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The Music Man (1962) Poster

(1962)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

In the widescreen version, the power-towers and electrical wires in the Hollywood Hills behind the Warner Bros. backlot are plainly visible as Hill walks from the train depot into River City.
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When the boys' band plays the Minuet of Ludwig van Beethoven, we see the state flag of Iowa that was not adopted until 1921.
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Set in 1912, the song "Trouble" mentions both the beverage Bevo (first offered in 1916) and the magazine "Captain Billy's Whiz-Bang" (first published in 1919). "Whiz-Bang" is named for a type of artillery round in World War I (1914-1918)--the publisher was a veteran of that war.
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Character error 

In the closing credits, when Susan Luckey and Timmy Everett have their moment while marching down the street, she nearly knocks off his tall hat with her baton, apologizing on camera.
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When Winthrop asks Harold Hill if his proposed uniform has "a stripe", Harold assures him that it will. But when the boys come into the schoolroom wearing the newly-delivered uniforms, the uniforms very clearly do not have a stripe on the pants. However, the uniforms worn by the marching band at the end do have a stripe.
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Continuity 

The final parade sequence is filmed on both sunny and overcast days.
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In the number Marian the Librarian, Harold runs off-screen, but on the next scene he is seen sitting where he ran off from.
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During the "Shipoopi" number, Marcellus Washburn gives his hat to the little boy twice.
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Harold leaves Tommy to direct the band and goes to the Candy Kitchen, but sitting at the table is Tommy and Zaneeta.
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Prof. Harold Hill arrives in River City as the train approaches from platform left. As he leaves and waves to the passengers, the train leaves in the direction from which it arrived (platform left).
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Right before Shipoopi, Mrs. Shinn says her girls are ready to perform, but Ethel dances with Marcellus in the number and is dressed in a flowered dress. Immediately after the number, she is dressed in her Grecian urn outfit, ready to perform.
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In the candy shop when Hill and Marion are sipping on their strawberry sodas, Hill releases his straw and the straw floats to the top. The camera angle changes with Hill holding the straw and it's at the bottom of the glass.
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Chairs in front of the stage move around during the July 4th celebration in the auditorium. First there are three together with one chair a ways off to the left; then later, as one of the school board members prepares to sit down, the four chairs are in a group.
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When talking with Marian about rumors, Hill lowers his pointing hand twice.
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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.
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When Marian sings "Will I Ever Tell You" on the front porch, Mrs. Paroo is leaning forward in her rocking chair, but when the camera angle changes, she is leaning back in the chair.
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When Marian sings "Being in Love" to her mother in the kitchen, the string dispenser on the shelf behind her alternately has string coming out of it and doesn't.
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During the lively dance at the library, Marian backs up into Prof. Hill's leg twice.
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At the end of the Wells Fargo Wagon song, while Mayor Shinn is waiting for Marian to give him the education journal, Marian opens the book twice.
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In the candy shop scene where Marian and Hill are sipping soda, Marian reaches into her purse twice.
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Crew or equipment visible 

Lights and camera equipment seen in the store windows during the "Wells Fargo Wagon" song number.
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Errors in geography 

Twice when Harold Hill first arrives in River City, mountains are seen in the background. There are no mountains like that in Iowa just across from Illinois where River City is supposed to be.
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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.
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Plot holes 

During the 4th of July celebration Tommy Djilas puts a lighted firecracker behind Mrs. Shinn in full view of the audience, yet when the marshal asks who did it only one girl seems to know.
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Revealing mistakes 

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.
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In the opening scene on the train, the camera pulls out so far that it must be past the wall on the train. The fact that it's a set is revealed.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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