The Rainbow (1989)

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Director Ken Russell returns to the D.H. Lawrence territory that had earlier served him well in Women in Love. Sammi Davis plays Lawrence's Welsh heroine Ursula Brangwen, daughter of a wealthy mine owner, who is first seen as a child given to literally chasing rainbows. Disappointed that she can never have the real thing, the older Davis seeks out figurative rainbows in the form of sexual fulfillment. Neither heterosexual nor homosexual affairs fully satisfy Davis, because no one lover can match the "ideal" the girl has created in her imagination. Davis' disappointment in the world is paralleled with the sorry lot of the wives of the local coal miners, who have adapted to their lives--something Davis can never do, will never do. Stately despite its raw subject matter, The Rainbow was filmed just before Russell's outrageous sword-and-sorcery fantasy Lair of the White Worm; since both films utilize many of the same cast members, the two pictures might make an astonishing double feature.

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Critic Reviews for The Rainbow

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2)

Davis, who came to the fore as the man-hungry teenager in Hope and Glory, throws herself into Ursula with all the physical and emotional energy she can muster. Donohoe is absolutely on the money as the liberated Winifred.

Jul 6, 2010 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

A very good, visually stunning film with undeniable flashes of genius. Looked at as a series of scenes it's perhaps as good as anything he ever made.

Oct 17, 2014 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Over-simplified, lackluster and cliche-ridden coming-of-age romantic drama that's based on the 1915 novel by D. H. Lawrence.

Feb 27, 2014 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Captivating as an ode to individualism.

Jul 9, 2003 | Full Review…

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