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The Music Man (1962)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 19 June 1962 (USA)
0:56 | Trailer

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Harold Hill poses as a boys' band leader to con naive Iowa townsfolk.



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



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


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


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


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 June 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Meredith Willson's The Music Man  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


River City was based on Meredith Willson's home town of Mason City, Iowa. The movie had its world premiere there. See more »


As the anvil salesman is getting onto the train at the beginning of the movie, it can be seen that the train's wheels are just painted on. See more »


[On Marion's choosiness when it comes to men]
Mrs. Paroo: It's a well-known principle that if you keep the flint in one drawer and the steel in the other, you'll never strike much of a fire.
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 »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Mighty Jack (1991) See more »


Sadder But Wiser Girl For Me
(1957) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Performed by Robert Preston
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The most heartwarming and engaging musical ever!
1 January 2005 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This wonderful production has to be watched on the big screen to be fully appreciated. It is,in my opinion, the best translation from Broadway musical theater material to the opening-up on the screen. The performance and general character portrayal of Robert Preston is irresistible and a joy to watch. As far as musicals are concerned, this is the one to take along to your desert island! Í always look forward to the next opportunity there is to show it on the screen of my cinema again. Sentimental, nostalgic, funny and romantic, this picture has it all. And that includes the wonderful melodic songs and the fantastic choreography. I'm running out of superlatives. It's my favorite musical.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Question on the Final Scene (Spoliers) acosean
I never get tired of this movie Imeowtoo
Robert Preston never did any singing before The Music Man? monetvenom
Best acting performance ever TexasJimbo
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Amaryllis's accent... KleeFan
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