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The Music Man (1962)

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

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(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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Sara Seegar ...
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  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Meredith Willson made more income off The Beatles' version of his song "Till There Was You" than he did off the play and the movie combined. See more »

Goofs

In the opening sequence, the train is traveling from the Illinois Iowa. The background visual scroll only shows flat cornfields. We never see it crossing a river, let alone the Mississippi, which is the only way to get between the states in question. See more »

Quotes

[in song]
Alma Hix: Oh yes, that woman made brazen overtures, with a guilt-edge guarantee / She had a golden glint in her eye and a silver voice with a counterfeit ring / Just melt her down and you'll reveal / a lump of lead as cold as steel / Here, where a woman's heart should be.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Violent Years (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodnight My Someone
(1957) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Performed by Robert Preston and Shirley Jones
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Simply the best...........
28 September 2005 | by (Western Oregon, United States) – See all my reviews

The Music Man is a musical film that was done right and which, if anything, improves on its well regarded source material. It ranks up there with the all-time great musicals of Hollywood's golden age (and such British marvels such as "Evergreen," which starred the incomparable Jessie Matthews.

This movie has it all - wonderful music, a fine script, good production values and a top cast. What makes it really special is Robert Preston's tour-de-force performance. His performance is, quite simply, one of the most memorably great performances in the history of film.

It's one of those benchmark performances that must make any other actor who takes the role shake in their boots, for as long as the memory of Robert Preston as Prof. Hill exists all others will be compared against him and, likely, found lacking.

The rest of the cast is superior. I especially love Pert Kelton as Marian the Librarian's mother. Kelton was the original Alice on the classic "The Honeymooners" (she played Alice's mother later on in the series) and she had incredible comic timing. She reminds me of a combination of Ethel Merman, with her brassy voice and larger-than-life presence, and the comic genius of the great Patsy Kelly. It's a shame Kelton was not put to better use in the movies. She was a natural.

And then there is Shirley Jones. Lovely to look at and wonderful to hear and a good enough actor to keep up with Preston.

Buddy Hackett usually annoyed me but he's perfect as Prof. Hill's sidekick and his "Shafoofie" (sp?) number is a blast.

Funniest scene - Grecian Urns.

A splendid movie and one of the last great musicals. They truly don't make 'em like that anymore.


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