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The Music Man (1962)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 19 June 1962 (USA)
Harold Hill poses as a boys' band leader to con naive Iowa townsfolk.

Director:

Writers:

(based on: "The Music Man"), (written in collaboration with) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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The Buffalo Bills ...
School Board
Timmy Everett ...
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Winthrop Paroo (as Ronny Howard)
Harry Hickox ...
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Adnia Rice ...
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of that man and his 76 trombones, and the wonderful, wonderful tune he played on every heart in town!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 June 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Meredith Willson's The Music Man  »

Box Office

Gross:

$14,953,846 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an episode of the TV series Happy Days (1974), Howard and Marion Cunningham are coming out of a movie theater; they pause in the lobby and look at the poster for "The Music Man". Marion comments how much the little boy in the movie (Winthrop) "looks so much like Richie did when he was little". Both Winthrop and Richie were played by Ron Howard. See more »

Goofs

When Winthrop asks Harold Hill if his proposed uniform has "a stripe", Harold assures him that it will. But when the boys come into the schoolroom wearing the newly-delivered uniforms, the uniforms very clearly do not have a stripe on the pants. However, the uniforms worn by the marching band at the end do have a stripe. See more »

Quotes

Harold Hill: Mothers of River City, heed that warning before it's too late! Watch for the telltale signs of corruption! The minute your son leaves the house, does he rebuckle his knickerbockers below the knee? Is there a nicotine stain on his index finger? A dime-novel hidden in the corncrib? Is he starting to memorize jokes from Captain Billy's Whiz-Bang? Are certain words creeping into his conversation? Words like "swell" and "so's your old man"? If so my friends, ya got trouble!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Soundtracks

If You Don't Mind My Saying So
(1957) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Performed by Shirley Jones and Pert Kelton in the "Piano Lesson" number
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The BEST adaptation of a Broadway musical to film.

I will go on record to say that THE MUSIC MAN is the BEST film adaptation of a Broadway musical. Unlike MY FAIR LADY (another fine acievement) which was translated almost verbatim from the stage libretto to film, THE MUSIC MAN is NOT that great a musical comedy on stage. In fact, it's pretty mediocre. Comparing the original stage libretto to what Marion Hargrove did with her incredible screenplay, one counts over forty additional scenes or pieces of dialogue that open out and/ or add character to the principals. Her screenplay is such a VAST improvement over the original it is truly what makes the film so special. A number of reviewers on this site loathe the film, but I imagine they would loathe any musical. This is top rate acting, singing, dancing, with fast paced direction and a constantly moving camera for the dance numbers - the absolute best mise en scene I've ever experienced in a filmed musical comedy. (Mind you, musical play adaptations are a different category - I'm talking musical comedies here). Get the letterboxed version if you can as this was beautifully composed for wide screen. I remember seeing it in the balmy summer days of one of our nation's last years of innocence. Everyone was seeing it, talking about it, theaters extending their runs for a number of months to early autumn. It brought together all the nostalgia of what we best remember of another golden era (just before WW I) when America was still basically an agrarian economy. A real gem, this one.


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