Matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a partner for "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, convincing his niece, his niece's intended, and his two clerks to travel to New York City along the way.
An ex-husband and wife team star in a musical version of 'The Taming of the Shrew'; off-stage, the production is troublesome with ex-lovers' quarrels and a gangster looking for some money owed to them.
It's the early twentieth century American Midwest. A con man, currently going by the assumed name Harold Hill, has used several different schemes to bilk the unsuspecting, he now traveling from town to town pretending to be a professor of music - Gary (Indiana) Conservatory of Music, class of '05 - being able to solve all the respective towns' youth problems by forming a boys' marching band. He takes money from the townsfolk to buy instruments, music, instructional materials and uniforms for their sons. However, he, in reality, has no degree, knows nothing about music, and after all the materials arrive and are distributed, hightails it out to move to the next town with all the money never to be seen again. Many of the traveling salesmen in the territory have been negatively impacted by him, as the townsfolk then become suspicious of any stranger trying to sell them something. For Harold's scheme to work, he has to gain the trust of the local music teacher, he usually doing so by ... Written by
During the "Sadder But Wiser Girl" song, Hill hopes for "Hester to win just one more A," referring to Hester Prynne, main character of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel "The Scarlet Letter". See more »
In the candy shop when Hill and Marion are sipping on their strawberry sodas, Hill releases his straw and the straw floats to the top. The camera angle changes with Hill holding the straw and it's at the bottom of the glass. See more »
The letters in the film's title, in producer-director Morton da Costa's name, and in Meredith Willson's name (the first time it appears onscreen) are formed by a miniaturized, stop-motion animated marching band, who also form themselves into musical instruments on which the rest of the opening credits appear. See more »
I remember almost being shocked hearing this film again in the '90s after seeing it for over 30 years. Some of the music almost sounded like today's - or the 1990s - rap music! It's kind of weird.
There are memorable songs in this musical, ones that became pretty darn famous, such as "76 Trombones" and "Trouble In River City." Most of the songs, in fact, on this soundtrack, are pretty lively and interesting.
I enjoyed seeing the Midwest scenery. Having gone to college in Iowa, I've always been a pit partial to that state, and the wonderful small towns there. I am also partial to corny (speaking of Iowa) and sentimental stories to this film gets "props" for providing plenty of that. An extra point goes for the name of the barbershop quartet in this story: "The Buffalo Bills."
Robert Preston, as "Professor Henry Hill," gets center stage, here, and - warning - he can wear you out. Most people love him in this role but, for others, he can be grating....and I understand that, too. Preston's fast-talking can you give a headache, if you aren't ready for it. However, the man is so convincing in this role, he seems born to play it.
There are so many songs in this movie that the story is almost secondary. It's really a stage show, so don't expect some super story. Frankly, I liked that fact is mainly music. I've read where the new special-edition DVD really brings out the colors in this movie, so I'm anxious to check it out. I haven't seen the film since that VHS viewing a decade ago.
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