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
One early attempt to film the musical was as an animated feature to be directed by John Hubley. It was during development of this unfinished project that Hubley first collaborated with future wife Faith Hubley (then Faith Elliot). The soundtrack for the animated film was already completed and the entire film had been storyboarded. The voice talents included Frank Sinatra (as Woody), Barry Fitzgerald (Finian), Jim Backus (Senator Rawkins), Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and from the original Broadway cast Ella Logan (Sharon) and David Wayne (Og). The project died when Hubley refused to "name names" when he testified before The House Un-American Activities Committee. Hubley was blacklisted and Chemical Bank, which was providing the financing, withdrew funding for the proposed film. Artwork done for the movie appears in the PBS documentary "Independent Spirits - The Faith and John Hubley Story" and the Sinatra prerecordings are available on the CD Box-set "Sinatra in Hollywood 1940-1964." See more »
In the scene where Finian goes into the woods to bury the crock of gold, there is a shot looking down on him while he is digging the hole. It shows quite a lot of dirt between the pile of dirt he has heaped up and the hole, enough to cover up the grass immediately around the hole on that side. But in the shot right after he places the crock in the ground, there is no dirt on the grass around the hole. See more »
introducing Barbara Hancock as "Susan the Silent" See more »
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 »
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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