Meredith Wilson's hit 1957 Broadway musical was transferred to the screen in larger-than-life fashion in 1962. Robert Preston repeats his legendary stage performance as fast-talking con man Harold Hill, who goes from town to town selling citizens on starting a "boy's band," then extracts money from them by ordering instruments and uniforms, with the promise that he'll teach the kids how to be musicians. Once he's collected his bankroll, Hill skips town, leaving the kids in the lurch. Looking for new suckers in Iowa, Hill arrives in River City, where he declares that the only way to save the youth of River City from the lure of the poolroom is to organize a boy's band. He charms the mayor's wife Eulalie (Hermione Gingold) into forming a "ladies' dance committee" and sets his sights on winning over local music teacher Marian Paroo (Shirley Jones). Marian rightly considers Hill a fraud, especially when he espouses the "Think System" of learning music: if you think a tune, he claims, you can play it. But Marian becomes Hill's staunchest ally when her young brother Winthrop (Ronny Howard), sullen and withdrawn since the death of his father, exuberantly comes out of his shell at the prospect of joining Hill's band; and Marian's budding romance with the charming but unreliable Hill ultimately brings her out of her own shell as well. Marion Hargrove's script uses most of the original play, with a handful of amusing expansions, especially in the roles played by Gingold and by Buddy Hackett as Hill's comic sidekick.~Hal Erickson
I love this movie. I first bought it on VHS tape and have watched it consistently over the years. This Blu-ray copy is SO much better! First, you get the whole picture, not a panned image. And, the details are amazing. You see a lot in the background that you missed in earlier technology releases. Then there's the movie itself - great tunes abound and I never get tired of the story. If you love this movie, get the Blu-ray version. You won't regret it!
I would recommend this to a friend
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Good old musical
This 1962 musical starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones was a highly acclaimed movie at the time of its release. While the movie did receive a Academy Award for Best Musical Score, the acting leaves one remembering the music as the reason for watching this movie. It's an enjoyable film to watch and the singing and dancing remind one of a different area of Hollywood that was not all CG and special effects. Nice to see Ron Howard in another very young role other than Opie Taylor. I enjoyed it.