The Music Man [Blu-ray]
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This joyful film of the 1,375-performance Broadway smash remains an irresistible skyburst of Americana. Robert Preston recreates his Tony-winning Broadway triumph as con artist Harold Hill, arriving in River City, Iowa, to form a boys band, much to the disapproval…and later delight of town librarian Marian Paroo (Academy Award winner* Shirley Jones). Buddy Hackett, Hermione Gingold, Paul Ford and 7-year-old Ron Howard co-star. Meredith Willson's sassy, brassy score – featuring the unforgettable Seventy-Six Trombones and Till There Was You among other marvelous melodies – is orchestrated to brilliant Oscar-winning* effect by Ray Heindorf.]]>
Introduction by Shirley Jones
Top Customer Reviews
Pop the disc in, and you'll immediately be taken to the "Right Here In River City" documentary (you'll have to press the MENU button on your DVD controls to get to the main menu so you can actually view the movie -- why the disc goes immediately to the documentary is rather odd). Hosted by Shirley Jones, who still looks great, the top-notch, too-short documentary is crammed with lots of good stories and bits of trivia, in the words of several of Those Who Were There. You'll find out, for instance, which segments were actually filmed first, how amazed Susan Luckey was at Robert Preston's ability to lip-synch "Trouble" during filming, and why Shirley Jones wore so many frills and flowers on her dress in the scene at the footbridge.
As for the film itself -- the print is beautiful, and as someone who had only experienced the film in pan-and-scan format, it is a delight to finally see entire dance sequences without the cropping. And you'll finally be able to see all four members of The Buffalo Bills barber shop quartet (the poor fellow singing bass could never be seen in TV-formatted versions).
There are other, smaller moments that have always cried our for the letterbox format, and if you watch both versions closely, you'll notice the real advantages in seeing the entire scene as it was shot. For example, one particularly disorienting scene in pan-and-scan format is the "Pick A Little, Talk A Little/Goodnight, Ladies" sequence, when Professor Hill is speaking with Mrs.Read more ›
Fortunately all this video gunk is corrected in the Blu-Ray edition. The colors are bright, the sound noticeably better, and the movie just comes more alive in blu-ray.
But - there always seems to be a flip side. In this case it's noticeable in the opening train scene, where blue matte artifacts around people, and slightly off masking at the windows clearly shows that it was shot against a blue screen. But, what you see is what people saw in the theaters when it was released. If the artifacts didn't bother moviegoers at the time, they shouldn't really bother us in the present. Little glitches like this are just part of the technology available at the time, and shouldn't be used to rate the movie...
...and I'm really not, just pointing out that seeing more can mean seeing more of the bad, as well as more than the good.
Aside from little things like this which caught my eye - and don't really bother me - I hope you'll consider picking up the best release of an old favorite. Improved sound, improved picture - what more could you want. I doubt it'll look better unless George Lucas gets involved in cleaning up the blue-screen artifacts. And who knows what he'd feel like adding!
Fun. A couple of hours well spent. And for me, a new appreciation of Hermione Gingold as Ms.Read more ›
The film also has a great cast of supporting character actors and comedians, not to mention the fabulous Buffalo Bills. I love the anvil salesman character (THAT'S a great line of merchandise for a traveling salesman!), and my favorite song has to be the pool hall song, "There's trouble in River City." The movie, funny as it is, also has its touching moments, especially when Professor Harold Hill, standing on the footbridge, confronts the gap between his dreams and his life for the first time, and really realizes he is in love with the beautiful librarian. For pure fun and entertainment, it's hard to find a better movie than this lively but affectionate kidding of the Hawkeye State, and hard to find a more fun couple than the engaging Robert Preston and the lovely Shirley Jones.
As much as I love musicals, I had missed this one until the recent ABC movie version. I fell immediately under its charming spell. The story is fun and the music is fantastic. After enjoying the remake so much, I was looking forward to watching the original, and it didn't disappointment. The cast, lead by Robert Preston and Shirley Jones, is strong. The chorography makes me want to join in the fun (always a must for a musical), and the story fleshes out a couple minor points I had missed in the remake. And I simply must praise the work of the Buffalo Bills as the school board. They've inspired me in my search for good barbershop quartet music.
The DVD preserves the movie well. The widescreen picture is sharp and clear and the sound is just fine. Watching the trailer for the reissue shows just how much work has gone into the restoration. Shirley Jones provides an interesting intro and serves as host for the behind the scenes special.
This is a classic musical that everyone will enjoy. It tells a fun story with wonderful music and evokes a simpler time and place. If you haven't watched yet, pick up a copy and enjoy tonight.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic. Musicals don't get better. The other day at gymnastics my daughter told the musicmaster to shut off the RAP CRAP and play some real music. Boy was I proud of her.Published 5 hours ago by J. Busse
I saw our Elementary School 3-5 graders perform this musical and I had to rent it. They did an excellent job with the songs and drama. This musical was really good. Read morePublished 6 days ago by motherelder
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Blu ray reviews..||
Amen, brother! Why all these miserable reviews about a product which is totally irrelevant to the topic?! STAY ON TOPIC. If it's a DVD review, put it in the DVD category... likewise, Blu-Ray. Let's not mix and match - the results are misleading, irrelevant and ultimately supremely irritating.
Dec 20, 2011 by John D. Mcglynn | See all 2 posts
|Why so expensive?||
You must have a defective Blu-Ray disk or a defective Blu-Ray player. I have no problems playing mine on Sony Playstation. All 3 versions of The Music Man are no longer produced. High price typically represents high demand. But you knew that. Every high school and community theatre in the... Read More
Jul 16, 2011 by gllcanon | See all 5 posts
|Inquiry. Anyone know?||
Which scenes, what content was cut ? Who is in the cast ?
Sep 11, 2007 by M. Richmond | See all 4 posts
|My White Knight?||
I am an opera and musical theater conductor and have done The Music Man several times. I believe that "My White Knight" was perceived by the film's creative team as being too esoteric for the intimacy of the film medium. The bridge of the song ("All I want is a plain... Read More
Jul 17, 2009 by Jan McDaniel | See all 24 posts
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