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Film Review: Finian’s Rainbow

This translation of the 1947 legituner [music by Burton Lane, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg] is a light, pastoral fantasy with civil rights angles, underscored by comedy values.

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Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

This translation of the 1947 legituner [music by Burton Lane, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg] is a light, pastoral fantasy with civil rights angles, underscored by comedy values.

 

Film opens leisurely with Fred Astaire and Petula Clark, his daughter, on a montage tour of the US. The stars come to rest in Rainbow Valley, just as the police henchmen of racist judge Keenan Wynn are about to foreclose on property owned by vagabond Don Francks.

 

Astaire bails out Francks, and latter’s romance with Clark develops. Tommy Steele arrives as the leprechaun searching for gold which Astaire has stolen.

 

Overall, the $4 million film has an ethereal quality: it’s a blend of real elements, such as love, greed, compassion, prejudice, and other aspects of human nature both noble and otherwise; yet it’s also infused with mystical elements of magic, leprechauns, pixies and wishes that come true.

 

Clark, in her American film debut, has a winsome charm, which comes through despite a somewhat reactive role.

 

1968: Nominations: Best Adapted Music Score, Sound

Film Review: Finian’s Rainbow

  • Production: Warner. Director Francis Coppola; Producer Joseph Landon; Screenplay E. Y. Harburg, Fred Saidy; Camera Philip Lathrop; Editor Melvin Shapiro; Music Ray Heindorf, Ken Darby (sups.); Art Director Hilyard M. Brown
  • Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 145 MIN.
  • With: Fred Astaire Petula Clark Tommy Steele Don Francks Keenan Wynn Barbara Hancock
  • Music By: