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)

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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.

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Revealing mistake: At a certain point we see the arid, dry Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles in the upper left of the picture with a huge high-tension electrical tower at the summit. The film is set in 1912 in Iowa, a green, rainy state which is also completely flat, with no mountains, due to glaciation in the last ice age. Then again, we see the arid, dry Santa Monica Mountains in the upper right. (00:08:27)

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Mayor Shinn: You watch your phraseology.

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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: In the song sequence "Marian the Librarian", anyone know what she says? This couple is on the wall, reaching out for each other, and then Marian yells something that sounds like "Toby!" or something. Can anyone verify what she says?

Answer: In the dance sequence (currently up on YouTube), it wasn't Marion calling out, it's Zaneeta Shin calling out to her boyfriend Tommy who is about to fall. She calls out his name, "TOMMY!!" It's a "looped" vocal and was added after the film, hence no lips are moving when she calls out his name.

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