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.
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
The character of Billboard Rawkins, the racist senator, was based/suggested on the real-life Sen. Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi, who died while the show was being written. See more »
Most of the cars in the film are from the late 1940s, indicating that it is set when the play premiered (1947), but at the end of the "Begat" number the gospel singers' car is being towed by a 1960's tow truck. See more »
Sharon, you're the only one! The only one...
[sees he is talking to Susan]
But you're not Sharon at all! You're Susan the Silent. And yet I feel the same frenzy for you. Is this what it's like to be mortal? Is every girl the only girl? I'm beginning to like it!
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introducing Barbara Hancock as "Susan the Silent" See more »
Multiple levels of dramatic material exist in this film. At first glance it involves a serious amount of musical material. For such a film of initial minimal weight, there are several segments of song and dance lasting over 6 minutes. Other well-known musicals stick to shorter and more infrequent tunes. The first Glocca Morra scene and the "Betrothed" scene are lengthy and wide in scope. The music includes not only song but also lots of dance, changes of tempo and style of music, and story development. It's important to pay attention to not only the words of songs but also to the events of the drama that are told through music. On another level are quite modern social discussions. The idea of a utopia is focused on clearly as both a positive and negative idea. Rainbow Valley, when magnified, is a sort of community where all residents are of equal status and are ruled by a single man and his lackeys. Racism is also a topic that is discussed in a more blatant manner, and at most times in a comedic manner. Finian's Rainbow portrays plenty social mockery of the view of blacks as subordinates in a "southern" community while not abandoning humor at any point. The actors are charming (Petula Clark and Fred Astaire act wonderfully) and the music is substantially connective throughout the movie. The film is not as simple as most see it. To say the least, Finian's Rainbow deserves to be recognized as a significant addition to the genre of the musical. How are things in Glocca Morra?
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