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Dr. Ament stated that Finian's Rainbow was a disastrous flop, and honestly I have no idea how it did at the box office. But I've always loved this movie. I'm curious if it fared better on stage than in the film adaptation. There are places in the movie that could be offensive, even then but especially now. There's sexism portrayed by the lecherous leprechaun and racism...which was rampant in the South at the time (I should know, I was alive and well in the South then), misogyny as shown by the townspeople thinking Sharon's a witch, etc. But I saw it as sort of tongue-in-cheek and maybe the part where the Senator is turned black is a learning moment that can lead to the beginnings of tolerance and acceptance.

I also find it ironic that, having said what a flop it was, it's one of the movies being shown for this course.   

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1 hour ago, BlueMoods said:

I also find it ironic that, having said what a flop it was, it's one of the movies being shown for this course.   

It is sometimes misleading to judge a film's or play's value based on its initial success.  The Wizard of Oz didn't make a profit in its initial release.  Neither did West Side Story during its first run on Broadway.

I assume that Finian's Rainbow was chosen because of its social commentary, because of the confusion of old Hollywood meeting new Hollywood and because it represents the ways Hollywood was trying to keep the musical alive.  And I note that it airs during the night in all four time zones.  

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3 hours ago, Jim K said:

It is sometimes misleading to judge a film's or play's value based on its initial success.  The Wizard of Oz didn't make a profit in its initial release.  Neither did West Side Story during its first run on Broadway.

I assume that Finian's Rainbow was chosen because of its social commentary, because of the confusion of old Hollywood meeting new Hollywood and because it represents the ways Hollywood was trying to keep the musical alive.  And I note that it airs during the night in all four time zones.  

For years I had enjoyed some of the songs from "Finian's Rainbow".

When they finally got around to making the movie, there was much talk that it was a waste of time because the subject matter was so retro, outdated and probably too unsophisticated for audiences in the 60s.

 I think the only real interest I ever had in this movie was reading about how Francis Ford Coppola didn't know how to make a musical, while these two musical Geniuses, Fred Astaire and Hermes Pan, are there watching him do this gigantic screw up.

Obviously a few years later he got his act completely together or he simply was not a music man. LOL

The film has interest mainly because of the participants and some of the fine music that you can't ignore by Lane and Harburg.

Sometimes a film is such an anomaly and such a bizarre entry into a genre that it simply becomes a cult classic because of its unique, esoteric qualities. And I'll eat my hat if this isn't true.

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5 hours ago, BlueMoods said:

Dr. Ament stated that Finian's Rainbow was a disastrous flop, and honestly I have no idea how it did at the box office. But I've always loved this movie. I'm curious if it fared better on stage than in the film adaptation. There are places in the movie that could be offensive, even then but especially now. There's sexism portrayed by the lecherous leprechaun and racism...which was rampant in the South at the time (I should know, I was alive and well in the South then), misogyny as shown by the townspeople thinking Sharon's a witch, etc. But I saw it as sort of tongue-in-cheek and maybe the part where the Senator is turned black is a learning moment that can lead to the beginnings of tolerance and acceptance.

I also find it ironic that, having said what a flop it was, it's one of the movies being shown for this course.   

Finian's Rainbow was a big hit on Broadway. I believe it made David Wayne a star. It was really John F Kennedy's favorite musical.

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I have been completing all assignments in this class.  Not until today did I feel like I had much to contribute to the comments.  But now I do.  My mother loved musicals and she instilled that same love into her 4 daughters.  For one of my birthdays we all went to see Mame in at a small theater in Chicago (Drury Lane???).  Anyway, we went to every one of the movies included in the list of good and bad in the Lecture notes.  Loved them all and know the words to just about every song.  As someone pointed out, although Finian's Rainbow as a box office flop, it's being shown on TCM.  I believe that is the case with many movies on TCM, not just musicals.  My point being, box office smash does not always equal good movie.  We watch what we enjoy....and I enjoy musicals!

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Finian's was the first movie I remember seeing in a theater. My parents took my brother, sister and I. They thought it was so terrible that we walked out. I still find it rather unwatchable but I remember it vividly even from that young age. I was quite facinated. Years later, when I became a professional dancer I danced with the woman who played Susan the Silent (we didn't get along). The recent Broadway revival was delightful. The singers gave the wonderful score a rich treatment that the movie doesn't achieve. As well some fantastic songs are cut from the movie, show stoppers like Necessity and Begat. I would love to see someone do a really great remake of this show. Look for the cast recording of the revival if you want to really appreciate.

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It stands to reason that if we are studying musicals we have to compare the well liked with the disliked for comparison. Ever hear the saying one mans meat is another mans poison? Just because it didn’t do well at the box office doesn’t mean it didn’t have merit. I love fantasy movies and this one is not shown enough for me

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“Finian’s”s Rainbow” was not a success on a par with “ The Sound of Music” but it turned a nice profit.  It cost around $3.5 million and grossed $11.6 million in the US.  It was also well-reviewed and remains one of the best-regarded musical films of the 1960s.  Petula Clark was luminous as Sharon and she was more than matched by Don Francks’ Woody.  Their “Old Devil Moon” is one of my favorite duets in a musical.  Music direction was by the brilliant Ray Heindorf, and the choral work was by master vocal director Ken Darby.

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On 6/25/2018 at 5:18 PM, Princess of Tap said:

Finian's Rainbow was a big hit on Broadway. I believe it made David Wayne a star. It was really John F Kennedy's favorite musical.

True, but that was in 1947.  When it was filmed twenty years later, the story seemed a bit naive.  And it didn't help that it opened the same year as Oliver! and Funny Girl, which were getting all the attention at a time when the public was less interested in movie musicals.  Though it does have some marvelous songs.

I don't believe that it made 11.6 million when it was initially released.  If that number comes from IMDB, they report the gross amount to date, including reissues, television sales, video, DVD's, etc., and they may have adjusted the amount to today's equivalent value.  I think the movie made a profit in its initial release, but nowhere near a profit of 8 million.

P.S.  I thought JFK's favorite musical was Camelot.  He must have been fickle. ?

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On 6/25/2018 at 7:13 PM, Princess of Tap said:

For years I had enjoyed some of the songs from "Finian's Rainbow".

When they finally got around to making the movie, there was much talk that it was a waste of time because the subject matter was so retro, outdated and probably too unsophisticated for audiences in the 60s.

 I think the only real interest I ever had in this movie was reading about how Francis Ford Coppola didn't know how to make a musical, while these two musical Geniuses, Fred Astaire and Hermes Pan, are there watching him do this gigantic screw up.

Obviously a few years later he got his act completely together or he simply was not a music man. LOL

The film has interest mainly because of the participants and some of the fine music that you can't ignore by Lane and Harburg.

Sometimes a film is such an anomaly and such a bizarre entry into a genre that it simply becomes a cult classic because of its unique, esoteric qualities. And I'll eat my hat if this isn't true.

 

6 minutes ago, Jim K said:

True, but that was in 1947.  When it was filmed twenty years later, the story seemed a bit naive.  And it didn't help that it opened the same year as Oliver! and Funny Girl, which were getting all the attention at a time when the public was less interested in movie musicals.  Though it does have some marvelous songs.

I don't believe that it made 11.6 million when it was initially released.  If that number comes from IMDB, they report the gross amount to date, including reissues, television sales, video, DVD's, etc., and they may have adjusted the amount to today's equivalent value.  I think the movie made a profit in its initial release, but nowhere near a profit of 8 million.

P.S.  I thought JFK's favorite musical was Camelot.  He must have been fickle. ?

If you read my previous post I think I already said something similar to what you said in the first paragraph.

Camelot was Jackie Kennedy's favorite musical. LOL  But Jack had gone to school with Alan Jay Lerner, so I'm sure he had a soft spot for it some place in his heart.

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I think I overstated. The production was problematic, the reviews were mixed, and as a road show, it was not received well, as it was considered overly long.  It has been considered better over time than at the time. 1968 was a terrible year in American times, and this film did not comport with the times in any way. Coppola did not get along with Astaire, fired Hermes Pan, and as usual, insisted part of the production be done on his property, which was not easy for the studio to deal with, let alone the aging Astaire. Coppola wanted realism for a film that is fantastical. Additionally, the themes were challenging in a horribly painful year. So, while it may have made its money, it is in retrospect that we appreciate the film. At the time, musicals were not as much in favor, and road shows were not a successful endeavor in general, as Professor Edwards explained in the podcast. I hope this clarifies.

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Even though Francis Coppola loved musicals and performed in them in college with fellow students, he was unable to direct and formulate a musical.  It was a terrible experience to Astaire and Hermes Pan (I knew them both)....and the movie is totally unsatisfying.  His love of musicals was why Francis' first film at his own Zoetrope Studios was "One from the Heart," a Rashomon sort of tale about four lovers in Vegas, told in song and dance.  Musicals remain his love but it didn't work out.  He was so entranced with his own projects and studio that he spent recklessly like a kid in a candy store....and the result was a disastrous film.  It was a shame that Astaire and Pan had to endure this as it was not what they signed up for.  

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