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.
The Rainbow is a 1989 British drama film directed by Ken Russell. The story, adapted from the D. H. Lawrence novel The Rainbow (1915), is a prequel to Lawrence’s Women in Love (1920). Sammi Davis stars as Ursula, a sheltered young pupil, then schoolteacher, who’s taken under the wing (sexually and otherwise) by the more sophisticated Winifred (Amanda Donohoe).
Glenda Jackson appears as the mother of the character she played in Women in Love. Leonard Maltin commented that “Many beautiful and striking moments don’t quite gel, but still worth watching”. The film was entered into the 16th Moscow International Film Festival.
Directed by: Ken Russell
Starring: Sammi Davis, Amanda Donohoe, Paul McGann, Christopher Gable, David Hemmings, Glenda Jackson, Dudley Sutton, Jim Carter, Judith Paris, Glenda McKay
Screenplay by: D. H. Lawrence, Ken Russell, Vivian Russell
Production Design by: Luciana Arrighi
Cinematography by: Billy Williams
Film Editing by: Peter Davies
Art Direction by: Ian Whittaker
Music by: Carl Davis
Distributed by: Vestron Pictures
Release Date: May 5, 1989