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Genres: Musical , Comedy , Family
Actors: Robert Preston , Shirley Jones , Buddy Hackett , Hermione Gingold , Paul Ford , Pert Kelton , Timmy Everett , Susan Luckey , Ron Howard , Harry Hickox , Charles Lane , Mary Wickes , Sara Seegar , Adnia Rice , Peggy Mondo
Director: Morton DaCosta
Country: United States
Year: 1962
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10 (9902 votes)

Confidence man Harold Hill arrives at staid River City intending to cheat the community with his standard scam of offering to equip and train a boy’s marching band, then skip town with the money since he has no music skill anyway. Things go awry when he falls for a librarian he tries to divert from exposing him while he inadvertently enriches the town with a love of music.

Film Review

A potentially syrupy subject-matter – the importance for an American small town of having its own marching band – provides the launching pad for this vigorous, adequately cinematic transposition of the celebrated Broadway musical success. Robert Preston reprises his signature titular role of confidence trickster Professor Harold Hill and he inhabits the character so perfectly (he had performed it around 900 times on stage!) that it's nearly impossible to believe that he had never sung professionally before and that he didn't cop at least an Academy Award nomination – although the film itself received six (including Best Picture). Shirley Jones is also excellent as the lonely spinster librarian who, after some initial mistrust, is won over (and eventually liberated) through her love for Preston; also in the cast are Paul Ford (as the Mayor of River City, Iowa), Hermione Gingold (a standout as his irrepressible wife), Buddy Hackett (as Preston's reformed partn…

Robert Preston, the vivacious actor, did outdo himself in this heart-warming musical classic about a typical film-flam man who, in the first score of years in the twentieth century, claimed to be a music professor when the truth of the matter was he didn't know the first thing about music. He steps off the train in this Iowa town where too many people were very naive, and their naivete was something upon which this "music professor" (known by the pseudonym Harold Hill) preyed. Little did people know, however, that he would bring the community much good. Shirley Jones, (who even at the age of seventy-eight is still a very pretty lady,) does a fine turn as the librarian Marian Peru (sp.) (?), a lady who definitely distrusts and dislikes the music man. (Her thoughts about him do later change.) Ron Howard, who even here is like Opie, does a superb acting job as Marian's little brother Winthrop. (Who would have thought then that many years later he would be producing su…

I have watched this movie several times. I love the production, the costumes, the music, the dancing, and especially the artistic conception and direction the film-makers took it. Morton DaCosta did a fine job directing the players. Meredith Willson's story is adapted very much like the Broadway stage play that it was meant to be performed for. And the players play their parts almost to perfection from top to bottom. All of that said, I was thinking IF the professor had been played by a younger, more screen friendly and attractive personality this movie could have been an all-time epic musical. Let's face it, there is zero chemistry between Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. Preston could easily have been her father. His overall performance in this film version of this fine musical is worthy of accolades, but the film-makers just forgot, perhaps, that a film audience wants sparks between the main players in a love story, above all, and needed a younger man for this picture, i…