Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to

The Music Man

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Glorious production with gorgeous music, dancing.

Movie NR 1962 151 minutes
The Music Man Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 16+

Sexual harrassment made me uncomfortable

I grew up with the songs from the Music Man, but I regret watching the movie with my 6-year-old. Professor Harold Hill's courting of Marian amounts to sexual harrasment. The movie makes light of this harrassing behavior in the song "Marian the Librarian." Marian is called an "old maid." Then there is the song, Shipoopi. Shipoopi Lyrics: "Well, a woman who'll kiss on the very first date Is usually a hussy And a woman who'll kiss on the second time out Is anything but fussy But a woman who'll wait till the third time around Head in the clouds, feet on the ground She's the girl you're glad you found She's your shipoopi" I feel so uncomfortable as I watch, viscerally remembering times I have been sexually harrassed. This movie is part of a culture in which a man's role is to pursue, regardless of a woman's wishes, and a woman's role is to protect her virtue by rejecting a man's advances. Ick. Yuck. Also, there is a brief scene of a 4th of July pageant in which townsfolk dress in Native American costume and speak in gibberish. Wish I hadn't watched -- maybe by leaving this review I can make a small difference for another family.
age 10+
Doesn't hold up to modern rewatching; Casual racism against native americans, harassing women after being told "no", calling women "hussies" if they kiss on the first date? Not something I'd wanna share with kids. And "Shipoopi" is a terrible ******* song.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (12 ):

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.

Movie Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate