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Finian's Rainbow (1968)

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.

Writers:

(book), (book) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

If all you want out of a movie is a great, big, wonderful time - just follow the rainbow - whistle the songs - and join in the fun. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La vallée du bonheur  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of its satire on racism, this popular 1947 Broadway musical was considered such a hot potato in Hollywood that studios would not touch it unless they were allowed to change the story. Its original creators, E.Y. Harburg, Burton Lane and Fred Saidy, held out and by 1968 it was able to be filmed with very few changes. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Sharon McLonergan: Do you mean to say you're taking this land from these people merely because their skins are black?
Henry: Don't let them chase us, Sharon!
Senator Billboard Rawkins: Will somebody shut this kid up? He's making me look like a bully. Get them out of here, Sheriff.
Sheriff: You heard the Senator, you folks better start packing!
Boy: Is Henry the wrong color?
Sharon McLonergan: No, he's the right color.
[she runs after Senator Rawkins]
Sharon McLonergan: But there's something wrong with the world! I wish...
Finian McLonergan: Sharon, don't...
Sharon McLonergan: There's something wrong with the world that him and his kind...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

That Great Come-And-Get-It Day
(1946) (uncredited)
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Music by Burton Lane
Sung by Don Francks, Petula Clark and Chorus
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User Reviews

 
Farewell to Freddy in style.
5 March 2004 | by (Washington, D.C.) – See all my reviews

In the oh-so-great Fred Astaire's last musical movie, he wears no top hat, white tie or tails, but one step and you know he's Fred Astaire. His last proves to be one of his most memorable roles, playing the crafty Irishman in the heartland of the American south, amid the bigoted senators, gospel sharecroppers and

burying a pot of Leprechaun gold. Astaire's Irish accent is remarkably well- handled, and he plays the role much like Gene Wilder's portrayal of Willy

Wonka, or Dick Van Dyke's portrayal of Bert, the Chimney-sweep. The songs do

not work with his voice as well as they should, but it's still a delight to see him dance, especially working with Hermes Pan, his old partner choreographer from his old films of the Golden days. As the top part of the movie, he runs a close race against Petula Clark as his daughter, and Tommy Steele as Og, the

Leprechaun becoming a mortal man. Petula Clark may not look the part, and

may not be as youthful as Sharon should be, but she is a marvelous actress,

and sings the songs beautifully, and why her opening rendition of "Look to the Rainbow" is not included in the soundtrack is still a mystery to me. Steele may appear overbearing at times, but his performance is extremely well done, and

he sings and dances "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love (I Love the Girl I'm

Near)" with all the charm and grace of a young Gene Kelly. Veteran character

actor Keenan Wynn is also good as the racist senator turned black by a

mistaken wish, and his "mint julep" skit is just priceless. Barbara Hancock is a spectacular dancer, and her mute innocence makes her a marvelous character,

straight out of Truman Capote. Yip Harburg, the genius behind "Over the

Rainbow" and "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" gives us a marvelous

depression-era score of negro work-songs and black gospel choirs, mixed

surprisingly well with the Irish ballads and drinking songs of Sharon and Finian. It is plain to see that this is Copolla, of "Godfather" fame's first film, because he is plainly trying to find his style. But he directs the anti-racist story very well, which brings us to another point: the story is a remarkably liberal take on the

segregationist southern politics that still existed in the 60s. So watch this movie, and see a legend doing one of his best and most unusual roles yet! And see it for everything else too, if you can. 7/10.


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