6.2/10
3,287
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.

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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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:

View content advisory »
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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 pulls Og out of a well]
Sharon McLonergan: Well, this is a fine kettle of fish! And how do you explain these strange shenanigans?
[Og hiccups]
Sharon McLonergan: Well, if you won't speak, back into the well with you.
Og: Oh, no!
[jumps out]
Sharon McLonergan: So, you've found your tongue. Why were you hiding in that well?
Og: I wasn't hiding. Somebody had set me on fire and I had to put myself out.
Sharon McLonergan: Who was it that put the torch to you.
Og: It was a sunbeam.
[...]
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Here's Looking at You, Warner Bros. (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Look To The Rainbow / How Are Things In Glocca Morra?
(1946) (uncredited)
(Main Title)
Played during the opening credits
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Music by Burton Lane
Sung by Petula Clark ("Rainbow") and played by the Warner Bros.
Orchestra ("Glocca Morra") conducted by Ray Heindorf
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User Reviews

 
Definitely worth a second - or even a third - look!
28 June 2012 | by scooterberwynSee all my reviews

I remember seeing this film when it was first released. I absolutely hated it - too slow-moving, and the male romantic lead was a cipher. Even the songs were manipulated to the point that I could barely stand to listen to them. Tommy Steele was far too frenetic as Og, the leprechaun. Its saving graces were Fred Astaire, Petula Clark (although she seemed too old in the role of Sharon), and Keenan Wynn. I've avoided it like the plague ever since.

Tonight, thanks to Turner Classic Movies, I finally watched it again. And you know what? It's a lot better than I remembered. I don't know what has caused the turnabout in my opinion, except perhaps the lack of quality of most of the musical films that have come along since FINIAN'S RAINBOW in 1968. It still has a few longueurs, but generally it's very enjoyable. Even Tommy Steele isn't too bad. Don Francks is still dramatically stiff, but he's better than I remembered, and he sings well. And oh, those songs! It's a shame that "Necessity" was cut, but otherwise, what a string of melody - How are Things in Glocca Morra, Old Devil Moon, When I'm not Near the Girl I Love, and more.

Thank you, TCM, for giving me a second chance with this film!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

9 October 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Finian's Rainbow See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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