'76 Trombones' on the Fourth

BY ALEC GLUESING | JULY 02, 2015 5:00 AM

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Picture Show: The Music Man, FilmScene, 10 a.m. Fourth of July

Directed by Morton DaCosta

Admission: $2.50

Kids (and parents) may need a breather after the Picture Show’s spine-tingling Roar screening last week, and this classic 1962 movie musical should do just the trick for a cheerful Independence Day morning distraction.

The Music Man, adapted from Meredith Willson’s 1957 Broadway musical, paints the picture of a hot 1912 July in River City, Iowa (inspired by Mason City). A hunky Robert Preston plays Harold Hill, charismatic traveling conman and the titular Music Man. 

Posing as an accomplished bandleader, Hill persuades the citizens of River City to buy their children expensive marching-band equipment in order to stay out of trouble. Complicating his scheme is the levelheaded Marian (Shirley Jones), the River City librarian and the only person in town who sees through Hill’s lies. 

Predictable ’50s-era gender roles and whitewashed casting will undoubtedly date The Music Man for some, but on the whole, this is innocent, charming family entertainment with a classic American musical soundtrack.

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