Finian's Rainbow (1968)

G  |   |  Family, Fantasy, Musical  |  9 October 1968 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »


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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Sharon McLonergan
Tommy Steele ...
Woody Mahoney
Senator Billboard Rawkins
Barbara Hancock ...
Susan the Silent
Ronald Colby ...
Buzz Collins
Dolph Sweet ...
Wright King ...
District Attorney
Louil Silas ...


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

9 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La vallée du bonheur  »

Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One early attempt to film the musical was as an animated feature to be directed by John Hubley. It was during development of this unfinished project that Hubley first collaborated with future wife Faith Hubley (then Faith Elliot). The soundtrack for the animated film was already completed and the entire film had been storyboarded. The voice talents included Frank Sinatra (as Woody), Barry Fitzgerald (Finian), Jim Backus (Senator Rawkins), Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and from the original Broadway cast Ella Logan (Sharon) and David Wayne (Og). The project died when Hubley refused to "name names" when he testified before The House Un-American Activities Committee. Hubley was blacklisted and Chemical Bank, which was providing the financing, withdrew funding for the proposed film. Artwork done for the movie appears in the PBS documentary "Independent Spirits - The Faith and John Hubley Story" and the Sinatra prerecordings are available on the CD Box-set "Sinatra in Hollywood 1940-1964." See more »


In the song "Old Devil Moon" as Woody and Sharon dance through the stream, Woody has clearly got bare feet and his hands are in Sharon's. In the next shot, he has his shoes back on. It even looks like his trousers are dry. See more »


Finian McLonergan: What do you think makes America different from Ireland?
Sharon McLonergan: It has more Irishmen?
See more »

Crazy Credits

introducing Barbara Hancock as "Susan the Silent" See more »


Referenced in Musical Comedy Tonight II (1981) See more »


Rain Dance Ballet
(1946) (uncredited)
Music by Burton Lane
Danced by Barbara Hancock
See more »

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User Reviews

Odd, but lovely
14 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Whimsical is not a word I get to use often, but that's exactly what Finian's Rainbow is. Based on the 1947 stage musical it's part fantasy and part political satire. The plot follows the quintessential Irishman Finian(Fred Astaire in his last full screen role) and his daughter Sharon (Petula Clark) as they basically flee to America with a pot of gold stolen from the leprechaun, Og (Tommy Steele). After an amazing opening credit sequence ("Look To The Rainbow"), they arrive in "Misitucky" which is supposed to be near Fort Knox, to bury the gold in the belief that it will multiply. The small hamlet of Rainbow Valley becomes their home, a kind of Tobacco Road with very poor but very happy hippie-like inhabitants. Here Sharon meets her love interest Woody (Don Francks) Add Keenan Wynn as the villain, Senator Hawkins, a racist Southern stereotype that during the course of the story turns black. Several minor plots weave in and out, creating a rich and unique film. Astaire used to sound stages and carefully planned dance numbers balked at dancing outside in a field and the director, Francis Ford Coppola (an odd choice, but what's done is done) tried his best to meet his demands. Ironically the field sequence, which comes early in the film is beautiful and very well done by the choreographer Hermes Pan, who was subsequently fired from the film. Petula Clark clearly steals the movie. The camera loves her in this and her natural beauty and performance are such a pleasure to watch. Astaire, who was criticized cruelly for his appearance (he was 69 at the time) is as usual charming and no one danced like he did. Francks holds his own and makes a nice compliment to Clark. Tommy Steele's performance rolics between delightful and way too over the top. Beautifully filmed, it does suffer from jarring "this is real, this is fake" scenery but if you just go with it, it's not that bad. The DVD presents Astaire's dance numbers complete and full body (something Astaire always insisted on but was overlooked in the original release) Finian's Rainbow is known now more for many of it's songs than itself as a whole, but it's still very much worth a look, especially if you love musicals.

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