The Rainbow | Chicago Reader

The Rainbow

Ken Russell, who adapted D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love in 1970, takes on the Lawrence novel whose narrative action precedes it. It's about the sexual awakening of Ursula Brangwen (Sammi Davis), a rebellious country girl at the turn of the century whose erotic mentor is her swimming instructor Winifred (Amanda Donohoe). While no one could ever accuse Russell of excessive subtlety, this has none of the campiness associated with most of his features; as in Women in Love, he seems relatively subdued by the material. But as a consequence of this piety, the film seems rather inconclusive, and one comes away from it feeling that something is missing—in particular, the raison d'etre of the original novel. With David Hemmings, Christopher Gable, and Glenda Jackson.

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