The Music Man (1962)

the music man poster 1962 movie
10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

A classic musical with a great cast and songs


Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Music Man

Studio:  Warner Bros

Genre(s):  Musical/Romance

Release Date(s):  June 19, 1962

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

the music man 76 trombones robert preston

I’m not a con…trust me

There’s trouble in River City.  Con-man and traveling salesman Harold Hill (Robert Preston) has come to town to sell his dream of a band to children of the town.  Harold intends to cut-and-run with the town’s money, but when he meets librarian Marian Paroo (Shirley Jones), Harold finds he has a problem.  Harold is falling in love and falling in love isn’t part of a salesman’s trade.  Harold’s big plans are about to collapse, but if the town and Marian see he’s a fake, he’ll never be accepted.

Directed by Morton DaCosta, The Music Man is based on the 1957 Broadway musical.  The movie was received well and was a big box office hit.  It won an Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation, or Treatment with nominations for Best Picture, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration—Color, Best Costume Design—Color, Best Sound, and Best Film Editing.  It was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in the National Film Registry in 2005.

the music man wells fargo wagon ron howard shirley jones

They’d be really excited by Amazon

The Music Man is one of those musicals that seems to always be around.  If it isn’t being referenced, parodied, or having songs re-utilized, it is a common fodder for high school musicals.  The reason is that not only is it simple, clean easy music, it’s actually a good story which translates well to film.

The story for The Music Man is nice.  It is simple and easy to predict, but it also actually is pretty solid.  You know that Harold is going to turn, and you can tell that it is the type of musical that is going to end up alright.  It is fun and it doesn’t matter that it isn’t complex.

The cast is great.  Robert Preston has a real spark as the con-artist Harold Hill and Shirley Jones is young and vulnerable as his romantic interest.  Buddy Hackett plays the ally of Harold who is trying to go straight and a young Ron Howard is the lisp-y Winthrop Paroo.

the music man 1962 til there was you shirley jones robert preston

Till there was you…

The Music Man is one of those movies that has a classic musical look.  It was largely shot at Warner Bros. in California leading some shots to have mountains in the background…which doesn’t quite match up with Iowa.  Fortunately, the details of The Music Man can be overlooked due to the spirit and the fun of the musical.  The movie is just loaded with songs that you know so a trip to River City is easy and fun for even first time viewers.

The Music Man is a worthy classic.  It is fun and light but still has a strong enough story and romance to give it the edge it needs to just be fluff.  The Music Man has been reworked for stage multiple times, and in 2003, it was remade as a TV movie starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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