After a Great War injury leaves her husband Sir Clifford Chatterley impotent and crippled, his new wife, Constance Chatterley is torn between love for her husband and her own sensual desires. With her husband's consent, even encouragement, even to the point of bearing him an heir, she is open to means of fulfilling her physical needs. She clandestinely observes their gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors, washing himself at his hut, and is immediately attracted, and uses that image to masturbate in bed that very evening. As she later approaches him at his hut openly, he shows disdain for her prying, due to class differences, he being a common laborer, and she a middling aristocrat. A later visit to his hut, ostensibly to view newly hatched birds, she sobs at their condition, and Mellors gently takes her in his arms, whereupon they begin a physical relationship. The physical affair between Connie and Mellors grows into love, and they both desire that she should have his child. Gradually, Sir Clifford begins to suspect the affair. After several more clandestine copulations, the lovers agree that Connie should spend an entire night at his cottage. So she does, and it is on this night that Clifford painfully pulls himself to her upstairs bedroom, only to find an empty bed. When Connie returns to the mansion at daybreak, Sir Clifford awaits her. He is shocked and angry that his wife should descend to bedding a member of the lower classes. He sends his wife off to Venice, and fires Mellors. Connie, discovering that she is pregnant, attempts a return to Sir Clifford, only to be rebuffed, as no child of a commoner shall be an heir of his. But she remains in the mansion, while Mellors awaits the finalization of a divorce from his first wife, who never appears in the film.