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The Music Man [VHS] (1962)

Robert Preston , Shirley Jones , Morton DaCosta , Scott Benson  |  G |  VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (647 customer reviews)

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The Music Man [VHS] + South Pacific [VHS] + My Fair Lady (digitally THX mastered) [VHS]
Price for all three: $24.37

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett, Hermione Gingold, Paul Ford
  • Directors: Morton DaCosta, Scott Benson
  • Writers: Franklin Lacey, Marion Hargrove, Meredith Willson, Tom Edwards
  • Producers: Morton DaCosta, Joel Freeman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Original recording reissued, Special Edition, NTSC
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: September 19, 2000
  • Run Time: 177 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (647 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790738074
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,540 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

The special edition VHS includes Right Here in River City: The Making of Meredith Willson's "The Music Man", a 30-minute documentary hosted by Shirley Jones and featuring interviews with Buddy Hackett, Susan Luckey (who played Zaneeta Shinn), and choreographer Onna White. Trivia tidbits: Frank Sinatra, not Robert Preston, was the first choice for the title role, and Shirley Jones was pregnant during the film's shooting. --David Horiuchi

Product Description

The Music Man was one of the last great movie musicals from any studio, and it proved to be that rarest of events: a Broadway show that was measurably improved by its transition to the screen. Robert Preston made his musical debut--both live and on film--as "Professor" Harold Hill, the upbeat charlatan who promises to teach a small-town boys band by the "think system." But it's the part Preston was born to play and the one for which he will always be best remembered. Composer Meredith Willson based The Music Man on his own small-town Midwestern boyhood, circa 1912, a quasi-mythical place where the old-maid librarian looks and sings like Shirley Jones. The boy himself is an adorable Ron Howard, lisp-singing "Gary, Indiana." Willson's entire score, featuring a combination of what are now standards, such as "Goodnight My Someone" and "Till There Was You" and show-specific numbers ("Trouble," "76 Trombones"), is never less than infectious. This dazzling special edition is also as bright and sunny as any 4th of July in Iowa could ever hope to be. --Robert Windeler

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
230 of 237 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahhhhh, widescreen! And lots of additional goodies! April 26, 2000
Format:DVD
Looking for the musical that beat WEST SIDE STORY for the Tony Award? You've found it here, in Meredith Willson's THE MUSIC MAN -- and its appearance on DVD, in widescreen format and with all the bells and whistles, is long overdue.
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.
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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray - so good and yet so bad... February 4, 2010
By Rick
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The previous DVD releases of The Music Man were basically OK in terms of sound, color, brightness, and contrast. But MY! Did they ever mess up the picture with edge enhancement! I don't mean just a little ghost line to the right, but also to the left. At times, the "enhancement" made it difficult to make out facial details on a large-screen TV. My guess is that it was transferred using a 19" monitor from a distance of a couple of feet, where the enhancement wouldn't be as noticeable.

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.
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105 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Use the think system! It really works! May 6, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I love this movie. As silly as it is -- a goofy plot, absurd over-the-top characters, the wacky "think system" -- it is just a whole lot of fun. Robert Preston sparkles as the fly-by-night con artist/salesman who just happens this time to get his foot caught in the door, and who better to catch that foot than Shirley Jones, who is as beautiful and talented a leading lady as has ever graced a big screen musical. Ron Howard is as funny as a kid can be in the movies, and the music will stay with you long after the movie is over.
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.
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun. Right Here in River City March 17, 2003
Format:DVD
Professor Harold Hill makes his living conning small town residence by telling them he's going to start a boys' band then leaving with their money before the promised direction begins. Taking an unintended challenge, he gets off in River City, Iowa. While the locals at first appear cold, his charm soon changes their minds. Or almost all of them. Marion, the local librarian and piano teacher, is convenienced that the professor isn't all he claims to be. Meanwhile, Harold has set his sites on wooing the spinster librarian. Will he win her heart or hurt her? Will the townspeople find out the truth, or will this encounter change everyone for the better?
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic familiy hit
It's an oldie but a goodie. I enjoyed watching it now more than I did as a child as more of the adult subtleties were apparent this time around. (One would hope so, right?)
Published 12 hours ago by Just Fine
5.0 out of 5 stars For my Godson with Downs Syndrome---
Max loves music and learns very quickly anything put to music. The Music Man (original with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones) is a high energy, high value entertainment--from the... Read more
Published 16 hours ago by M. wheat
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Wholesome Musical
8 year old daughter that loves musicals enjoyed it but it wasn't as fast moving as she likes a story line to be.
Published 4 days ago by Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC WITH FAMILIAR MUSIC
Wilson's music and Preston's flamboyant portrayal are hard to resist. If you love musicals, this has to be part of your collection. Read more
Published 5 days ago by George W. Rizor Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars movies you don't see any more
very funny show reminded me of sitting around the TV with my parents long ago enjoying a very good musical well played and performed was worth buying and watching over and over... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Steve mcclain
5.0 out of 5 stars The Music Man is a great movie.
The Music Man is a wonderful movie,good story, good music, good acting. It is a movie that can be seen more than once and greatly enjoyed very time.
Published 9 days ago by Virginia
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming story.
I saw this production a few years ago and I enjoyed the music and dancing a lot, later on I saw the musical in a theater. I decided to buy this production with two others. Read more
Published 11 days ago by A. Delaspozas
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun classic
This is important just to get all the pop culture references you've been missing if you haven't seen this film!
Published 14 days ago by Jeanette M. Chicago
5.0 out of 5 stars Music Man
Another musical I can watch over and over again. Know every word to every song. Even played a part in it when I was in the musical in my local town. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Judith P. Arndt
5.0 out of 5 stars All Time Best
I purchased this DVD to replace a worn out VHS Tape. I love this "Music Man" and so does all of my family. Read more
Published 16 days ago by The Pea Pod Kid
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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
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 19 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
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