The Music Man

1962, Musical/Comedy, 2h 31m

17 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

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Movie Info

When Harold Hill (Robert Preston), a traveling con man, arrives in River City, he convinces the locals to start a band by purchasing the uniforms and instruments from him. His intention is to flee as soon as he receives the money. Librarian Marian Paroo (Shirley Jones) suspects Harold is a fraud, but holds her tongue since her moody brother, Winthrop (Ronny Howard), is excited about the band. As Harold begins to develop feelings for Marian, he faces a difficult decision about skipping town.

Cast & Crew

Shirley Jones
Marian Paroo
Buddy Hackett
Marcellus Washburn
Pert Kelton
Mrs. Paroo
Ron Howard
Winthrop Paroo
Hermione Gingold
Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn
Paul Ford
Mayor George Shinn
Timmy Everett
Tommy Djilas
Harry Hickox
Charlie Cowell
Charles Lane
Constable Locke
Mary Wickes
Mrs. Squires
Jesslyn Fax
Avis Grubb
Ray Kellogg
Harry Joseph (uncredited)
William Fawcett
Lester Lonnergan (uncredited)
Rance Howard
Oscar Jackson (uncredited)
Franklin Lacey
Writer
Joel Freeman
Associate Producer
Meredith Willson
Non-Original Music
Robert Burks
Cinematographer
Paul Groesse
Art Direction
Dorothy Jeakins
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for The Music Man

All Critics (17) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The Music Man

  • Apr 29, 2015
    A con man comes to a small town to form a Boys' Band, but he falls in love with the local librarian. They simply don't make films with this kind of energy any more, which is a good and bad thing. The Music Man, if written today, would more fully explore the ethical questions associated with protagonist Harold Hill's profession, which is appropriate, but Hill's charm in the person of Robert Preston is infectious and fun and makes all ethical quandaries seem like departures from the fun. All of the musical numbers are scat-style super, and the production design shows of the choreography and high-scale - a scale so high that we wonder where all these people come from. Overall, The Music Man defies logic and modern story-telling, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its charm.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 27, 2014
    While it's often associated with sub par high school and community theatre productions, "The Music Man" can work really well if it's done right and this film adaption is the best example of that. It's success is probably due to the fact that just about everyone who crafted the original Broadway productions worked on it. Although the most important element was keeping Robert Preston as the lead (like Brando in "A Streetcar Named Desire", its the perfect marriage between performer and role) because no one else could have and still hasn't played this part so well.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2014
    My favourite musical has the ever so delightful Robert Preston who seems to have been typecast into this role as the slippery Harold Hill. His emotions throughout the film are genuine however. It remains a treat that ages tremendously well thanks to the nostalgia card.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 19, 2010
    One of a kind film. It really showed what music can do to people.
    erika b Super Reviewer

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