Michael Wood writes:
Pauline Kael took against the rainbow at the end of David Lean’s film Doctor Zhivago. It was a ‘disgraceful effect’, she said, ‘a coarse gesture of condescension and appeasement to the Russians’, and she asked if Lean and Robert Bolt would have placed a rainbow ‘over the future of England’. Actually it’s difficult to think of David Lean placing rainbows anywhere much, and more significantly, the mood of the rainbow, if not the actual image, is fully there in Boris Pasternak’s novel, as Russian as you can get. It is true that Lean hangs his rainbow across the waters of a rather predictable Soviet dam, while the novel’s rosy view starts in Moscow.