Finian's Rainbow (1968)

G   |    |  Family, Fantasy, Musical


Finian's Rainbow (1968) Poster

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.


6.2/10
3,114

Photos

  • Fred Astaire in Finian's Rainbow (1968)
  • Francis Ford Coppola in Finian's Rainbow (1968)
  • Petula Clark and Tommy Steele in Finian's Rainbow (1968)
  • Fred Astaire and Petula Clark in Finian's Rainbow (1968)
  • Petula Clark and Don Francks in Finian's Rainbow (1968)
  • Fred Astaire in Finian's Rainbow (1968)

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User Reviews


9 January 2013 | MartinHafer
6
| Very current AND very dated at the same time.
Finian (Fred Astaire) and his daughter (Petula Clark) arrive in the fictional Southern American state of Missitucky. There, Finian encounters several problems--including a leprechaun who wants his pot of gold back, a racist senator and the need to marry off his daughter. How all these are worked out are something for you to discover if you decide to see the film.

"Finian's Rainbow" was a very successful play back in 1947. However, because it directly addressed racial prejudice, studios passed on making a film out of it. Efforts to have the play 'cleaned up' to please a wider (in other words, more prejudiced) audience were in vain, as the playwright refused (justifiably) to sanitize the film. However, by 1968, its themes of racial harmony and bigotry were much more acceptable and current--and so the film was finally made. In this sense, the film was very timely. HOWEVER, when it came to the music, by 1960s standards it was VERY corny. In particular, the songs sung by the leprechaun were amazingly bad--with some horrible lyrics. But, the bad lyrics weren't confined to his songs but occasionally popped up among other cast members (such as Clark who sang a line that went 'Zsa-Zsa Gabor-ah' and later when Astaire sung about 'dames'). Because of this, a bit of trimming would have greatly improved the film--making it far less dated and silly. Plus, the bad moments really detract from its central message of racial harmony--a laudable theme that occasionally got lost among the silliness. It also meant a few too many songs--a problem that can hurt any musical. Overall, this can truly be called a mixed bag. While it stars Fred Astaire and I LOVE him in films, this just isn't all that great a film. A time-passer--and that's about all--even though it has some nice moments.

By the way, for years Fred Astaire was NEVER shown dancing in films unless ALL of him was shown. He felt it detracted from the dancing if he wasn't shown from head to toe. Well, he did NOT negotiate such a contract with the folks making "Finian's Rainbow", as he DOES dance and you don't see him from head to toe in songs such as "The Idle Rich". Perhaps this was due to his age and his slowing down a bit--which might explain why this was his last musical.

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Plot Summary


Genres

Family | Fantasy | Musical

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