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Finian's Rainbow (Sous-titres franais)
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Finian's Rainbow (DVD)
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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...
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!Read more ›
Sure, there are some specifically outdated elements -- sharecropping, for instance. And the tobacco subplot isn't really very PC nowadays, though it's pretty funny. But what's important is still contemporary.
The acting is marvelous, and the chemistry between Fred Astaire and Petula Clark is very strong, making Sharon's instant infatuation with Woody much more believable than it might otherwise be. "He's just like you!" And Og is wonderfully comical with just a hint of a serious edge, making him utterly loveable. Though probably my favorite bit of acting in the show is Howard's complete non-expression in the scene where he is being taught how to "act black".
There is a plot hole big enough to drive the Death Star through, I admit -- but I choose to see it in a slightly different light. If Og made two of the wishes -- well, you figure it out. I like to believe that maybe things aren't quite what they seem.
All in all, I think it's a wonderful, delightful and moving story and I've loved it passionately since I was six.
Most recent customer reviews
Item, delivery, etc. perfect (5/5); film itself less than perfect, but service perfectPublished 13 months ago by Alex McIntosh
love it the songs where amazing, a bit long in parts towards the end, but other than that , brilliantPublished 15 months ago by karen kaz
Quick delivery time. Good quality. Fred Astaire'w last dancing performance is good to have as a keepsake.Published 22 months ago by Lois Handley
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. Read morePublished on March 15 2014 by Movieman, Montreal
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.... Read morePublished on April 17 2012 by mrsLG
Let me say something before I go into how bad this movie really is. I am a seriously big Fred Astaire fan, and I can honestly say that 30 out of 31 of his musicals have been... Read morePublished on July 17 2004 by Mark Fisk
What the....? I thought this was supposed to be one of those musicals like Singin In The Rain or Anie Get Your Gun. Thank goodness it's not. Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by Melting_Pot
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. Read morePublished on May 14 2004 by HeadbangerDuh
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