The Music Man

A new review from The Movie Snob.

The Music Man  (B).  Greetings, loyal readers, and my apologies for the long delay since my last post.  Alas, this new review does not involve a new movie.  Last week I saw the movie of The Music Man for the first time, and I thought it was very nice.  Shirley Jones (Oklahoma!) is just beautiful as Marian the librarian.  Robert Preston (How the West Was Won) was previously unknown to me, but I thought he turned in a fine performance.  As you probably already know, the story is about a con man whose scam is to blow into a small town, puff up excitement for a new boys’ marching band, sell everyone uniforms and musical instruments, and then skip town without teaching any of the kids to play a note.  The Simpsons once did an homage to The Music Man in which the great Phil Hartman voiced a con artist whose racket was to sell monorail systems to towns that didn’t need them.  But I digress.  I liked The Music Man a lot, but it could have been improved; 2 1/2 hours is way too long, and a few of the songs are so corny that they would not be missed.  Still, I enjoyed it.

Oklahoma!

A DVD review from The Movie Snob.

Oklahoma!  (C).  Well, this 1955 musical didn’t really do it for me, as you can tell by my grade.  I’m not sure why I didn’t like it more, because the songs are undeniably catchy, and Shirley Jones (TV’s The Partridge Family) makes a very cute Laurie.  The story is paper-thin, but that’s not really a valid objection to a movie musical.  It isn’t Crime and Punishment, after all.  I think what turned me off were the several extended dance interludes, which seemed to go on forever.  The balletic dance that goes on in Laurie’s mind after she takes a whiff of the traveling salesman’s perfume was a particularly long and psychedelic sequence that went on interminably.  Still, the songs really were top-notch.  I was surprised to learn that Oklahoma! was directed by Fred Zinneman, who also directed From Here to EternityA Man for All Seasons, and High Noon.