as two people have love, understanding, and patience, anything can be achieved. Even in the old times, there were people who shed societal restrictions for love. D.H. Lawrence’s work challenged those norms and the “class” division that kept people so close yet so far from each other. When writing about sexuality and emotional health, D. H. Lawrence made an attempt to encourage people to express themselves more freely. Free expression without any inhibitions leads to a much more mature and composed sense of understanding between individuals. It leads to a positive change in relationships. It leaves room to breathe and grow by oneself and with others.

“Lady Chatterley’s Lover” is a 2022 Drama Romance film directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre.

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Nandini Iyengar
Nandini Iyengar
Nandini has grown up on a healthy diet of books, movies and shows. Hailing from a multicultural background, Nandini has tried indulging in art from different corners of India that came naturally to her. Taking the influence further, she delved into foreign languages and indulged in content from across the globe. When she is not watching anything on her laptop, she can be found daydreaming or picking her pen to write a few words of fiction.

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