Shannon's Rainbow

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Shannon's Rainbow
Movie poster
Directed by Frank E. Johnson
Produced by Joycelyn Engle
Frank E. Johnson
Written by Linda Morris
John Mowod
Larry Richert
Starring Julianne Michelle
Claire Forlani
Eric Roberts
Louis Gossett Jr.
Daryl Hannah
Jason Gedrick
Michael Madsen
Krista Allen
Stephen Colletti
George Lopez
Willie Garson
Charles Durning
Joanna Pacuła
Steve Guttenberg
Music by Charles David Denler
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Edited by Patrea Patrick
Jack Tucker
Distributed by Supernova Media
Release date
  • 2011 (2011)
Country United States
Language English

Shannon's Rainbow (also listed as Amazing Racer) is a 2011 drama and family film both produced and directed by Frank E. Johnson. It stars Julianne Michelle and Claire Forlani, with a musical score by emmy winner Charles David Denler.[1][2][3][4][5]

The film was shot in western Pennsylvania from a script written by John Mowod and Larry Richert and based on Mowod's own experiences seeing his brother rehabilitate an injured horse and win a championship horse race.[2][4][5][6]

The main character's story about recently experiencing the death of her father is loosely based on the death of Jeff Gardner, good friend of Mowod and Richert. Mowod and Gardner collaborated on the outline of the film before Jeff Gardner was killed in an accident. The film takes its name from Jeff's oldest daughter, Shannon, and is dedicated to Jeff.[4][7]


A 17-year-old girl (Julianne Michelle) faces and overcomes hardship with the discovery of the mother she never knew and with her love for a hobbled horse named Rainbow. With her father dying in the earliest moments of the film Shannon has to learn from a friend of the family that her father participated in kidnapping her from her mother (Christine) moments after birth. Once the hospital therapist is through with her she ends up moving from Florida to Pennsylvania where Christine lives and works as a neo-natal pediatrician. She gets involved in the lives of Christine's boyfriend Eric and his nephew Brandon and niece Rio. They have a stables that works in harness racing and have been bringing along a filly named Rainbow who takes very strongly to Shannon. Eric and those around him are targets of a spiteful grudge held by the rich Mitchell Prescott who buys the filly for $15,000 in a claiming race she was entered in for experience. Mitchell runs Rainbow into the ground, having her beaten until nearly dead for the sin of having a mind of her own and an unshakable preference for Shannon, then sells her off to the knackers. Eric is alerted to this and tracks down the horse van en route to the location where Rainbow is due to be slaughtered and buys her back for $400. The filly is returned to Shannon's care and a trainer with a murky past (Max) is given the task to return her to health and soundness. They move Rainbow to a neighboring farm to train her to racing fitness while avoiding a spy at Parker stables. The culmination is at the Pennsylvania Cup harness race.


Additional sources[edit]

  • Thoroughbred Times: "Harness racing movie to be filmed at the Meadows"[8]
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "British actress enjoyed time with good ol' boys"[9]
  • Harnasslink: "Shannon's Rainbow begins shooting"[10]
  • KDKA Television: "Larry On The Job: Movie Director"[11]


  1. ^, Shannon's Rainbow at BFI, accessed 12-29-2008
  2. ^ a b, by John Shumway, "Larry Richert Plays Key Role In Making Major Movie", accessed 12-29-2008
  3. ^, "Music Awards and recodnitions", accessed 01-05-2009
  4. ^ a b c Barbara Vancheri (2008-06-24). "Hospital, racetrack double as movie set". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  5. ^ a b Pittsburgh Tribune Review, by Michael Machosky (June 24, 2008), "Pittsburgh film production boom continues", accessed 12-29-2008
  6. ^ USTA Newsroom, by Evan Pattak (June 27, 2008), "The Meadows is key locale for movie", accessed 12-29-2008
  7. ^ [1], accessed 5-20-2009,, "Larry Richert Plays Key Role In Making Major Movie" June 26, 2008, 6:48 p.m. ET, KDKA's John Shumway Reports
  8. ^, accessed 12-29-2008
  9. ^, accessed 12-29-2008
  10. ^, accessed 12-29-2008
  11. ^, accessed 12-29-2008

External links[edit]