The Music Man

Synopsis: Contemporary rethinking of the legendary Broadway musical and 1962 film, updated to reflect a few early twenty-first-century sensibilities: A masterful con artist tries to bilk a staid Midwestern community, with unexpected results.
Director(s): Jeff Bleckner
  Nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 5 nominations.
150 min




River City Junction. River City, next station stop!

River City next! Board!

It's them big new department stores back East.

They let folks buy anything on credit!

If I don't give credit, I'm gonna lose customers!

You're crazy with the heat.

Credit is no good for a notion salesman.

Why not? What's the matter with credit?

It's old-fashioned.

Charlie, you're an anvil salesman, your firm give credit?

No, sir!

Nor anybody else.

Cash for the merchandise cash for the button-hooks

Cash for the cotton goods cash for the hard goods

Cash for the soft goods cash for the fancy goods

Cash for the noggins and the piggins and the firkins

Cash for the hogshead cask, and demijohn

Cash for the crackers and the pickles and the fly-paper

Look, whadayatalk, whadayatalk, whadayatalk whadayatalk, whadayatalk?



You can talk, you can talk you can bicker, you can talk

You can bicker bicker bicker, you can talk you can talk

You can talk, talk, talk talk, bicker, bicker, bicker

You can talk all you wanna but it's different than it was

No it ain't, no it ain't but you gotta know the territory



Why it's the Model T Ford made the trouble made the people wanna go

Wanna git, wanna git wanna git up and go

Seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve, fourteen, twenty-two

Twenty-three miles to the county seat

Yes, sir Yes, sir

Who's gonna patronize

A little bitty two-by-four kinda store anymore?

Whatdayatalk, whatdayatalk?


It's not the Model T at all Take a gander at the store

At the modern store At the present-day store

At the present-day modern departmentalized grocery store

Whadayatalk, whadayatalk whadayatalk, whadayatalk whadayatalk?


Whadayatalk, whadayatalk whadayatalk?


You can talk you can bicker you can talk, you can bicker

You can talk, talk, talk talk, bicker, bicker, bicker

You can talk all you wanna but it's different than it was

No it ain't but you gotta know the territory

Why, it's the Uneeda biscuit made the trouble

Uneeda, Uneeda, put the crackers in a package in a package

The Uneeda biscuit in an air-tight sanitary package

Made the cracker barrel obsolete, obsolete

Obsolete, obsolete obsolete

Cracker barrel went out the window with the Mail Pouch cut plug

Chawin' by the stove Changed the approach

Of a travelin' salesman Made it pretty hard

No it didn't, no it didn't but you gotta know the territory

Gone, gone

Gone with the hogshead cask, and demijohn

Gone with the sugar barrel pickle barrel, milk pan

Gone with the tub and the pail and the tierce

Ever meet a fellow by the name a'Hill?










Just a minute, just a minute, just a minute

Never heard a' any salesman Hill.

Now, he doesn't know the territory

Doesn't know the territory?

What's the fella's line?

Never worries 'bout his line

Never worries 'bout his line?

Or the cracker barrel bein' obsolete

Or the Uneeda biscuit in an air-tight sanitary package or the Model T Ford

Just a minute just a minute, just a minute

Never worries 'bout his line

Never worries 'bout his line?

Or a doggone thing He's just a bang beat bell-ringin' big haul

Great go, neck-or-nothin' rip-roarin'

Ever-time-a-bull's eye salesman, that's Professor Harold Hill, Harold Hill

Tell us, what's his line? What's his line?

He's a fake and he doesn't know the territory

Look, whadayatalk whadayatalk, whadayatalk whadayatalk?

He's a music man

He's a what?

He's a what?

He's a music man and he sells clarinets

To the kids in the town with the big trombones

And the ratatat drums and the big brass bass big brass bass

And the piccolo the piccolo

Uniforms too, with the shiny gold braid on the coat

And a big red stripe running...

Well, I don't know much about bands

But I do know you can't make a livin' sellin' big trombones. No, sir

Mandolin picks, perhaps, and here and there a jews-harp

No, the fella sells bands Boys' bands

I don't know how he does it

But he lives like a king

And he dallies and he gathers and he plucks and he shines

And when the man dances certainly, boys, what else?

The piper pays him Yes, sir Yes, sir

Yes, sir Yes, sir

When the man dances, certainly, boys, what else? The piper pays him

Yes, sir Yes, sir

But he doesn't know the territory!


River City! River City!

River City!

We've crossed the state line into Iowa.

River City, population 2,212.

Cigarettes illegal in this state. Board!

All right, if you're all through, I'll tell you about Harold Hill!

You really know Harold Hill?

Never saw him in my life, but I know this much,

he's giving every one of us a black eye!

After he's worked a town over, the very next salesman

automatically gets tarred and feathered,

rode out to the city limits on a rail.


You think that's funny?

Well, wait till it happens to you!

The hair never grows back.

But why should he get rode out 'a town on a rail?

Because in order to sell band instruments, and uniforms,

and instruction booklets, he has to guarantee to teach them kids to play.


And form them kids into a band, with himself as the leader!

What's wrong with that?

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Meredith Willson

Robert Meredith Willson (May 18, 1902 – June 15, 1984) was an American flautist, composer, musical arranger, bandleader and playwright, best known for writing the book, music, and lyrics for the hit Broadway musical The Music Man. He wrote three other Broadway musicals, composed symphonies and popular songs, and his film scores were twice nominated for Academy Awards. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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