“I always think there’s a band, kid.” – Henry Hill
Number of Times Seen – More than 10 times (video in the 80’s, 30 April 2012 and 7 Feb 2018)
Brief Synopsis – A con-man tries to work his magic on a small Iowa town where he claims to be able to create a marching band.
My Take on it – This is a film that I have seen so many times in my life because it is one of my mother’s favorite films and we use to to watch it all the time when I was a kid in the 80’s.
The songs and music are extremely memorable and I found myself singing and humming along throughout most of this film.
The problem hee is that the story itself isn’t so great and that takes away from how impactful such a film can be.
Robert Preston and Shirley Jones are great as the two leads and they have really nice chemistry together.
I have always loved seeing a very young Ron Howard in thsi film especially when he sings Gary, Indiana.
This film was nominated for 6 Oscars that year but only managed to win Best Adapted Score.
Of the 5 nominees that year, this is the weakest, but then again, it was a very strong year with Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), The Longest Day (1962) and To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) as the other contenders
Bottom Line – Movie that is much more memorable for it’s music than for the story itself. Preston and Jones are great and have nice chemistry together. Love seeing a young Ron Howard in a pivotal role. Nominated for 6 Oscars, but it is clearly one of the weakest films nominated that year.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Shirley Jones learned she was pregnant with her son Patrick once filming had begun. She met with director Morton DaCosta over lunch to inform him of the situation. Her concern was that she would begin “showing” during its filming. He assured her that they could work through it with costumes and also by filming her from the waist up, if necessary. He did have one request, that she tell no one about it. Robert Preston did figure it out before filming had concluded, when Shirley’s character, Marion, and his character, Professor Hill, kissed for the first time in the romantic footbridge scene. He leaned in for the kiss and jumped back, asking her, “What was that?” to which she replied, “That is Patrick Cassidy! Say, ‘Hello!’ ” Years later, her son Patrick had the opportunity to meet Preston. He walked up and introduced himself saying, “Hello. I’m Patrick Cassidy.” Preston replied, “Yes, I know. We’ve already met.” (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)
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Haven’t seen this film too many times – but 2 of my children have appeared in the musical stage version – my son in middle school and my daughter professionally last year in summer stock. Some beautiful songs as you said. One bit of trivia – “Til There Was You” was covered by The Beatles early in their career – sung by Paul McCartney – and became a hit single in the US. I agree too that of the 5 nominees for Best Picture in 1962 – this is definitely the weak link. It was in the waning days of big movie musicals and may have snuck in on that residual goodwill. But it had no chance amongst this competition.
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