7.7/10
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The Music Man (1962)

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

Director:

Morton DaCosta

Writers:

Meredith Willson (based on: "The Music Man"), Franklin Lacey (written in collaboration with) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,742 ( 276)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Preston ... Harold Hill
Shirley Jones ... Marian Paroo
Buddy Hackett ... Marcellus Washburn
Hermione Gingold ... Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn
Paul Ford ... Mayor George Shinn
Pert Kelton ... Mrs. Paroo
The Buffalo Bills The Buffalo Bills ... School Board
Timmy Everett Timmy Everett ... Tommy Djilas
Susan Luckey ... Zaneeta Shinn
Ron Howard ... Winthrop Paroo (as Ronny Howard)
Harry Hickox ... Charlie Cowell
Charles Lane ... Constable Locke
Mary Wickes ... Mrs. Squires
Sara Seegar ... Maud Dunlop
Adnia Rice Adnia Rice ... Alma Hix
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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, and now travels from town to town pretending to be a professor of music - from Gary (Indiana) Conservatory of Music, class of '05 - who solves all the respective towns' youth problems by forming boys' marching bands. He takes money from the townsfolk to buy instruments, music, instructional materials, and uniforms for their sons. However, in reality he has no degree and knows nothing about music, and after all the materials arrive and are distributed, he absconds 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 must gain the trust of the local music teacher, usually by wooing her, regardless of her appearance. And if the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Broadway Play That Kept Playing Forever See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 June 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meredith Willson's The Music Man See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,240,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,953,846
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)| DTS | SDDS | Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Adaptation or Treatment Score, and Best Costume Design (Color). See more »

Goofs

During the lively dance at the library, Marian backs up into Prof. Hill's leg twice. See more »

Quotes

Harold Hill: Could you kindly direct me? Which way is the center of town?
Townsman: [Nods his head to the right] Runs right down the middle of the street.
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: Swamp Diamonds (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Wells Fargo Wagon
(1957) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Performed by the Company
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Charismatic, colourful, cheerful and chirpy
11 September 2006 | by benbrae76See all my reviews

I fell in love with this musical after hearing a specially commissioned production for BBC Radio 2 starring Jim Dale in the title role. It was superb (particularly the opening patter "Railway Carriage" number, which comes into it's own on audio).

I finally acquired a copy of the Robert Preston movie (which somehow I'd always managed to miss), and the viewing was well worth the wait. It brought all the "audio" characters to life.

Meredith Wilson's score is unique and I was pleased to note that it hadn't been mucked around with. The photography was stunningly colourful, and the acting and singing chirpy and charismatic. However, I must comment on Winthrop's (Ron Howard) awful out-of-tune screeching. Perhaps this was supposed to add a natural charm, but if so it failed, and was the only downside to the film.

Maybe this musical doesn't have the best songs ever written, but the overall package exudes a certain "je ne sais quoi", which puts it squarely up there amongst the very best.


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