Lady Chatterley’s Lover ending explained: How does the Jack O’Connell Netflix film conclude?

A fitting ending for a fantastic story

Jack O'Connell as Oliver, Emma Corrin as Lady Constance in Lady Chatterley's Lover.
(Image credit: Parisa Taghizadeh/Netflix)

Based on the one-time controversial book by D. H. Lawrence, the Netflix adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover is causing a stir with its stellar performances - here's a full explanation of the film's ending.

Jack O'Connell and Emma Corrin are two of the hottest names in the acting world right now, and they've come together to form the perfect pairing in Netflix's Lady Chatterley's Lover. Critics and fans alike are offering rapturous applause for the duo's performances, since the latest iteration of the infamous story landed on Netflix on December 2. Corrin stars as the titular Lady Chatterley, whose progressive views alienate her from her money hungry, class obsessed husband, Sir Clifford Chatterley. When Sir Clifford becomes injured during the First World War, his ability to produce an heir to his mining empire diminishes but his desire for one skyrockets. Making it clear to his wife she can find any means to give him what he wants, Sir Clifford sets in motion the beginning of Lady Chatterley's passionate affair with Jack O'Connell's Oliver Mellors. However, as a gamekeeper, Mellors isn't the class of father to his child Sir Clifford was hoping for, and the story soon becomes about forbidden love. How exactly does the romance between Lady Chatterley and Mellors conclude, and is their ending a happy one? Read on to find out.   

Jack O'Connell has recently starred in the Stephen Knight drama SAS: Rogue Heroes, as a real life SAS founding member - but who was Paddy Mayne and how did he die (opens in new tab)?  In SAS: Rogue Heroes ending explained (opens in new tab), we reveal everything that happened in the show's epic finale, especially what happened to David Stirling when the war came to an end. Emma Corrin made her name playing Princess Diana in The Crown - for a full recap of which actors have taken on the roles of other Royals for the series, we have a handy The Crown cast season 1 to season 5 actors (opens in new tab) guide.

Lady Chatterley's Lover ending explained

Lady Chatterley's Lover concludes with Connie and her sister Hilda about to leave for a trip to Venice. Just before their departure, Hilda learns of Connie's relationship with Oliver Mellors.

Hilda is of a similar opinion to Clifford, that Oliver is not of the correct financial and social status for a relationship with Connie, and is open in her disapproval. She is insistent that Connie has confused sex with love, and has become too serious about a relationship that can't possibly come to anything. Connie plans for Hilda to meet Oliver before they depart for Venice, convinced she'll change her mind about him once they've met in person. The meeting doesn't go to plan however, when unbeguiled by Oliver's charms, Hilda remains staunch in her low opinion of him and believes he will never make her sister happy.

Spending the night together before she leaves, Connie and Oliver are troubled by their situation. Their worries takes another turn when Bertha sends her new husband to Oliver's to collect some money, and Connie is still there. Seeing some of Connie's possessions at Oliver's home and her discarded nightgown, rumours of Connie's infidelity spread quickly, reaching Clifford when Connie eventually gets to Venice. When Mrs. Bolton hears of the affair, she calls Connie to impart the news, who immediately returns from her trip to meet with Oliver. She makes the decision to disregard her father’s advice that she should remain married to Clifford, and continue to have the affairs her husband suggested, to provide an heir. No longer happy with this arrangement, Connie wants to be with Oliver and asks Clifford for a divorce.

Setting Connie free had never been Clifford's plan - he wanted a wife and an heir. He believed Connie would never fall in love or want to leave her comfortable life with him, and denies her a divorce. An enraged Connie storms away from her discussion with Clifford, not before asking Mrs. Bolton to spread the word far and wide of her love for Oliver as an act of revenge. Oliver is fired from his role as gamekeeper on the Chatterley estate, and moves to Scotland. Returning to Venice, Connie is overcome with her feelings for Oliver, wondering if they will ever find their way back to one another. The film concludes with Hilda handing Connie a letter - Oliver has found a job and somewhere to live, and the pair can be together. The final moments see the lovers meeting, and sharing an embrace.

Emma Corrin as Lady Chatterley's Lover and Jack O'Connell in Lady Chatterley's Lover.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Does Lady Chatterley get pregnant?

Yes, Lady Chatterley does get pregnant with Oliver's baby. She begins to suspect she may be pregnant, before leaving for Venice. Not wanting her husband to realise the baby is Oliver's, she tells Clifford she will make attempts to become pregnant while away.

However, when Connie asks Clifford for a divorce and he denies her, she admits to being pregnant by Oliver. Clifford responds by saying he will never accept the child as his own, as Connie went against the rules he set out for her affairs and slept with somebody of a lower class. Connie doesn't care that Clifford wouldn't accept the baby as his child, and just wants to be with Oliver. 

While pining for Oliver in Venice, Connie is visibly pregnant. The ending of the film where the pair find each other again, implies Connie will live with Oliver in Scotland and they will raise their child together - despite Clifford not granting a divorce. This is a slight variation from the novel's ending, that sees Connie still waiting in Venice to hear from Oliver, hoping that they will one day find a way to be together. 

Emma Corrin as Lady Chatterley's Lover in Lady Chatterley's Lover.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Why was Lady Chatterley's Lover controversial?

When D. H. Lawrence's original novel was published in 1928, Lady Chatterley's Lover faced an obscenity trial in the UK due to explicit and detailed descriptions of sex, and use of language deemed offensive at the time. 

Soon after publication, the novel was banned in many countries, including Canada, Australia, India and Japan. It wasn't until 1960 that it was made available to read in the UK, which is when it became part of the obscenity trial. The trial became known as Regina v. Penguin Books Ltd, and under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 the publishers would evade conviction by providing proof the novel was of literary merit.

The trial lasted six days and a jury found the book not be be obscene - an uncensored version was later published. Lady Chatterley's Lover went on to quickly sell 3 million copies, once the censorship ban was lifted and the book went into full publication. According to Newsweek (opens in new tab),  The Penguin second edition of 1961, contains a publisher's dedication that reads: "For having published this book, Penguin Books was prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act, 1959 at the Old Bailey in London from 20 October to 2 November 1960. This edition is therefore dedicated to the twelve jurors, three women and nine men, who returned a verdict of 'not guilty' and thus made D. H. Lawrence's last novel available for the first time to the public in the United Kingdom."

Jack O'Connell as Oliver Mellors in Lady Chatterley's Lover

(Image credit: Netflix)

Lady Chatterley's Lover: Rotten Tomatoes

Reviews for Lady Chatterley's Lover have been very positive following its Netflix release, with the film currently holding an 85% critic's score and 86% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Stephanie Zacharek from TIME Magazine (opens in new tab) said "In a world where we always seem to be recoiling, where refusal and fear are always easier than saying yes, Clermont-Tonnerre and her actors strive for boldness."

Jocelyn Noveck from Associated Press (opens in new tab) added "It might be overstating the case to call this a feminist take on the novel. But Corrin, an exciting talent who we will doubtless be watching for years, gives us reason to crack open the dusty volume and consider it anew."

An audience member said "This is an incredibly beautiful version of the film. There is such chemistry between the two actors. I loved the raw passion between them. A very hot and steamy film with plenty of sex scenes."

Another audience member thoroughly enjoyed the film, writing "One of the best movies for 2022. The acting of both Emma Corrin and Jack O'Connell are mesmerising and their chemistry is out of this world." 

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Lucy Wigley
TV writer - contributing

Lucy is a multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ experience writing about entertainment, parenting and family life. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and moms.com. In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and telling you why you should watch them.