Burbank, CA: Warner Brothers / Seven Arts, 1967. Four title card maquettes hand lettered by Harold Adler for the 1967 film. Based on the 1947 musical by E.Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy, who also adapted the story to the screen. The four maquettes in this archive are stylistically similar, but quite different from the titles used in the finished film.
Harold Adler was a calligrapher who created hand lettered titles on over 100 films, worked frequently with Alfred Hitchcock, and was a favorite of legendary title sequence designers Saul Bass and Pablo Ferro. In addition to "Finian's Rainbow" his credits include "Comanche!" (1956), "The Man with the Golden Arm" (1955), "The Seven Year Itch" (1955), "Carmen Jones" (1954), "Psycho" (1960), "The Birds" (1963), "In the Heat of the Night" (1967), and "Justine" (1969). In 2012, an exhibition of Adler's work was organized by noted typographer and design historian Jill Bell at the American Advertising Federation, Kansas City.
Warner Brothers optioned the musical shortly after its premiere in 1947, but Harburg and Saidy were unwilling to tone down the racial satire to fit studio demands, holding out until the option was about to expire and Warner agreed to a script with only minimal changes twenty years later. Coppola was an odd choice to direct, with his realistic, New Hollywood Cinema approach to filmmaking at odds with the fantastical nature of the material, and the results were decidedly mixed, despite a widely-loved performance by Clark.
Each study 16 x 8 inches, containing a reproduction of a color landscape photograph mounted on board and matted in black, with two plastic overlays - one with white lettering, and the second with color embellishments to the letters attached to the top of the mats with tape. Very Good plus condition overall.
Hirschhorn, p. 392.