135 user 4 critic

The Music Man (2003)

A masterful con artist tries to bilk a staid Midwestern community, with unexpected results, in this contemporary rethinking of the legendary Broadway musical and lively 1962 film, updated ... See full summary »


Jeff Bleckner


Meredith Willson (story), Franklin Lacey (story) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Broderick ... Professor Harold Hill
Kristin Chenoweth ... Marian Paroo
Victor Garber ... Mayor Shinn
Debra Monk ... Mrs. Paroo
Molly Shannon ... Mrs. Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn
David Aaron Baker ... Marcellus Washburn
Cameron Monaghan ... Winthrop Paroo
Clyde Alves Clyde Alves ... Tommy Djilas
Cameron Adams ... Zaneeta Shinn
Linda Kash ... Alma Hix
Patrick McKenna ... Charlie Cowell
Megan Moniz Megan Moniz ... Amaryllis
Richard Fitzpatrick ... Constable Locke
Jenni Burke ... Mrs. Squires
Marty Beecroft Marty Beecroft ... Ewart Dunlop


A masterful con artist tries to bilk a staid Midwestern community, with unexpected results, in this contemporary rethinking of the legendary Broadway musical and lively 1962 film, updated to reflect several early-21st-century sensibilities. Written by Carl Schultz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", Matthew Broderick's character Ferris is shown playing the clarinet badly and he says "Never had one lesson." In "The Music Man" he plays Professor Harold Hill, a bandleader who cannot read music or play an instrument. See more »


When Marian is walking down the street singing "My White Knight," her purse moves from one hip to the other and back. See more »


[first lines]
Train conductor: River City Junction, River City next station stop, River City next Aboard!
Salesman #1: It's them big new department stores back East. They let people buy anything on credit.
Salesman #2: If I don't give credit, I'm gonna lose customers.
Salesman #1: You crazy with the heat. Credit is no good for a notions salesman.
Salesman #2: Why not? What's the matter with credit?
Salesman #1: It's old-fashioned. Charlie, you're an anvil salesman, your firm give credit?
Charlie Cowell: No, sir!
Salesman #1: Nor anybody else.
See more »


Version of The Music Man (1962) See more »


Will I Ever Tell You
Written by Meredith Willson
Performed by Kristin Chenoweth
See more »

User Reviews

You just can't beat the original....
24 March 2007 | by jaddison383See all my reviews

No one does it like Robert Preston. That's the main think this movie proved. This was the second of two classic musicals that Disney has tried to remake into TV movies in the past few years. They did the same thing with this as they did with Annie, and the result was the same as well. Both movies seem just a little too... for lack of a better word, unnatural.

Of course, this movie had to compare to an original that has been considered a classic for a long time. It's the story of "professor" Harold Hill, a traveling salesman who's latest trick is to find trouble in a town and then use it to make the townspeople believe they need a boys band to reform their youth. He sells them all the instruments, music, and uniforms they need, then heads out of town before he can teach them a thing. Hill's latest target is River City, Iowa. Everything seems to be going fine, but he just might have met his match in the town librarian, one of the few who won't buy his story.

Yes, the story is classic, but it wasn't quite enough to save this rather unnerving remake. Disney pulled together quite a cast: Matthew Broderick, Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber, and Molly Shannon. However, that didn't save this film either, though the performance of one of the leads certainly is a large part of the reason this film has the rating it has. It's hard to say exactly why this film fails to satisfy, but it sadly does just that. First of all, it just doesn't seem to work quite as well as the original. The extended dance sequences seem out of place and weird, even though they are splendidly done. Probably, the largest reason of all that this film just isn't great is because no matter how much you deny it, you are comparing it to the original. It just doesn't compare. However, there is one thing that makes it worth while.

Kristin Chenoweth shines as Marian Paroo, the town librarian. With this film, she proves that she can easily take on a leading film role. Ms. Chenoweth really steals the show with her unmatchable voice and superb acting. I really think she out-did the original woman in the role. It's near the end that you realize that she truly is a lead. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Matthew Broderick. One has to give him credit for being brave enough to take on such a set-in-mind role, but that is actually his downfall. He just isn't Robert Preston- no one ever will be again. Mr. Preston gave one of the better performances of our time, and Mr. Broderick simply can't beat that. At times, he even borders on what looks like insanity. Poor, Matthew. This won't shine as a fine moment in his career at all. The only other really good performances in the show were Debra Monk and David Aaron Baker as Mrs. Paroo and Hill's friend Marcellus, respectively.

Really, the only problem with this is it's not the original. Unfortunately, there won't be a remake that can ever equal the original. As I said before, no one does it like Robert Preston. This film proves that. 5/10 stars.

Jay Addison

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Release Date:

16 February 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Music Man See more »

Filming Locations:

Millbrook, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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