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.
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
Harold leaves Tommy to direct the band and goes to the Candy Kitchen, but sitting at the table is Tommy and Zaneeta. See more »
So now I'm back at the old stand.
Not boys' bands? Well, ain't no call for a boys' band in this town. Anything these Iowa people don't have already, they do without.
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The closing credits appear in the style of a Broadway show's curtain call. First the minor characters are shown with the performers' names. The credits then progress through the cast ending with the lead. 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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