The Music Man
December 25, 2005

I’ve just rewatched The Music Man for the umpteenth time. I love its story about the redemptive power of love, belief, and the importance of trying new things to break out of habit.

The Music Man
The Music Man
Buy this DVD

The Marian the Librarian segment is probably my most favorite musical number on film. It’s so odd and inventive and encompassing. Robert Preston is such a virtuoso, and the songs! The opening salesman one, that sounds like a train (apparently called “Rock Island”). The nostalgia of barbershop quartets. The chicken-inspired women in “Pick a Little, Talk a Little”. The rabble-rousing of “Ya Got Trouble (Right Here in River City)”. The nudge-nudge of “Sadder But Wiser Girl for Me”.

Here’s a site that overviews all the Music Man versions with reviews and cast information, and here’s a fascinating explanation of the terms and names referenced in the show and its lyrics.

8 Responses  
Mike Chary writes:  

And what do you have against “Gary, Indiana?”

Johanna writes:  

No offense to your hometown, but the older I get, the less cute I find the lisp-filled songs that feature young Ronnie Howard. I didn’t mention “Wells Fargo Wagon” for the same reason.

Joshua Macy writes:  

He’s a fake, and he doesn’t know the territory!

Mike Chary writes:  

For what it’s worth I like the Marion song too. I like the Beatles cover of “Till There Was You.” My favorite Robert Preston movie was “The Last Starfighter.”

Johanna writes:  

My favorite Preston film is probably Victor/Victoria, which I’m still hoping to find cheap on DVD somewhere.

Mike Chary writes:  

Ah, yes, “Victor/Victoria” starring Gary-native Alex Karras as hired muscle!

How cheap is “cheap?”

Johanna writes:  

Under $10 is my target price point these days, just because I’ve got so many unwatched movies already waiting for me.

Dave Farabee writes:  

Hey, thanks for the swell links Johanna.

While I was growing up my mom watched musicals incessantly, and while I never became *that* taken with them, I definitely imprinted on a handful – THE MUSIC MAN most notably. Your write-up reminds me that it’s probably time for another viewing, only now with knowledge that “The Great Creatore” is a real guy and not just Preston saying “great creator” with some sort of pompous accent ;)

Random great lyric:

But what the heck, you’re welcome,
Join us at the picnic.
You can eat your fill
Of all the food you bring YOURSELF.


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