The Rainbow (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

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.
Drama , Romance
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Sammi Davis
as Ursula Brangwen
Paul McGann
as Anton
Amanda Donohoe
as Winifred
David Hemmings
as Uncle Henry
Dudley Sutton
as MacAllister
Jim Carter
as Harby
Judith Paris
as Miss Harby
Kenneth Colley
as Mr. Brunt
Glenda McKay
as Gudrun Brangwen
Mark Owen
as Jim Richards
Alan Edmondson
as Billy Brangwen
Richard Platt
as Chauffeur
Bernard Latham
as Uncle Alfred
John Tams
as Uncle Frank
Zoë Brown
as Ursula (age 3)
Amy Evans
as Baby Gudrun
Sam McMullen
as Winifred's Baby
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Critic Reviews for The Rainbow

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1)

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.

Full Review… | October 17, 2014
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

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

Full Review… | February 26, 2014
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Captivating as an ode to individualism.

Full Review… | July 9, 2003
Spirituality and Practice

Very fine Ken Russell film marred by an irritating lead performance

August 21, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Quote not available.

July 24, 2005

Quote not available.

August 22, 2003
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Audience Reviews for The Rainbow

Russell manages to convey why his source material was controversial, but one doesn't get a full sense of why it was important.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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