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Finian's Rainbow

4.4 out of 5 stars 232 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Finian's Rainbow (DVD)

He wears a ratty old cardigan instead of tails, a battered felt hat in place of a topper – but one glimpse of those agile feet and you know he's Fred Astaire. The great entertainer sang and danced his last musical lead in Finian's Rainbow, director Francis Ford Coppola's exuberant movie of the 1947 Broadway hit. Astaire plays an Irish rogue who plants a stolen crock of leprechaun gold in the soil near Fort Knox to reap what he thinks will be a rich harvest. In tow are his spirited daughter (Petula Clark), a lovestruck leprechaun (Tommy Steele) and a bigoted Southern senator (Keenan Wynn) transformed by misbegotten magic. The treasurable Burton Lane/E.Y. Harburg score includes "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?," "Look to the Rainbow," "If This Isn't Love," and "Old Devil Moon." Watching it, you'll be in clover. Four-leaf all the way.

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A funny thing happened to Finian's Rainbow in between its debut as a Broadway musical in 1947 and its appearance as a film in 1968. After 21 years, its theme of racial tension in the American South was no longer cutting edge, and the fact that its heroes are a group of sharecroppers called the Rainbow Valley Tobacco Cooperative dates it even further. Add a number of subplots and the heavy hand of a 29-year-old Francis Ford Coppola directing his first and only musical, and the two-and-a-half-hour running time feels bloated. Hermes Pan (best known for the classic Astaire-Rogers movies) is credited with choreographing the overbusy musical numbers, but he was reportedly overruled by Coppola at every turn. Still, there is a lot to enjoy in this movie, most notably Fred Astaire in his last lead role in a musical. Fred plays Finian McLonergan, an Irishman who has traveled to America in hopes of planting a pilfered pot of gold near Fort Knox and watching it grow. Even at 69, Fred shows he is still capable of a sprightly step and warbling "Look to the Rainbow." Another plus is the casting of '60s pop icon Petula Clark as his daughter, as she sings with an unaffected loveliness. Finally, the score by Burton Lane and E.Y. Harburg includes two of the best Broadway songs ever written--"Old Devil Moon" and "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?"--as well as the comic ditty "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love." --David Horiuchi

Special Features

  • New introduction and commentary by Francis Ford Coppoloa
  • Featurette: The World Premiere of Finian's Rainbow
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Fred Astaire, Petula Clark, Tommy Steele, Don Francks, Keenan Wynn
  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Writers: E.Y. Harburg, Fred Saidy
  • Producers: Joseph Landon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 15, 2005
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007939M0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,674 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Finian's Rainbow" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W. Budris on March 17, 2005
Format: DVD
I've been waiting to see a decent print of FINIAN'S RAINBOW for sometime. Though not an all-time favorite, I do like the score, and I'm a huge Petula Clark fan. Other video versions I've seen were poor pan-scan versions with horrible color and bad sound. Warners has done the film justice. Widescreen, 5.1 Surround and a trip down memory lane with Francis Ford Coppola, the director.

An interesting note, this is the first time I am aware of where the lead actress in the film has dubbed the foreign language track. Petula Clark, being a marvelous singer in several languages, had a huge French-language career going at this time, parallel to her English-language one. Also being an actress from childhood, she fits perfect as Sharon here. However, this is the first time I've heard her French vocals of the score, as well as the dialog. The male leads are other artists (one doing a bad Chevalier for Astaire), but it is definitely Petula in French, as well as the original English soundtrack. This is an absolute treat and collectible for all Petula fans around the world.

Recommended!
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Format: VHS Tape
Opening on Broadway in 1947 with music by Burton Lane and lyrics by E.Y. "Yip" Harburg (who wrote the lyrics for 1939's THE WIZARD OF OZ), FINIAN'S RAINBOW was an unexpected smash that generated one pop classic after another--"How Are Things In Glocca Morra?," "Old Devil Moon," and "Look To The Rainbow" to name but three. But when talk turned to a film version, not a single studio in Hollywood would touch it: although the story was fantasy, it was also extremely satirical, contained elements that had a decidedly socialist edge, and made one of the most wickedly funny statements on racism seen up to that time. With Hollywood operating under the production code and the nation drifting into the communist paranoia of the 1950s, the whole thing was impossibly hot. And so FINIAN'S RAINBOW remained off the screen for over twenty years... until 1968, when a sudden splash of popular screen musicals prompted Warner Brothers to bankroll it.
The plot is deliberately ridiculous, and finds Irishman Finian McLonergan (Fred Astaire) and his long suffering daughter Sharon in Tennessee, where Finian plans to bury a crock of gold stolen from a leprechan (Tommy Steele) on the theory that the land around Fort Knox will make the gold grow. But things take an unexpected turn when they arrive in Rainbow Valley, where they encounter a commune-like community of black and white tobacco sharecroppers who are doing battle with a viciously bigoted Senator (Keenan Wynn.) And when daughter Sharon is outraged by the Senator's racism and happens to be standing by the hidden crock of gold--she accidentally "wishes" the Senator black!
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A Kid's Review on August 15, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
It was neat to see Fred Astaire (I like old movies) and TOMMY STEELE! He was my favorite character in "Finian's Rainbow", also my favorite in "Happiest Millonare." I think Tommy Steele's character, Og, was one of the most interesting. This movie has romance, comedy, and drama. The main male character,Mr. Mclanagan,(Fred Astaire)came from Ireland to America to bury the crock of gold he stole from the leprachans back home. He also brings his daughter, Sharon, along (Petula Clark). Og (Tommy Steele) is the leprechan who follows Mr. Mcglanagan to America. Mcglanagan finds this out after he buries the crock. "Oh, give it back Mr. Mcglanagan," Og pleads, because now that the crock has left Ireland all the leprachans are turning mortal including himself. He has grown so much that by that scene his pant cuffs are above his ankles. Mr. Mcglanagan is too greedy and refuses to give it back. Sharon, on the other hand falls in love with a tobacco share cropper, Woody, Og falls in love with Sharon, and then Sharon, angry with the unfair way the senator was treating blacks, made a big wish on the senator and the crock granted it. It makes a whole mess of problems, because now the neighborhood thinks Sharon is a witch. My favorite scene is when Og woos Susan, Woody's mute sister, since Sharon's already taken by Woody. He thought Susan was Sharon at first, though, because when her back was turned she looked like Sharon: Og:I'm 99% mortal now, and my feelings for you, . . it's a frenzy, a frenzy! Ah, but it feels better just bein' near ye, the scent of the air the touch of your hand, oh the miracle of it, the miracle of it, the sweet, sweet, miracle of it! (He reaches for her hand to put it to his cheek and Susan pulls away startled) She loves me! Her hand fits me cheek!Read more ›
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Format: DVD
I was so excited to see that Finian's Rainbow was finally formatted to DVD. The acting, singing, and dancing is just as fabulous as I remember it from my childhood. I would wager to say that Finian's Rainbow was my "first" musical. I couldn't be prouder of this masterpiece.
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By A Customer on November 24, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
The score and production values of this 1968 musical are the best of its genre. It was one of the first films directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Fred Astaire, Petula Clark & Kennan Wynn are all superb. It has a positive message about race relations and should be viewed by anyone who likes good music and simply wants to be entertained . They don't make them like this anymore. It is best seen on widescreen.
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