This pretentious whimsy (1968) defeated Francis Coppola—though he tries valiantly, he sinks the movie with stolid action sequences and gushy lyrical effects. It's Fred Astaire's last musical and a sorry farewell. The story, of a leprechaun and a southern senator who turns up in blackface, dated horribly in the long interim between the Broadway run and the screen mounting, but the Lerner and Lane score remains catchy despite the moldy book. With too much of Tommy Steele, Don Francks, and Keenan Wynn, and not enough of Petula Clark, who had every right to a distinguished career in musicals. G, 145 min.
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