Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Music Man (1962): Recap and Review

Tonight I went down to the Old Redford Theatre, as the Motor City Theatre Organ Society was hosting an event with Shirley Jones and playing her 1962 movie, The Music Man, and it was a lot of fun.  Before the movie, I had the opportunity to attend the meet and greet with Shirley Jones, who stars as Marian Paroo and had a chance to here her speak about her life growing up and about her newly released memories, as well as get a photo op with her. 
The Music Man has a spot in my heart because it was the first musical that I ever was a part of back in school. My high school put it on when I was a sophomore and I played the bassoon in the pit orchestra.  It was a very fun experience from my teenage years.  Since then I have watched this movie several times, seen the not as nostalgic 2003 remake, saw a production of it on Broadway, and had the music on my ipod (and cd before that).  The song Goodnight My Someone has a been a staple at being stuck in my head and something I hum and probably annoy my friends with.
The Music Man is a musical about Professor Harry Hill, played by Robert Peterson, who a traveling salesman who's con is selling musical instruments and band uniforms to towns and leaving with the money before they discover that he doesn't know how to conduct a boy's band.  He find himself in Rivercity, Iowa where he tries to set up this con by saying that bands keep the kids out of trouble which is caused by the a new Pool table coming into town.  While he does this, he meets the local library and piano teacher Marian, who is not impressed by Professor Hill but comes around to liking him as he gets her little brother excited about something.  There relationship develops as Hill schemes the town and encourages them to sing and dance.  At the end, he falls for Marian and stands up to try and actually get the kids to play in a band.
This movie is classic old Hollywood musical and is a great show.  The music is catchy and fun and introduced the Shipoopi .  It has your standard musical numbers and dance scenes.  Shirley Jones is fantastic in the leading female role and the banter between the characters is a lot of fun.  This is a classic musical that I think everyone should see, especially if you like old school, big production, Hollywood films. My opinion is very much influenced by how much this show has been a part of my school experience and is a part of me learning that I love musicals.

My Rating: 3+

My Nostalgic Rating: 4
My Nostalgia for this movie cannot be higher as this movie was significant for me in my high school, theatre, and musical experiences.  It was a very positive experience for me to be a part of, plus it is a fantastic show and movie.

Hold Up Rating: This movie is a classic and embodies the musical of this era.  It is very much a period piece and has no real hold up for today's world.  I don't remember that last time anyone talked about traveling salesman still existing, libraries are not the powerhouses they once were, and within the movie they have actually fire in their light poles. The band stuff with the instruments, uniforms, and marches being played are the things that keep this movie current as bands are still playing these songs.

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