7.7/10
15,025
138 user 34 critic

The Music Man (1962)

Trailer
0:55 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Music Man (TV Movie 2003)
Comedy | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Contemporary rethinking of the legendary Broadway musical and 1962 film, updated to reflect a few early twenty-first-century sensibilities: A masterful con artist tries to bilk a staid ... See full summary »

Director: Jeff Bleckner
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber
My Fair Lady (1964)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Snobbish phonetics Professor Henry Higgins (Sir Rex Harrison) agrees to a wager that he can make flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) presentable in high society.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In prerevolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing anti-Semitic sentiment threatens his village.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In the year leading up to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor
1776 (1972)
Drama | Family | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A musical retelling of the American Revolution's political struggle in the Continental Congress to declare independence.

Director: Peter H. Hunt
Stars: William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Ken Howard
Show Boat (1951)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The daughter of a riverboat captain falls in love with a charming gambler, but their fairytale romance is threatened when his luck turns sour.

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Howard Keel
Biography | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
Annie (1982)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young orphan girl's adventures in finding a family that will take her.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney, Carol Burnett
Biography | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The opening scene of the movie describes it best: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales."

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Danny Kaye, Farley Granger, Zizi Jeanmaire
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Eddie thinks it is time for his father to remarry. However, in his opinion his father's taste in women leaves much to be desired. He believes the girl next door would be a far better choice...

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Glenn Ford, Ron Howard, Shirley Jones
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A down-on-his-luck inventor turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasy adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land.

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries
Oliver! (1968)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being sold to a mortician, young orphan Oliver Twist runs away and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Meredith Wilson's [The Music Man] is Back See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 June 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meredith Willson's The Music Man See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,240,000 (estimated)
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

While Charlie Cowell is inciting the crowd to go after Howard Hill, Oscar Jackson (Rance Howard) is seen in the crowd nodding in agreement. A few minutes later Marcellus Washburn asks Oscar if he's seen Professor Hill, to which he replies, "Haven't been looking for him." See more »

Goofs

Mayor Shinn refers to Tommy Djilas' father as a "Nithelanian," presumably meaning Lithuanian. The name Djilas is not Lithuanian, it is a very common name from Serbia which does not border Lithuania. Clearly, anthropology is not Mayor Shinn's strong suit. See more »

Quotes

Marian Paroo: The one thing one must remember, no matter who one is or what one is working for, one can do anything if one puts one's mind to it.
Harold Hill: Miss Marian, if one could only tell you how much you've done for one.
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 »


Soundtracks

Ya Got Trouble
(1957) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Performed by Robert Preston and Company in the "76 Trombones" number
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Robert Preston brilliantly recreates his Broadway role.
9 December 2000 | by clive-38See all my reviews

One of the greatest musicals ever put onto film is how I would describe "The Music Man" with its show stopping numbers like "Ya Got Trouble Right Here in River City", "The Sadder But Wiser Girl For Me", "Wells Fargo Wagon", "Seventy Six Trombones" and many more.

Confidence trickster Harold Hill arrives in River City with the intention of setting up a boy's band and taking money for costumes and instruments but intends to leave town with the money before these arrive. Things don't exactly work out to plan when he finds himself falling for the town's librarian and he becomes involved with the lives of many of the River City citizens. Meanwhile, the mayor tries his best to have Hill run out of town but one by one the River City townspeople begin to realise that Hill has actually brought much happiness and contentment to several of them since his arrival. Marian the librarian gradually succumbs to Hill's charms and defends him against the wild accusations of the mayor.

A high class ensemble of players make this a captivating film - in addition to Robert Preston himself (absolutely brilliant as Professor Harold Hill) we have Shirley Jones as Marian Paroo (the librarian), Buddy Hackett as Hill's friend Marcellus Washburn, Harry Hickox as another salesman determined to expose Hill, Paul Ford as Mayor Shinn and Hermione Gingold as Mrs Eulalie Shinn. Paul Ford's excellent portrayal of Mayor Shinn was not that far removed from his role as Colonel Hall in the long running "Sergeant Bilko" TV series. (I half expected to see Phil Silvers turn up in River City with some new gambling scheme on his mind!). Also in the "Music Man" cast was a very young Ron Howard (aged only eight) as Winthrop Paroo who was outstanding in his featured number "Gary, Indiana" which he had to sing with a lisp!! (He is of course now well established as a competent film director). I was surprised to see the talented actor Max Showalter (also known as Casey Adams) only used in one scene at the opening of the film. An actor of his calibre should have had a much larger part I consider. I was delighted to see Percy Helton (albeit briefly), one of my favourite character actors, pop up as the train conductor at the beginning of the film. Percy Helton has appeared in hundreds of films and is instantly recognisable with his distinctive voice and chubby frame. A word of praise is due to "The Buffalo Bills" who provide many delightful musical interludes throughout the film. "The Music Man" was produced and directed by Morton da Costa and I loved his theatrical device when the screen went dark after some of the musical numbers - a fascinating innovation.

Some favourite lines from the film:-

Harry Hickox: "But he doesn't know the territory!".

Robert Preston: "Gentlemen, you intrigue me - I think I'll have to give Iowa a try!".

Paul Ford: "I said all along - get his credentials didn't I?".

Paul Ford: "Where's the band? Where's the band?".

Preston (to the boy's band): "Now think, men, think!".

In 1958 Robert Preston won the prestigious "Tony" Award as Best Actor in a musical (on Broadway) for "The Music Man" but was overlooked by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when it came to the "Oscars". Why Preston wasn't even nominated as "Best Actor" is a mystery to me as this was the perfect role for him having performed it so long on Broadway. He was ideally suited in the part of Harold Hill and played it to perfection. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards (including one for best picture but was beaten by "Lawrence of Arabia").

A fabulous musical with entertaining storyline, noteworthy acting talent, and impeccably photographed in ravishing colour. "The Music Man" is an exceptional musical which can be viewed again and again with increasing enjoyment. 10/10. Clive Roberts.


43 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 138 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed