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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The joys and transformative powers of music are discussed through action, dialogue, and song. Con-artist characters learn to value honesty and love over greed and manipulation. Themes include compassion and integrity.
Positive Role Models
Professor Harold Hill, initially a scoundrel, grows to value honesty and love over dishonesty and manipulation. Marian Paroo is a librarian determined to uphold culture in a town that sees it as vaguely evil and distasteful. The adults, teens, and children of River City, Iowa, grow to see the transformative powers of music in their day-to-day lives.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
An older woman laments the "smutty books" in the library. Harold's song about the "Sadder but Wiser Girl for Me" describes (in G-rated terms) his preference for women with some sexual experience.
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Very tame references to "smutty books." A man is referred to as a "common masher." "Hell."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's not much that's objectionable for kids in this classic musical The Music Man. There's oblique speculation by the "Pick a Little, Talk a Little" ladies and by Harold and Marcellus about why the elderly gentleman donated the library building to the city but left the books to Marian, as well as criticism of the "raciness" of the books she recommends. Harold's song about the "Sadder but Wiser Girl for Me" describes (in G-rated terms) his preference for women with some sexual experience. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Robert Preston brought his award-winning performance as Harold Hill on Broadway to the screen in this impeccable film, perfect in every detail. In addition to the glorious production, with some of the most gorgeous music and dancing ever filmed, there is a fine story with appealing characters in The Music Man. Marian learns about the importance of dreams from Harold, and he learns about the importance of responsibility from her.
Marian is eventually able to see through Hill's fake exterior and recognizes the positive effect he has on people such as Winthrop and herself. When Harold realizes Marian can love him in spite of his past, for the first time he's able to move on from the notion of himself as a thief and a liar. Each finds the core of the other, allowing both of them to heal and take the risk necessary to make their dreams come true. And, because this is a musical, they live happily ever after.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.