DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #14 (From TWO ROBERT PRESTON FILMS) in MAD ABOUT MUSICALS: THE HISTORY OF THE HOLLYWOOD MUSICALS Posted July 2, 2018 1. Over time there seems to have been a shift from the gentleman figure, like any of Fred Astaire's characters, to the more typically masculine, confident male lead. The alpha male figure in the Music Man clip seems to have evolved a bit from the alpha male figure in the 1950s. I'm thinking in particular any of Howard Keel's characters- in Kiss Me Kate, Calamity Jane, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers- though he's somewhat similar to the vibe Gene Kelly gives off. The sense of confidence and charisma rather than overpowering masculine aggression seems prominent here. 2. I really love Robert Preston in the Music Man. There's something effortlessly persuasive about the Trouble number- we know that he's spouting nonsense and that the song is built on hyperbole and slippery slope arguments, but he lends a logicality to it by his loose, smooth presentation. I like the way he gravitates between people and strings them along in the beginning of the number- again, the effortlessness of his amassing the crowd is somewhat stunning. And of course the enunciation is notable, and the sharpness of his movements. Overall I'm just amazed by the charisma of it all: it's very easy to see why Marian would fall for this guy, in spite of his sketchy background.