Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Music Man (1962)

6 Nominations, 1 Win

Win: Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment - Ray Heindorf
Nomination: Best Picture - Morton Da Costa
Nomination: Best Film Editing - William H. Ziegler
Nomination: Best Art Direction, Set Decoration, Color - Paul Groesse and George James Hopkins
Nomination: Best Costume Design, Color - Dorothy Jeakins
Nomination: Best Sound - George Groves (Warner Bros. SSD)

After making my way through the occasional discomfort and less than occasional boredom of Flower Drum Song, it was a relief to watch a musical that I could enjoy without any question or hesitation.  The Music Man is one of those movies that I had somehow never seen, despite the fact that I grew up watching musicals, so when it was shown on Turner Classic Movies, I took the opportunity to end my ignorance toward one of the most popular American film musicals.

There's not much I didn't love about The Music Man.  Based on Meredith Wilson's stage musical, there were probably half a dozen times during the film that I exclaimed "THIS song comes from The Music Man?!"  While there are some relatively standard (though still wonderful) songs such as "Till There Was You" and "Goodnight, My Someone," Meredith Wilson was a truly unique composer, with songs like "Seventy-six Trombones" defying all conventions of meter and rhythm.  I loved Robert Preston in the lead role of Harold Hill, as he can deliver these deliver songs with amazing diction and style.

The Music Man is a big, brassy musical, full of lasting songs, memorable contributions by several character actors, and a killer lead performance from Robert Preston.  It's a joy to watch and does not feel the least bit dated.  I imagine in the future I will be returning to The Music Man often.

Remaining: 3154 films, 872 Oscars, 5415 nominations

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