This is a short documentary Warner Brothers made from the night of the world premiere showing of the movie, "Finian's Rainbow." The premiers was at the Penthouse Theater on Broadway. "Finian's Rainbow" debuted there years before as a stage musical. TV writer and performer Lee Phillip from Chicago served as hostess for the interviews and filming of this opening night event as guests arrived before the show.
She interviews a number of the actors and director Francis Ford Coppola. This was his major introduction as a noted director, having directed just six lesser films in the previous nine years. Coppola was just 29 years old when he directed this musical. Among the actors interviewed are Fred Astaire, Tommy Steele, Don Francks, and Al Freeman Jr.
I enjoy these live documentaries for the impromptu comments that the actors and others make about their fellow performers and craftsmen. It gives one a little inside look at the industry and its people, and better knowledge and understanding about the people and their relationships in their work.
Barbara Hancock was particularly interesting. This was her first film, and she had a major dancing part and supporting actress role. The Georgia-born ballerina is a delight to watch as she glides through her dances, mostly barefoot on grass. She appeared in only a few more films but went on to stage productions. She danced in Broadway musicals and ballets. She has taught ballet for many years in Los Angeles, at The Georgia Ballet, and in New York. She received a supporting actress Golden Globe nomination for her role as Susan in "Finian's Rainbow." Petula Clark couldn't be at the New York opening, but she had a video clip prerecorded from her home in Switzerland. I think she still ranks as the best-selling female British singer in history.
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