The Music Man (1962) Poster



In the original Broadway cast recording, there was a verse in the song "Rock Island" that goes, "Why it's the Uneeda biscuit made the trouble, Uneeda, Uneeda, put the crackers in a package, in a package, the Uneeda biscuit in an airtight sanitary package, made the cracker barrel obsolete!". This verse was omitted from the film version of the song. The Uneeda Biscuit was a revolutionary cracker that promised to be airier, flakier, and crisper than most other crackers. The cracker was kept fresh in a brand new concept of resealable packaging. Uneeda Biscuit was developed by the National Biscuit Company, nowadays known as Nabisco.
The songs "76 Trombones" and "Goodnight My Someone" are the same tune arranged in different time signatures.
Shirley Jones learned she was pregnant with her son Patrick once the filming of had begun. She met with director Morton DaCosta over lunch to inform him of the situation. Her concern was that she would begin "showing" during its filming. He assured her that they could work through it with costumes and also by filming her from the waist up, if necessary. He did have one request, that she tell no one about it. Robert Preston did figure it out before filming had concluded, when Shirley's character, Marion, and his character, Professor Hill, kissed for the first time in the romantic footbridge scene. He leaned in for the kiss and jumped back, asking her, "What was that?" to which she replied, "That is Patrick Cassidy! Say, 'Hello!' " Years later, her son Patrick had the opportunity to meet Preston. He walked up and introduced himself saying, "Hello. I'm Patrick Cassidy." Preston replied, "Yes, I know. We've already met."
The original Broadway production of "The Music Man" opened at the Majestic Theater on December 19, 1957, ran for 1375 performances and won the 1958 Tony Award for Best Musical. Robert Preston, Pert Kelton, The Buffalo Bills, Peggy Mondo, Adnia Rice and Paul Ford reprise their roles in the movie. Ford was a replacement during the original run. Robert Preston won the 1958 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
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."
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.
Mrs. Shinn's catchphrase "Tempus fugit" is Latin for "Time flies".
The first film to sell for over $1 million to TV.
During the "Lida Rose"/"Will I Ever Tell You" duet both Mrs. Paroo (Pert Kelton) and the lead singer of The Buffalo Bills (Vern Reed) are in rocking chairs. They are synchronized throughout much of the song, starting, stopping and rocking together. This is only visible in the wide screen version.
River City was based on Meredith Willson's home town of Mason City, Iowa. The movie had its world premiere there.
In an episode of the TV series Happy Days (1974), Howard and Marion Cunningham are coming out of a movie theater; they pause in the lobby and look at the poster for "The Music Man". Marion comments how much the little boy in the movie (Winthrop) "looks so much like Richie did when he was little". Both Winthrop and Richie were played by Ron Howard.
The marching bands of the University of California and the University of Southern California were drafted in for the final parade scene.
The inscription on the statue of Henry Madison (Madison Picnic Park, Madison Library, etc.) in front of which Harold Hill sings "Trouble" is inscribed as follows: "Clean your finger before you point at my spots."
Zaneeta has a meeting of the Epworth League. This organization was formed by combining young people's organizations of the Methodist Episcopal church, with its purpose being to promote intelligent and vital piety among the young people of the church.
The DAR is the "Daughters of the American Revolution", a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism and preserving American history. However, the organization is probably most noted for refusing to let the great African-American contralto Marian Anderson perform in 1939 at the DAR's Constitution Hall because she was black.
The Buffalo Bills were the 1950 International Champion Medalist Quartet of the S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A., the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America. They were Al Shea (lead), Vern Reed (tenor), Wayne Ward and Bill Spangenberg (bass).
All the musical instruments in the film were made specially by the Olds Instrument Co. in Fullerton, CA. After filming was completed, Olds refurbished them and sold them.
During the "Sadder But Wiser Girl" song, Hill hopes for "Hester to win just one more A," referring to Hester Prynne, main character of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter.
When Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn (Hermione Gingold) is performing in the "spectacle" with her schoolchildren, she says "Now count to twenty in the Indian tongue..." and proceeds to count in what seem to be nonsense words ("Een! Teen! Tether mether fip!..."). It's actually a variant of traditional British sheep-counting.
The library interior set is the same as the bookstore set in Rome Adventure (1962).
"Montgomery Ward" is the name of the world's first mail order business, founded in 1872 by Aaron Montgomery Ward, and which went out of business in 2001.
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In the final scene as Prof. Harold Hill turns left, towards the camera, most of the band continues straight across the screen.
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During production, President John F. Kennedy asked for creative contributions to the Presidential Council on Physical Fitness. In response, Meredith Willson wrote and Robert Preston and the band performed the song "Chicken Fat".
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Meredith Wilson made more income off the Beatles version of his song "Till there was you" than he did off the play and the movie combined.
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Final film of Jack Perrin.
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Shirley Jones and Ron Howard also costarred in The Courtship of Eddie's Father with Glen Ford.
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