An Irish immigrant and his daughter move into a town in the American South with a magical piece of gold that will change people's lives, including a struggling farmer and African American citizens threatened by a bigoted politician.
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Of Glocca Morra, Ireland, Finian McLongeran, who has his own unique belief system of Irish legends, uproots himself and his adult daughter, Sharon McLonergan, and heads for the mythical land of Rainbow Valley, Missitucky, USA where he believes he will become rich. One of those beliefs is that burying a crock of gold in Rainbow Valley will make it multiply, due to the power of rainbows and the Valley's close proximity to Fort Knox. Finian considers that he "borrowed" the crock of gold he has from the leprechauns of Glocca Morra, which he plans to return once he makes his fortune. Little does he know that in taking the gold, the leprechauns can no longer make wishes come true and are slowly turning mortal. One of those leprechauns, Og, has come to retrieve the crock of gold to save himself and his fellow leprechauns. Finian and Sharon's arrival in Rainbow Valley coincides with the return of the Valley's prodigal son, Woody Mahoney, who has come to repay back taxes before his land is ... Written by
Finians Rainbow came along at a time where critics were telling us that they hated musicals, even masterpieces like "Finians Rainbow". They attacked many a fine musical such as "Sweet Charity", Hello Dolly" and they gleefully lynched Lucy in Mame. These were all great films but it was a cynical age and sadly the world is becoming more cynical. I would not trust a movie critic to mind my kids, let alone review my movies. Finians Rainbow is a brilliant film. Coppola took a much loved stage musical and adapted it beautifully for the big screen. The stagey sets were probably not what Copolla wanted but they work out well and look quite lovely.There is not only gold at the end of the rainbow but gold in the performances. The casting of Fred Astair was a stroke of genius. He is perfect. I saw Bobby Howes do it on stage years ago but I was very young and now all I can imagine is Asatair. He was a little older but can still dance brilliantly. The choreography may not be as energetic as early days but it suits old Finian. He was never a great singer but few Finians ever were. Bobby Howes did it on stage and while he was wonderful he could not sing. It does not matter in the role of Finian. These songs are all classics. Look to the rainbow must be the most wonderful song ever written. AS for How are things in Glocca Morra its impossible to sing without shedding a tear. Old Devil moon is sung by Petula Clark as Sharon and the very handsome Don Francks as Woddy. This must be the sexiest romantic scene ever in a musical. Petula Clark is superb and she sings the great classic numbers a bit differently from the Broadway star, she is captivating. By the way Astair and Clark have totally faultless Irish accents! Brilliant! Tommy Steele is a charmer at any time. I loved him in this and his scene with Clark when they sing the gorgeous Something Sort Of Grandish is just beautiful. Steele is delicious and you fall head over heels in love with him. The dialogue is wonderful with every musical cliché and reference. He hams this great role up to perfection. Don Francks as Woddy was new to me but what a star! The voice is perfect and he has magical presence. The movie is perfect and packs a very powerful anti racist message. Perhaps thats why some people who are too politically correct do not like it. They just don't get it. Perhaps they see their own racist values and it makes them uncomfortable. There is a great performance by Al Freeman Jr and the scene where he serves the bromide in the correct manner to the suffering Sentator is hilarious. He sings just one small section in one song and its a pity he does not have more, its a lovely voice. The whole movie is an Olympic event GOLD, GOLD, GOLD.If you don't shed a tear at the end of the movie as Astair bids farewell.. you do not have a heart. Its a 9/10 from me.
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