The Music Man (1962)

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From the play of the same name by Meredith Willson

A fast talking con man comes to River City to take the townspeople for whatever he can get…until he falls in love with the librarian/piano teacher.

OK, this is one of the all time best musicals. Great songs, wonderful story, funny, romantic, charming, some good dancing, pretty costumes, what else could you want? Even Ron Howard when he was very young and cute… and Robert Preston. Oh my. If there were such a thing as a double honey, he would seriously be it. From Beau Geste in 1939 all the way through Victor/Victoria in the early 80s, he was just adorable, charming, funny, and could sing and dance. Wow.

But I digress…back to the movie. It’s great. Small town infighting and politics, a really nice slice of turn of the century midwestern life. The costumes are sort of a late 50s/early 60s fantasy on the general theme of the type of clothes people wore then, but they’re remarkably effective.

And who in my profession does not know the Marion the Librarian song? Yes, on the one hand Shirley Jones is the archetypal old-maid librarian wearing funny shoes and saying “Shh!” to everyone and his brother (I shudder to think of what she’d do about cell phones…) but on the other hand, she’s winsome, charming, has a temper and is willing to stand up for what is right. And to admit her mistakes. I really like her, overall. And I love the library, too!

The music in this movie is amazing. Every note in every scene works with not only every other note, but other parts of the score and everything the actors are doing…it’s so much fun to watch and listen to, even when nobody is singing.

Well, and I could go on and on and on about this one…basically, it’s brilliant, one of the best musicals ever, and if you haven’t seen it you’re either a musical-hating lowlife or have been living on a desert island for forty years…either way, time to give in and give it a try.

One Response to The Music Man (1962)

  1. I’m happy I’m not the only one who thoroughly ENJOYED this movie! (Okay, I’m a librarian, so maybe that has a little to do with it.) Everything is as you said: wonderful music, great story, believable characters, and more.

    (I love the adorable otter photos.)

    Thank you for following my blog.

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