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slaytonf

Well, It's happened again. . . .

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Not intending to, only having TCM on as background murmur before hunting for something to watch, as I have no interest in tonite's musical smorgasbord, as it happens every time, on comes The Music Man, and I'm caught.  What makes this movie so perpetually watchable--nay, enjoyable?  No doubt it's a long list of things, but I have no time now, "Shipoopi" is starting. . . .

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Robert Preston is imminently watchable in a role he seemed to be born to play, even if he appears a little too old for Shirley Jones. But if they’d had an older woman play Marian then she’d been too old to play Winthrop’s sister.

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+1 on ROBERT PRESTON.  I enjoy him in most anything he does.

And, as I too, am not a huge musicals fan, and MUSIC MAN isn't necessarily one I really get "into", Preston DOES seem to be the main reason I'm willing to sit through it every now and then.  And I was already familiar with it and many of the tunes LONG before ever seeing the movie because a good friend of mine, back when we were both about 7 or so, was dragged by his parents to go see it as a touring Broadway musical when it hit Detroit's FISHER THEATER in the late '50's.

But, it seemed to have a huge impact on my friend, and he "dug" it so much he spent his next birthday money on an LP of "The original Broadway cast" soundtrack and played it to near transparency!  ;)  

Sepiatone

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Count me in as a Robert Preston devotee. He's fantastic in everything he's ever done, but this role....only he can give depth, dimension to such a cartoony charactor.

The songs are great and wholly listenable (although I skip the usually adorable Ronnie Howard overdoing Wells-Fargo Wagon & despise Shapoopie) because of Meredeth Willson's genius writing. I love the odd "timing" and Shirley Jones' beautiful singing adds weight and stability to the musical.
All the principle & supporting actors are over-the-top great and the costumes make this a visual treat. Having an interesting "moral" doesn't hurt either.

I am most jealous of my movie buddy that he had actually seen this on Broadway with Robert Preston in the lead. I couldn't IMAGINE the thrill of seeing that live, in person. Just as a movie, it's impressive.
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Those songs are pretty catchy, aren't they? "Marian, Madame Librarian", or whatever the official title is, is a particular favorite of mine. And the Beatles dug "Til There Was You" so much, they did a cover of it!

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THE MUSIC MAN is one of the most delightfully subversive films of the sixties. it just fits 1962 so perfectly (and that was a great year for film.)

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Well, unlike the O.P. and a couple of others here, I love musicals. I can never quite understand why others don't -of course, it all depends on how good the music in the musical is, and in the case of The Music Man, it couldn't be better.

It's high praise for The Music Man for me to say that, because, as stated, I am a hard-core fan of musicals. So I love many musical films. But The Music Man has to be right up there in my top 5.

I agree with all here who've praised the performances of Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. However, great though they are, I think the film stands up on its own merits, apart from the excellence of those two stars  (who definitely contribute to its success, they're both charming and hugely talented.) What I'm trying to say is, I like The Music Man for its own sake and not just because of the charisma of its lead performers.

I recently saw a live production of The Music Man at Stratford, which has a world-class theatre festival just an hour's drive from my home. It was fantastic ! They'd added quite a bit of dancing  - the "76 Trombones" number is literally a real show-stopper, with an exuberant cast stepping and twirling all over the stage. It was a lot of fun, and proved to me that it isn't only the filmed version that's an outstanding musical, it's the story and most of all, the songs themselves. Some of the best songs ever in a musical.

And Tiki my friend, I have to say, I love "Wells Fargo Wagon". It's tremendously catchy and joyful - - but then, just about all the numbers in The Music Man are. Catchy and joyful, that is.

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4 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Count me in as a Robert Preston devotee. He's fantastic in everything he's ever done, but this role....only he can give depth, dimension to such a cartoony charactor.

It's the same reason I find myself watching The Last Starfighter (1984) every time it shows up, even though I wasn't that crazy about the movie when it was in theaters.

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14 hours ago, slaytonf said:

 What makes this movie so perpetually watchable--nay, enjoyable?

Good question, because I sure don't enjoy it.

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8 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Count me in as a Robert Preston devotee. He's fantastic in everything he's ever done, but this role....only he can give depth, dimension to such a cartoony charactor.

 

I think Robert Preston is fabulous in just about anything he does from noir to musicals (especially Victor/Victoria!) I'm a major fan of this guy and know he deserves a SUTS Day or to be a SOTM. 

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This movie musical is one of my absolute favorites (not to mention, one of my favorite films of all time). I remember when I checked it out from the library (summer of 2013, to be exact). I watched it about 3 times within the week; that's how much I enjoyed it. The music is quite catchy and it's fun to learn the words to all the songs. 

My favorite number in this is "Marian the Librarian." I love the melody and the rhymes Meredith Willson came up with. However, I have noticed that the melody is the same as a song from 1950, called "Pink Champagne" by Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers. 

 

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12 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Well, unlike the O.P. and a couple of others here, I love musicals. I can never quite understand why others don't -of course, it all depends on how good the music in the musical is, and in the case of The Music Man, it couldn't be better.

Sorry to create the wrong impression, missw.  There are lots of musicals I really like.  It's just the ones on last night I've seen a lot and wasn't up for seeing them again--or so I thought.

 

One thing I'd like to draw people's attention to that I think contributes to making this movie continually fresh to see is the direction.  It's a surprise, as the director, Morton DaCosta, did most of his work for the stage, only directing six or so movies.  This is undoubtedly his best.  Not only does he do a fine job of capturing the energy of the musical numbers from the outside, he also manages to get the camera inside the dancing, moving it with the dancers.  

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Miss W- I love the song WELLS FARGO WAGON, I just bristle every time Ronny Howard intentionally spits. I'm sure he was coached by the director to do so, but it just annoys me.

My school chorus sang that song in concert as well as a few from Unsinkable Molly Brown-obviously our director was a Meredith Willson fan- so I knew the songs 30 years before knowing their context!
When you actually sing (or play) Willson songs, you realize how unique they are musically, the odd stops & beats are what make them interesting.

Nick & Nora said, I love the melody and the rhymes Meredith Willson came up with.

I often say he's the only guy who'd somehow fit the word "carrion" in a love song.
Any of you Willson fans should try finding his books for a fun read. I was fortunate to be loaned very old & worn copies of his books from the SU library several years ago.

  • BUT HE DOESN'T KNOW THE TERRITORY (the making of the musical)
  • AND THERE I STOOD WITH MY PICCOLO
  • EGGS I HAVE LAID
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Aside from all that, I'D like to know why TIKI spells "Character" with an "o" as the last vowel("charactOr") and doesn't SHE get the red, squiggly "spell-check" underline when she types it?  when I try it, always do!                      :huh:

Sepiatone

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22 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

This movie musical is one of my absolute favorites (not to mention, one of my favorite films of all time). I remember when I checked it out from the library (summer of 2013, to be exact). I watched it about 3 times within the week; that's how much I enjoyed it. The music is quite catchy and it's fun to learn the words to all the songs. 

My favorite number in this is "Marian the Librarian." I love the melody and the rhymes Meredith Willson came up with. However, I have noticed that the melody is the same as a song from 1950, called "Pink Champagne" by Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers. 

 

Thanks for posting "Pink Champagne", NandN. I'm impressed that you knew the song. I enjoyed listening to it, it's pretty darn good. I do have to disagree a little, however, about its being the same melody as "Marian". Yes, without a doubt, that rhythmic line  (da-daddle-da -da,  da-daddle-da-da etc.), is exactly the same in both songs. But the melodies are different.

I found "Marian" on youtube and once again, had to laugh. It's not only a really good song, it's very funny. How can you resist lyrics like  "If I stumbled, and busted my whatchamacallit*, /I could lie on the floor unnoticed/                                                       Till my body had turned to carrion.  ( or actually, "caaaaaar -ion")."

I mean, as TikiSoo observed, how many songs have the word "carrion" in them? But it works ! It's a hilarious scene.

* "Whatchamacallit"  Presumably, his bum. I always thought so, anyway.

By the way, thought I might as well include "Marian the Librarian" here. Any excuse to listen to ( and see) this clever, funny number. Plus we can play the two songs back to back and compare.

 

                           

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12 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Miss W- I love the song WELLS FARGO WAGON, I just bristle every time Ronny Howard intentionally spits. I'm sure he was coached by the director to do so, but it just annoys me.

 

Sorry, Tiki baby, I misunderstood. And yes, I agree, while the song itself is lively and fun, and it's a big deal when Winthrop overcomes his painful shyness to sing, they overdo the lisp and the subsequent spitting. 

In the stage production I saw recently, they don't have him spitting at all. 

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On 6/27/2018 at 5:57 PM, lydecker said:

I think Robert Preston is fabulous in just about anything he does from noir to musicals (especially Victor/Victoria!) I'm a major fan of this guy and know he deserves a SUTS Day or to be a SOTM. 

I love Robert Preston. Something I saw on TCM a while ago featured him: The Dark at the Top of the Stairs. I was unfamiliar with this film, although I'd heard of it. It was very good, a really interesting family story with well-developed characters and first-rate acting. And Robert Preston is outstanding in it.

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On 6/27/2018 at 8:58 AM, TikiSoo said:

Count me in as a Robert Preston devotee. He's fantastic in everything he's ever done, but this role....only he can give depth, dimension to such a cartoony charactor.

 

Count me in as well as a major Robert Preston fan! Love him in everything he's done.

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14 minutes ago, lydecker said:

Count me in as well as a major Robert Preston fan! Love him in everything he's done.

Me three!

Yancey

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8 hours ago, yanceycravat said:

Me three!

Yancey

Me four!

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On 6/28/2018 at 5:10 PM, misswonderly3 said:

I love Robert Preston. Something I saw on TCM a while ago featured him: The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.

That had to be a long, long time ago. I don't recall TCM ever having shown that.

One of my favorites is the very quiet, All the Way Home (1963). There's a great moment when he gives his kid some money to get an ice cream and a movie so he and his wife (played by Jean Simmons) can be "alone".

Robert Preston is truly wonderful in this often overlooked film.

 

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