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The Rainbow (1989)

 -  Action | Drama | Romance  -  26 May 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 781 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 15 critic

A young woman deals in her own personal way with the trials of adolescence and young adulthood in early 1900s England.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Rainbow (1989)

The Rainbow (1989) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Gable ...
Uncle Henry
Anna / Anna Brangwen
Dudley Sutton ...
Mr. Harby
Judith Paris ...
Miss Harby
Kenneth Colley ...
Mr. Brunt (as Ken Colley)
Glenda McKay ...
Mark Owen ...
Jim Richards
Ralph Nossek ...
Molly Russell ...
Molly Brangwen


Ken Russell's loose adaptation of the last part of D.H. Lawrence's "The Rainbow" sees impulsive young Ursula coming of age in pastoral England around the time of the Boer War. At school, she is introduced to lovemaking by a bisexual physical education instructress. While experiencing disillusionment in her first career attempt (teaching), she has an affair with a young Army officer, who wants to marry her. Unable to accept a future of domesticity, she breaks with him, and eventually leaves home in search of her destiny. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

26 May 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Rainbow  »

Box Office


$444,055 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to David Hemmings' autobiography, 'Blow Up and Other Exaggerations', he was first choice for the role of Uncle Henry but Ken Russell had to renege on the offer because the US film distributors did not want him. Bizarrely, Ken then cast Elton John in the role, before the singer got cold feet over wigs, costume and arduous acting lessons and asked to leave the project. The next choice was Alan Bates (who had played Birkin in the sequel, Women in Love (1969)) but he declined and the role went back to Hemmings. See more »


Followed by Lady Chatterley (1993) See more »


Sheep May Safely Graze
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

Ken Russell, on a tighter leash than usual
29 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Director Ken Russell tones down his typically flamboyant style (somewhat) for this adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence novel, celebrating yet another free spirit on the verge of womanhood, yearning for independence within the moral and emotional straightjacket of Victorian England. True to the spirit of its source the script presents lots of earnest dialogue discussing the nature of men and women, sandwiched between scenes of elemental passions unleashed and a little cavorting naked in Arcadian splendor. Some of it is fresh and exciting, other parts are strangely anachronistic, and the best moments occur after the heroine leaves home to seek her fortune as a schoolteacher in the urban slums of London's Industrial Revolution. The young and talented Sammi Davis isn't quite ready to carry an entire film by herself, but a fine supporting cast capably shoulders much of the dramatic burden. Russell's atypically circumspect direction slips only twice: when Davis surrenders her virginity to soldier boy Paul McGann, and again when she finds herself suddenly pursued on a country road by (symbolically) a herd of stampeding horses.

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