66 user 31 critic

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.


E.Y. Harburg (book), Fred Saidy (book) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Fred Astaire ... Finian McLonergan
Petula Clark ... Sharon McLonergan
Tommy Steele ... Og
Don Francks ... Woody Mahoney
Keenan Wynn ... Senator Billboard Rawkins
Barbara Hancock ... Susan the Silent
Al Freeman Jr. ... Howard
Ronald Colby ... Buzz Collins
Dolph Sweet ... Sheriff
Wright King ... District Attorney
Louil Silas Louil Silas ... Henry


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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G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


During Howard's job interview at the Senator's mansion, Buzz keeps calling Howard 'George.' This is a reference to the Pullman Railway Car Company, which hired only African-American men as porters and required each of them to answer to the name 'George' while on duty. The company became known for it's degrading treatment of its black employees, leading them to form the first all-black union in the United States. 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 »


Senator Billboard Rawkins: My family's been having nothing but trouble with immigrants ever since they come to this country!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Filmed in 35mm, Warners decided afterwards to promote it as a "reserved-ticket roadshow attraction" and converted it to 70mm, creating a wider-screen aspect ratio by cropping away the tops and bottoms of the images, and cropping away Fred Astaire's feet during some of his dance scenes. Restored versions show the original aspect ratio. See more »


The Begat
(1946) (uncredited)
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Music by Burton Lane
Sung by Keenan Wynn and Gospel Trio (Avon Long, Jester Hairston and Roy Glenn)
See more »

User Reviews

Finian's Rainbow
12 June 2005 | by jbraptorSee all my reviews

First, FINIAN'S RAINBOW does not take place in Tennessee. The movie only mentions Rainbow Valley, but onstage the valley is in Missitucky, home to Fort Knox and the gold depository that was thankfully saved by James Bond in later (for the movie, earlier) years.

The movie's flaws lie not so much in the updating to 1968 as in the eyes of today's viewers. We have sadly grown used to movies that are paced much faster than this one. As a result, those too young to have grown up with older movies will consider FINIAN'S RAINBOW very slow and overlong.

Fundamentally, though, FINIAN'S RAINBOW suffers the same afflictions all stage musicals suffer when transcribed to the big screen: Loss of intimacy. Hollywood always makes stage musicals 'way too big. They think musicals have to take place all over the continent. Oddly, a single stage worked for the play, and still does. (Possibly the rare exception to this is THE MUSIC MAN which was "opened up" only enough, not too much.) All movies are of their times, especially movie musicals. Accept that and enjoy FINIAN'S RAINBOW's wonderful score and excellent performances by the entire cast.

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English | French

Release Date:

9 October 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Finian's Rainbow See more »


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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