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Featured Movie Reviews

The Music Man

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

The perfect family musical and one I first enjoyed with my parents many years ago, 1962's THE MUSIC MAN might be the perfect Broadway film adaption.

Robert Preston stars as traveling salesman/con man Professor Harold Hill, whose only degree is in scamming innocent town folks out of their money before jumping the next train out of town.

When he lands in River City, Iowa, Hill finds himself smitten with the local librarian Marian (Shirley Jones in fine form) and a wild cast of locals, including the legendary Hermione Gingold & Paul Ford as the Mayor and his wife, Pert Kelton as Marion's mom and an impossibly young Ron Howard as her nephew.

Robert Preston is amazing in every scene, hilarious, charming and in fine singing and dancing form. The music score includes many theatre classics, including "Seventy Six Trombones", "Till There Was You" and the show-stopping "Trouble", which Hill uses to set up the town to organize a marching band.

At two and a half hours, its literally a filmed version of the play, blown up onto massive outdoor sets and full length versions of the theatre song and dance numbers.

Buddy Hackett brings a lot of fun as Hill's sometime sidekick.

It's genuinely funny and enjoyable from start to finish and Preston gives one of the best musical performances of all time, making it enjoyable even for those among you that hate musicals.

Tamara and I were lucky enough to see the Broadway revival a decade ago with Craig Bierko literally channeling Preston. It was uncanny and an amazing tribute to Robert Preston's best role. In 2022, I hugely enjoyed Hugh Jackman's take on Harold Hill on Broadway, he nailed the energy of the role, but Sutton Foster was miscast as Marion, the only fault of a great revival.

1962's film adaption of THE MUSIC MAN hits only the right notes on the way to a pitch perfect A+ and a spot just a couple notes away from my all-time Top 100 films.

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