A mysterious Irishman, Finian, and his beautiful daughter Sharon, arrive one day in Rainbow Valley, a small Southern town of tobacco sharecroppers in the mythical state of Missitucky. The ... See full summary »
A mysterious Irishman, Finian, and his beautiful daughter Sharon, arrive one day in Rainbow Valley, a small Southern town of tobacco sharecroppers in the mythical state of Missitucky. The town has its own resident dreamer, Woody Mahoney, who thinks that he might be able to put the town on the map by crossing mint with tobacco so that it'll grow already mentholated. Finian's come to the town because he's stolen a leprechaun's crock of gold and plans to plant it in the ground so it'll grow faster (or else why would the Americans have rushed to dig the gold out of California only to plant it back in the ground at Fort Knox?). But trouble arrives in the form of Og the leprechaun, who has followed Finian to America and is bent on retrieving his gold. Meanwhile, the bigoted Senator Billboard Rawkins, in an effort to stop progress in his state in the form of a new dam and hydroelectric system, plans to take the remaining parcel of land needed to stop the project - Woody's, which Finian has ... Written by
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 »
Do you feel a warmish, kind of glowish, peculiarish sensation?
No... it's a sort of quiverish, shiverish, flibberty-gibberish sensation!
Does it make you feel hummingbirds in your heart?
Butterflies in my feet!
Bees in your bonnet!
Stars in my britches!
It makes you want to dance!
I hadn't noticed.
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introducing Barbara Hancock as "Susan the Silent" See more »
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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