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Finians Rainbow

Fred Astaire , Petula Clark , Francis Ford Coppola    G (General Audience)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.95
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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

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Cast In An Early Coppola Film March 15 2014
By Movieman, Montreal TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I saw this in the theatre with a parent when I was a youngster and enjoyed it very much. Picking up the DVD is certainly a pleasant trip back in time for me. Great picture quality and interesting extras are featured on the disc.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the dancing gone? Oct. 30 2012
Format:DVD
My mother saw this movie in the theatre and has the original soundtrack on record, so it seemed a great gift idea to buy her this movie years back on VHS. But they CUT parts of the movie out! The song "Necessity", which is on the record, is missing from the VHS tape and apparently many of Fred Astaire's dancing scenes have been shortened or removed, apparently at the insistence of Mr. Astaire's family. Or at least that was the reason given at the time. (Apparently at a Gala for Ginger Rogers they were unable to show any of her dance scenes with Fred Astaire without paying a large sum of money.) It's sad that only people who saw the original in theatres have seen the complete movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finian's Rainbow April 17 2012
By mrsLG
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Despite formal reviews, I find this movie light, fun and entertaining. It's one of my favorite musicals. If you are a musical fan at all and have not seen this one.... "it's a Buyer!"
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bizzare 60's Musical May 14 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Although the story is very complicated, I will try to tell it the best I can. Two Irish immigrants move to a backwoods town of bizarros, in order to bury some stolen gold. The guy who the gold was stolen from, (in this case a leprechaun), has tailed them to the backwoods to take it back. Between songs and dances like 'Woody's Here' and 'How Are Things In Glocka Morra' the town battles against the intense, ramshackle house-living Senator, played by Keenan Wynn. This is quite bizzare for the usual light-hearted, song-and-dance musical, but I really wouldn't expect anything else to come out of the late 1960's. If you are interested in a queer, sly movie, get this. But you won't really go for this if you are a fan of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars an enchanting film May 5 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Finnian's Rainbow," is a truly enchanting and magical film. It involves romance comedy and a leprecaun with a pot of gold. Fred Astaire is wonderful in it. So is all the other cast. It's a must see for the entire family. Tommy Steele is great as the lebracaun. Petula Clark has such a beautiful voice and she is so very pretty.
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5.0 out of 5 stars an enchanting film May 5 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Finnian's Rainbow," is a truly enchanting and magical film. It involves romance comedy and a leprecaun with a pot of gold. Fred Astair eis ownderful in it. So is all the other cast. It's amust see for the entire family.
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Format:VHS Tape
People seem to either love or hate this movie. And that's understandable. On the one hand we have beautiful cinematography, and some truly classic songs sung and danced by top talent. I LOVE the title song Look to the Rainbow. But then on the other we have a director who can't seem to make up his mind whether he wants to film this movie in the great outdoors (get a load of those huge musical numbers featuring enough people to have a convention), or indoors (in sets that feel like they were swiped from Camelot or Brigadoon). On the one hand we have some great actors Fred Astaire, Tommy Steele, and Petula Clark (I think I'm in love). And let's not forget the at times hilarious dialog ("It's an angel! An Irish angel.)
But what really makes this a great movie is the way everyone involved put all their heart and soul into their role. That and the glorious use of widescreen and color (why this movie isn't out on dvd I will never know).
But again, the switching back and forth from studio set to outdoor helicopter shot feels...strange. And one or two of the musical numbers and do seem to drag (just a bit). And man, the plot of this movie sure is out there (burying gold stole from faery-land near Fort Knox as an experiment?) Some of the characters are a little hard to strange as well (a lovely mute girl who talks by dancing and a Leprechaun who finds himself turning into a human?). But if you can get over the low points (or perhaps just unusual points) and just embrace it for what it is (and especially if you love musicals), I think you'll find Finian's Rainbow to be worthy purchase. Now if only they would just release it widescreen on DVD...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Performances In A Deeply Flawed Film April 10 2003
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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