The Rainbow

  • 1989
  • Movie
  • R
  • Drama

Aging maverick Ken Russell's film version of D.H. Lawrence's The Rainbow is nowhere near as outrageous as his earlier Lawrence adaptation, WOMEN IN LOVE. Sammi Davis plays young Ursula Brangwen, who, wanting to have it all, begins a liaison with a bisexual teacher (Amanda Donohoe) and then with a strapping soldier-engineer (Paul McGann). Later, she leaves...read more

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Aging maverick Ken Russell's film version of D.H. Lawrence's The Rainbow is nowhere near as outrageous as his earlier Lawrence adaptation, WOMEN IN LOVE. Sammi Davis plays young Ursula Brangwen, who, wanting to have it all, begins a liaison with a bisexual teacher (Amanda Donohoe) and then

with a strapping soldier-engineer (Paul McGann). Later, she leaves home to become a schoolteacher in London, but finds her idealistic intentions defeated by the ignorance of her brutalized students and by a lecherous headmaster (Jim Carter). In the end she returns home, having failed to live up to

her own unrealistically high standards, but not so stymied that she can't begin anew. The only Russell "touches" to be seen here are the frank treatment of Ursula's sexuality and an occasional baroque flourish. Ursula's radicalism, on the other hand, is viewed with a surprisingly skeptical eye:

she emerges as something of a spoiled brat, and her enemies are not the monsters they might have been had Russell made THE RAINBOW earlier. He is still a filmmaker of ideas rather than emotions, however, and THE RAINBOW--while certainly a good movie and Russell's best in years--remains doggedly

earthbound when it should soar.

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  • Released: 1989
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Aging maverick Ken Russell's film version of D.H. Lawrence's The Rainbow is nowhere near as outrageous as his earlier Lawrence adaptation, WOMEN IN LOVE. Sammi Davis plays young Ursula Brangwen, who, wanting to have it all, begins a liaison with a bisexual… (more)

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