7.7/10
13,455
127 user 29 critic

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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Oklahoma! (1955)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the Oklahoma territory at the turn of the twentieth century, two young cowboys vie with a violent ranch hand and a traveling peddler for the hearts of the women they love.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Gordon MacRae, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson
Carousel (1956)
Drama | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fifteen years after his death, a carousel barker is granted permission to return to Earth for one day to make amends to his widow and their daughter.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A widow accepts a job as a live-in governess to the King of Siam's children.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, Rita Moreno
South Pacific (1958)
Musical | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

On a South Pacific island during World War II, love blooms between a young nurse and a secretive Frenchman who's being courted for a dangerous military mission.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1850 Oregon, when a backwoodsman brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married too.

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Jane Powell, Howard Keel, Jeff Richards
Certificate: Passed Biography | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of the great sharpshooter Annie Oakley, who rose to fame while dealing with her love/professional rival, Frank Butler.

Directors: George Sidney, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Betty Hutton, Howard Keel, Louis Calhern
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A rock singer travels to a small Ohio town to make his "farewell" television performance and kiss his biggest fan before he is drafted.

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Janet Leigh
Comedy | Crime | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In New York, a gambler is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but they fall for each other, and the bet has a hidden motive to finance a crap game.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 June 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Meredith Willson's The Music Man  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the diner, Harold Hill attempts to remember a William Shakespeare quote: "Cowards die a thousand deaths, the brave man... only 500," to which Marian replies "something like that." The quote he looks for is from "Julius Caesar", Act 2, Scene 2, when Gaio Giulio Cesare says, "Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste of death but once." See more »

Goofs

Interior scenes that feature the windows of the library front doors show frosted and etched glass designs sometimes, and at other times only a plain frosted glass. See more »

Quotes

Citizens of River City: Good morning, Mayor Shinn!
Mayor Shinn: It is if you wanna go around in your drawers all day!
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 Monk: Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

My favorite musical.
22 June 1999 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

One of the best musicals ever made. So much of the movie is perfect: plot, music, most of the cast. One weak spot is Susan Luckey as Zaneeta, though the part is not well written. Another is Monique Vermont as Amaryllis, worse than average for a child actor. But the 8-year-old Ronny Howard as Winthrop is excellent. He shines at the end when Harold Hill gets his foot caught in the door. Of course, Preston is perfect, as is Shirley Jones, who never looked better. (Someone said Heaven is where all the men are 33 and all the women are 30. Jones was in her late 20s.) Paul Ford, Hermione Gingold (overdoing it once), and Pert Kelton are all outstanding.

The director Morton DaCosta uses a gimmick here and in Auntie Mame that I don't care for. At the end of some scenes, all the lights go out except those on the principals. Sometimes that's more of a jolt than necessary, because we've gone from outdoors to inside the studio.

My favorite song is Sadder But Wiser Girl. The reference to Hester winning just one more A meant nothing until 11th grade when we read The Scarlet Letter. And after Preston sings that line, he looks guiltily over his shoulder at Amaryllis to see if she understands how naughty he's been.

My second favorite is Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You. Such a beautiful song. It pains me that the rocking chairs at either end of the screen are sometimes out of sync. It should have been done perfectly.

One brilliant touch concerns the Buffalo Bills. Early on, Mayor Shinn says "The members of the School Board will not present a patriotic tableau. Some disagreement about costumes, I suppose." At the time, the four are dressed quite differently. As their singing progresses, they start dressing more and more alike, until at the end they're dressed alike (I'm pretty sure).

Marion's epiphany during The Wells Fargo Wagon is quite sweet.

As is a lovely line from Goodnight, My Someone: But I must depend on a wish and a star/ As long as my heart doesn't know who you are. (Sigh.)


13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?