The Music Man

Factual error: Professor Harold Hill asks the mothers of River City about their sons, "Is he starting to memorize jokes from 'Captain Billy's Whiz Bang?'" While the film is set in 1912, the first issue of the pulp magazine, "Captain Billy's Whiz Bang," did not appear until 1919. "Whiz Bang" was a term coined by soldiers in World War I (commencing in 1914), which referred to a rocket that "whizzed" by and exploded with a "bang." (00:20:00)

Factual error: At the start of the movie, the train the salesmen are on travels from Brighton, Illinois to River City, Iowa. The entire time we see, through the car windows, lush, green farmland. The problem is, to get from Illinois to Iowa, one must cross the Mississippi River, which is over a mile wide, but there is never any sign of either a river or a railroad bridge.

Factual error: A poster promoting the July 4th fireworks spectacle includes an illustration of two American flags - each with 50 stars, rather than the 48 stars which they should have at the time. (00:46:40)

Continuity mistake: In the beginning when the Anvil Salesman gets on the train, he sits down, arms to the side, the camera angle changes, and his arms are immediately on his hat adjusting it. (00:03:10)

Jack's Revenge

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Mayor Shinn: It's as clear as a buttonhook in the well water.

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Trivia: Shirley Jones was pregnant during the movie. She wore a special corset to conceal this. Director Morton DaCosta did not want anyone else involved in the movie to be aware of her pregnancy. He was so successful, that it was not until the kissing scene on the bridge that Robert Preston (Harold Hill) found out, when he was shocked to feel Jones' baby kicking him in the stomach.

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Question: If the movie was supposedly taking place in Indiana, why then during town meeting to runoff the band director did Marian tell the town folks to "put aside your Iowa stubbornness"?

Answer: The movie doesn't take place in Indiana. It takes place in River City, Iowa, which is established multiple times throughout the movie.

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