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The Music Man (Special Edition)

The Music Man (Special Edition)
Directed by Morton DaCosta, Scott Benson

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Average customer review:
(1499 customer reviews)

Product Description

Let 76 trombones lead the big parade from the Great White Way into your home. It's the Music Man, the screen version of one of Broadway's all-time blockbusters, a skyburst of Americana as irresistible as 4th of July fireworks. Robert Preston and Shirley J Year: 1962


Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #17350 in DVD
  • Brand: Warner Manufacturing
  • Released on: 1999-02-23
  • Rating: G (General Audience)
  • Aspect ratio: 2.20:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Formats: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Original language: English
  • Subtitled in: English, French
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Dimensions: .60" h x 5.38" w x 7.50" l, .25 pounds
  • Running time: 181 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
The Music Man was one of the last great movie musicals from any studio, and it proved to be that rarest of events: a Broadway show that was measurably improved by its transition to the screen. Robert Preston made his musical debut--both live and on film--as "Professor" Harold Hill, the upbeat charlatan who promises to teach a small-town boys band by the "think system." But it's the part Preston was born to play and the one for which he will always be best remembered. Composer Meredith Willson based The Music Man on his own small-town Midwestern boyhood, circa 1912, a quasi-mythical place where the old-maid librarian looks and sings like Shirley Jones. The boy himself is an adorable Ron Howard, lisp-singing "Gary, Indiana." Willson's entire score, featuring a combination of what are now standards, such as "Goodnight My Someone" and "Till There Was You" and show-specific numbers ("Trouble," "76 Trombones"), is never less than infectious. This dazzling special edition is also as bright and sunny as any 4th of July in Iowa could ever hope to be. --Robert Windeler

Additional Features
The DVD includes Right Here in River City: The Making of Meredith Willson's "The Music Man", a 30-minute documentary hosted by Shirley Jones and featuring interviews with Buddy Hackett, Susan Luckey (who played Zaneeta Shinn), and choreographer Onna White. Trivia tidbits: Frank Sinatra, not Robert Preston, was the first choice for the title role, and Shirley Jones was pregnant during the film's shooting. --David Horiuchi


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
5An absolutely endearing musical about America's heartland
By Phil Berardelli
Director Morton DaCosta spent most of his career acting and directing on the New York stage, doing only two other movies. This one – his version of the Broadway hit – is as charming a screen musical as you are likely to see. It’s great fun and a treat for all ages. Robert Preston stars as Professor Harold Hill, an alias the character uses as a traveling salesman and small-time hustler of band uniforms and instruments. Hill’s trade brings him to the little town of River City, Iowa, where he meets his comeuppance but also finds love and happiness. And as Hill, Preston reprises to perfection the Tony Award-winning role he played for several years on Broadway. But the real stars are composer Meredith Willson’s songs. They’re wonderful, including the sweet ballad “Goodnight, My Someone,” the gorgeous “Till There Was You,” and the grand finale “76 Trombones,” which gives the cast a rousing curtain call. Some of the songs are among the most unusual ever written, including “Rock Island,” in which traveling salesmen aboard a train mimic its rhythm en route from one town to the next; “Piano Lesson,” where the sung lyrics follow the notes of a keyboard exercise; the rapid-fire “Trouble;” the charming “Pick a Little, Talk a Little,” sung by a chorus of the town’s dowagers who flock together like barnyard hens; and the crisply choreographed “Marian the Librarian,” as subtle a portrayal of romance and sexual awakening as ever presented on the screen. In a sense, The Music Man might be the most musical musical ever, because even the dialogue, or much of it, is spoken with a rhythmic cadence – and delightfully so. There’s also the happiest of happy endings, one that is sure to leave you smiling and humming the theme song for days. Shirley Jones co-stars as “lovely Marian,” the aforementioned librarian, and the great supporting cast includes Buddy Hackett as a pixie-ish fellow huckster, Paul Ford as the dotty mayor of River City, and eight-year-old Ron (Ronny in the credits) Howard at the beginning of his acting career as Marian’s brother, Winthrop.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
5Must see for anyone who wants to understand the American musical tradition.
By T Boyer
This was filmed quite a few years after the Broadway production, and Robert Preston is a little bit old, but he is still incomparable. One of those roles you just can't picture anybody else ever measuring up. There's a 2002 remake with Matthew Broderick, who is terrific but the shadow of Preston is just too much for him to overcome.

The characters, the town, the songs are still so fresh and funny, and based on a real memoir. Meredith Willson actualy did grow up in a little Iowa town just like this one, and he actually played the piccolo professionally in John Philip Sousa's band.

Shirley Jones was a very good screen actress and a good singer but her voice just can't measure up to Barbara Cook, who played Marian on Broadway but was deemed too old to be the movie Marian.

Anyway this will put a smile on your face any time you need a smile. It's worth owning.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
576 Trombones in the Big Parade!
By Lesblant
Still great as I remembered it. The story of a con man who comes to town with plans to rook everyone. He hits on the town librarian, Marion, because he prefers "the sadder but wiser girl." Deliciously despicable Harold Hill ends up having to make good on his word, and at the end there's a glorious transformation. You'll find yourself humming the songs for days afterwards! Some of the greatest musical numbers ever written in the age of classic movie musicals. Marion, Madam Librarian; Gary Indiana, My Home Sweet Home; and the best one, Seventy Six Trombones.

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