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The Music Man (1962)

 -  Comedy | Musical | Romance  -  19 June 1962 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 11,936 users  
Reviews: 120 user | 30 critic

A con man comes to a Midwestern town with a scam using a boy's marching band program, but things don't go according to plan.

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(based on: "The Music Man"), (written in collaboration with), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Music Man (1962)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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The Buffalo Bills ...
Town Council
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

Confidence man Harold Hill arrives at staid River City intending to cheat the community with his standard scam of offering to equip and train a boy's marching band, then skip town with the money since he has no music skill anyway. Things go awry when he falls for a librarian he tries to divert from exposing him while he inadvertently enriches the town with a love of music. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Just prior to the "Lida Rose" number, Harold mentions a bassoon player named Madame Rini. Rini was the nickname of Meredith Willson's wife Ralina Zarova. See more »

Goofs

When Marian sings "My White Knight" in the kitchen, the water pitcher on the table faces one way and later, when the camera angle changes, it is facing 90 degrees different. 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 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gamera vs. Zigra (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodnight, Ladies
Composer and Lyricst unknown, sometimes credited to Edwin Pearce Christy
Performed by Robert Preston and The Buffalo Bills
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.)


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