"Ever since I was two years high you've been seeing leprechauns in the cabbage patch and rainbows over your whiskey jug."
- Sharon McLonergan (Petula Clark)
"I don't know where all you immigrants get these foreign ideas."
- Senator Billboard Rawkins (Keenan Wynn)
"Fairyland was never like this!"
- Og the Leprechaun (Tommy Steele)
USA Today - 01/31/1992
"...[A] rich sound, swooping helicopter scenic shots and Fred Astaire cutting rugs in his final dancing role..."
It's hard to believe THE GODFATHER filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola was also responsible for this charming, whimsical musical. Fred Astaire stars in his last full-length musical role as Finian McLonergan. In Ireland, Finian manages to steal a pot of gold from unlucky leprechaun Og (Tommy Steele). Finian and daughter Sharon (Petula Clark) journey to Rainbow Valley in America and join the townspeople there in defending themselves against the racist Senator Billboard Rawkins (Keenan Wynn). The buried gold becomes the lucky crock that helps Og, Finian, and the townspeople fulfill their dreams.
Description by Warner Home Video:
Musical morality tale about prejudice directed by Francis Ford Copolla and starring Fred Astaire. Based on a Broadway show from the late 40's. Astaire plays an Irishman who's moved to a small southern town. His plan is to bury a leprechaun's pot of gold that he's brought with him - so that it will grow faster. But his plans go awry when his daughter makes the wrong wish while Astaire stands over the magical pot.
Twenty years after its opening on Broadway, the musical FINIAN'S RAINBOW made its debut on film thanks to Francis Ford Coppola. The movie stars Fred Astaire as Irishman Finian McLonergan, who steals a pot of gold from the leprechaun Og (Tommy Steele) and, with his daughter Sharon (Petula Clark), brings it to Rainbow Valley in the fictional southern state of Missitucky. Sharecropper Woody Mahoney (Don Francks) and the rest of the community of Rainbow Valley are fighting to keep their land and tobacco crop away from the creedy, racist hands of Senator Billboard Rawkins (Keenan Wynn) and his assistant, Buzz Collins (Ronald Colby). Og's magical pot of gold causes more trouble than good when Sharon's wish that the senator would know what it's like to be black comes true. The rest of the pot's wishes are quickly used up trying to undo the trouble. The hit song "How Are Things in Glocca Morra'" is one of the highlights from the musical score. This was Fred Astaire's last full-length musical, and he is a delight to watch.
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The film premiered on October 9, 1968.
The Broadway musical FINIAN'S RAINBOW premiered 20 years before the movie was made.