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Music Man, The (Blu-ray Review)

15 Feb, 2010 By: Mike Clark

$28.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘G.’
Stars Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett, Ron Howard.

Warner Home Entertainment didn’t pull many muscles serving up the paltry extras on its Blu-ray of 1962’s The Music Man, but this best picture Oscar nominee was shot in pristine Technirama, which means that, visually speaking, even lesser renderings invariably start a few gallops out of the gate.

Movies this stagebound are usually DOA, but Morton DaCosta (who also directed the Meredith Willson perennial on Broadway) so breathlessly paces the material that there’s barely a lag over the two-and-a-half-hour running time. A new number always seems to be within two minutes of launching, including one even the Beatles covered: “’Til There Was You.”

And the cast (with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones headlining as, respectively, con man salesman Harold Hill and Marian the Librarian) is tops down to the minor roles.

Of course, for those who resist traditional Americana and prefer the warped, there’s always the bizarre sight of future Da Vinci Code director Ron Howard (then a Ronnie) singing “The Wells Fargo Wagon” with a lisp.

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