03_Marian The Librarian
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Tags: 03 Marian The Librarian
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[scene opens in the River City Public Library, as young Marian Paroo (glasses, bun in her hair, yellow bowtie, long yellow and green dress) places a copy of "Indiana State Educational Journal 1890-1910" on the book elevator and sends it up, then turns around to find a row of young male patrons waiting at the front desk]
[cut to each patron placing a book in front of her, as she stamps them one after another in rhythmic fashion, until the final person simply sticks out his hand (which we accidentally stamps as well)]
HAROLD: No, it's alright ... I know everything, and it doesn't make any difference!
MARIAN: I don't know what you're talking about!
HAROLD: Mister Madison ...
[he takes her by the hand]
HAROLD: You were probably very young. Anyone can make a mistake!
[she pulls away]
[she tries to go back to work, but he follows her]
HAROLD: No apologies, no explanations ... Y'see, I'll only be in town a short while, and uh, the sadder but wiser girl for me.
MARIAN: Would you please make your selection and leave?
HAROLD: I have ...
MARIAN: What do you want to take out?
[he points at her]
HAROLD: The librarian!
[all of the patrons turn and shush him, so he shushes them back]
MARIAN: [whispers] Quiet, please!
HAROLD: [whispers] The librarian.
[she opens a book and begins writing in it, ignoring him]
HAROLD: You're not listening, Marian ... Look!
[he takes a bag out of his pocket and waves it in front of her]
HAROLD: [singing] Marrrrian!
[he points at the bag]
HAROLD: Marbles! Six steelies, eight aggies, a dozen pee-wees, and one great big glassie with an American flag in the middle ... I think I'll drop 'em!
[she grabs for them, but he pulls away, placing a finger to his lip and shushing her]
[she tries to continue ignoring him by typing at her typewriter]
HAROLD: [singing] Madam Librarrrrrian!
[he follows her, so she ducks under the desk (as if she's rearranging things there), which he counters by sneaking behind her]
HAROLD: [singing] What can I do, my dear, to catch your ear?
[she gets up to yell at him, then notices that he's behind her]
HAROLD: [singing] I love you madly madly, Madam Librarian! Marian! Heaven help us if the library caught on fire, and the Volunteer Hose Brigademen had to whisper the news to Marrrrian ...
[she gives him a dirty look, but he puts his finger to his lips again]
HAROLD: [singing] Madam Librarrr ...
[a boy and girl brings books up to the front desk, so he sneaks away while shushing them]
[Marian begins stamping their books, as Harold sneaks up behind the boy and pretends he's the one singing]
HAROLD: [singing] Rian!
[she again accidentally stamps his hand, then puts her head in her hands in frustration]
HAROLD: [singing] What can I say, my dear, to make it clear? I need you badly badly, Madam Librarian! Marian!
[she walks up to him to try and get him to stop, but he simply takes her by the hand]
HAROLD: [singing] If I stumbled and I busted my what-you-may-call-it ...
[he rubs his backside, so she pulls away her hand in disgust]
HAROLD: [singing] I could lie on your floor unnoticed, 'til my body had turned to carrrrrion ...
[she walks over to a dictionary displayed on a pedestal, but he comes over and starts spinning it around the room]
HAROLD: [singing] Madam Librarrrrrian!
[she again tries to ignore him by writing something down on a piece of paper]
HAROLD: [singing] Now in the moonlight, a man could sing it!
[he slowly closes the dictionary on her piece of paper]
HAROLD: [singing] In the moonlight ... And a fellow would know that his darling had heard every word of his song, with the moonlight helping along!
[he moves in slowly as if to kiss her, and (at first) she smiles ... but then she catches herself and runs off]
HAROLD: [singing] But when I try in here to tell you, dear, I love you madly madly, Madam Librarian! Marian!
[she runs behind the front desk, but he simply hops up and sits down on the desk]
HAROLD: [singing] It's a long lost cause I can never win, for the civilized world accepts as unforgivable sin, any talking out loud with any librarian ... such as Marrrrian!
[she pushes her off the desk]
HAROLD: [singing] Madam Librarrr ...
[she pushes him down into a chair, then puts a book in front of his face ... he takes it, but quickly puts it down to get the last syllable out]
HAROLD: [singing] Rian!
[he quickly covers his face back up with the book, as Marian storms off]
The Music Man is a 1962 musical film starring Robert Preston as Harold Hill and Shirley Jones as Marian Paroo. The film is based on the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name by Meredith Willson. The film was one of the biggest hits of the year and highly acclaimed critically.
Set in July 1912, a traveling salesman, "Professor" Harold Hill (Robert Preston), arrives in the fictional location of River City, Iowa, intrigued by the challenge of swindling the famously stubborn natives of Iowa ("Iowa Stubborn"). Masquerading as a traveling band instructor, Professor Hill plans to con the citizens of River City into paying him to create a boys' marching band, including instruments, uniforms, and music instruction. Once he has collected the money and the instruments and uniforms have arrived, he will hop the next train out of town, leaving them without their money or a band.
With help from his associate Marcellus Washburn (Buddy Hackett), who is now living in River City and is the only one who knows Hill's real name, "Gregory", Professor Hill incites mass concern among the parents of River City that their young boys are being seduced into a world of sin and vice by the new pool table in town ("Ya Got Trouble"). He convinces them that a boys' marching band is the only way to keep the boys of the town pure and out of trouble, and begins collecting their money ("76 Trombones"). Hill anticipates that Marian (Shirley Jones), the town's librarian and piano instructor, will attempt to discredit him, so he sets out to seduce her into silence. Also in opposition to Hill is the town's Mayor Shinn (Paul Ford), the owner of the billiard parlor where the new pool table has been installed, who orders the school board (portrayed by the barbershop quartet, The Buffalo Bills) to obtain Hill's credentials. When they attempt to do so, Hill avoids their questions by teaching them to sing as a barbershop quartet via "sustained talking." They are thereafter easily tricked by Hill into breaking into song whenever they ask for his credentials.
Meanwhile, Hill attempts to win the heart of Marian the librarian, who has an extreme distrust of men. His charms have little effect upon Marian ("Marian the Librarian") despite his winning the admiration of her mother ("Gary, Indiana") and his attempts to draw out her unhappy younger brother Winthrop (Ronny Howard). When Marian discovers in the Indiana Journal of Education that Hill's claim to being "Gary Conservatory, Gold Medal, Class of '05" is a lie, she attempts to present the evidence to Mayor Shinn and expose Hill as a fraud, but is momentarily interrupted by the arrival of the Wells Fargo wagon ("Wells Fargo Wagon"). When Winthrop, after years of moody withdrawal, joins in with the townspeople and speaks effusively with Marian due to the excitement at receiving his cornet, Marian begins to fall in love with Hill and subsequently hides the evidence she has uncovered from Mayor Shinn. Hill tells the boys to learn to play via the "Think System," in which they simply have to think of a tune over and over and will know how to play it without ever touching their instruments.
Meanwhile, Marian is falling more in love with Harold, and in a counterpart with The Buffalo Bills they sing "Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You". Hill's con is nearly complete; all he has to do is collect the rest of the instrument and uniform money, and he can disappear. During his meeting with Marian at the footbridge, the first time she has ever been there with a man, he learns that she knew of his deception but didn't tell because she is in love with him ("Till There Was You"). He is about to leave town when Charlie Cowell, a disgruntled anvil salesman who had been run out of Brighton, Illinois because Hill had conned the townspeople there, comes to River City and exposes Hill and his plans. Sought by an angry mob and pressed to leave town by Marcellus and Marian, Hill realizes that he is in love with Marian and can't leave River City ("Till There Was You (Reprise)"). He is captured by the mob and brought before a town meeting to be tarred and feathered. Marian defends Hill, and the townspeople, reminded of how he has brought so many of them together by his presence there, elect not to have him tarred and feathered. Mayor Shinn in response reminds the townspeople "standing there like a cote of Shropshire sheep" of how much money Hill has taken from them for instruments, uniforms, technical instruction books, and the promise of creating a boys' band. When he loudly demands to know "Where's the band?" Hill is saved by the town's boys who have learned to play Bach's Minuet in G on their instruments. Although their technical expertise leaves much to be desired, the boys' parents are enthralled. Hill remains in River City with Marian to conduct, full time, the boys' band, which eventually becomes properly trained and equipped with better quality instruments and uniforms. ("76 Trombones 2nd Reprise").
Robert Preston as Harold Hill
Shirley Jones as Marian Paroo
Buddy Hackett as Marcellus Washburn
Paul Ford as Mayor George Shinn
Hermione Gingold as Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn
Pert Kelton as Mrs. Paroo
Vern Reed as Jacey Squires
Al Shea as Ewart Dunlop
Bill Spangenberg as Olin Britt
Wayne Ward as Oliver Hix
Timmy Everett as Tommy Djilas
Susan Luckey as Zaneeta Shinn
Ronny Howard as Winthrop Paroo
Harry Hickox as Charlie Cowell
Charles Lane as Constable Locke
Adnia Rice as Alma Hix
Peggy Mondo as Ethel Toffelmier
Mary Wickes as Mrs. Squires
Sara Seegar as Maud Dunlop
Ronnie Dapo as Norbert Smith
Jesslyn Fax as Avis Grubb
Monique Vermont as Amaryllis
Percy Helton as Train Conductor (uncredited)
Rock Island – Traveling Salesmen, Ensemble
Iowa Stubborn – River City citizens, Ensemble
"Ya Got Trouble" – Robert Preston, Ensemble
Piano Lesson / If You Don't Mind My Saying So – Shirley Jones, Pert Kelton
Goodnight, My Someone – Shirley Jones
Ya Got Trouble/Seventy-six Trombones – Robert Preston, Ensemble
Sincere – Buffalo Bills
The Sadder But Wiser Girl – Robert Preston
Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little – Hermione Gingold, Biddys
Marian The Librarian – Robert Preston
Gary, Indiana – Robert Preston
Being in Love – Shirley Jones
Wells Fargo Wagon – Ensemble
Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You – Buffalo Bills, Shirley Jones
Gary, Indiana (Reprise) – Ronny Howard
Lida Rose (Reprise)
Shipoopi – Buddy Hackett, Ensemble
Till There Was You – Shirley Jones
Goodnight, My Someone – Shirley Jones, Robert Preston, Ensemble
The film won one Academy Award (Best Musical Score) and was nominated for five more (Best Picture; Best Costume (color); Best Art Direction (color); Best Film Editing; Best Sound).
Meredith Willson's musical comedy "The Music Man" (1962) reached movie theaters in June 1962, making the transition from successful Broadway play to successful motion picture. The popularity of the play enabled filmgoers to know the songs, romance, and story line of "The Music Man" long before they entered a movie theater.
The film stars Robert Preston, reprising his Broadway role as Professor Harold Hill, a traveling pitchman intnet on bilking the residents of River City, Iowa, of their cash under the guise of starting a boys' band. Hill has developed a devious near-perfect scam - he promotes the many virtues of a band, selling musical instruments and uniforms to unsuspecting parents who have high expectations of their sons' musical talent. When the instruments and uniforms arrive, he collects the cash and absconds without teaching the boys to play their new instruments.
Shirley Jones co-stars as Marian Paroo, the best-known reel librarian in twentieth century cinema - Marian the Librarian. In addition to being River City's librarian, Marian also teaches piano. She is highly suspicious of the professed talents and education of Professor Hill. A conflict between professor (who cannot "read a note of music") and librarian (whose goal is "improving River City's cultural level") is inevitable.
Harold, the essence of the perennial traveling sales (con) man, maintains that "maiden lady librarians who give piano [lessons] are a specialty of mine," but he discovers quickly during his first encounter with Marian that she is a formidable antagonist. Marian is an intelligent young woman, quite capable of holding her own with a traveling pitchman such as Harold. On his first effort to converse with her as she walks home from the library, Marian easily dismisses his worn-out cavalier attempts at conversation, and as she climbs the stairs to her home, Harold tries one more time ("I'll only be in town a short while"). Marian's caustic response, as she enters the house, is "Good!"
A charismatic individual, Harold exudes charm - he persuades Marian's mother to purchase an instrument for Winthrop (Ron Howard), Marian's younger brother, and almost sells an instrument to the mayor who - at the last moment - realizes that he doesn't have a son. When the instruments and costumes arrive, the money is collected, the last train is about to depart, and the professor is exposed as a fraud, Harold cannot leave River City; he has fallen in love with Marian. As he explains to WInthrop, "For the first time in my life, I got my foot caught in the door." In the end, it is the charm of Marian that prevails, capturing the heart of Harold and preventing him from scampering off with the money, even though the townspeople are preparing to tar and feather him. Harold stays, confronts an angry groupof residents, and with Marian's urging, directs the boys' band, which has labored two weeks with the professor's "think system" of musical instruction. The band, to the professor's disbelief, receives overwhelmingly enthusiastic accolades; all, of course, from the parents of the boys. The boys' band is a success.
In the first library scene in "The Music Man," Marian defends a classic piece of literature. Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn (Hermione Gingold), the mayor's wife, returns the "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam," complaining that it is unsuitable for her teenage daughter and insisting that the work is "dirty Persian poetry." Marian maintains that the book is a "classic," but Eulalie counters, "It's a smutty book, like most of the others you keep here." Marian suggests that Eulalie's daughter should be reading classics rather than Elinor Glyn. Eulalie, totally unaware of author Glyn, responds, "What Elinor Glyn reads is her mother's problem. Just you keep your dirty books away from my daughter." She bobs her head to conclude the conversation and leaves the library. This encounter reflects the conflicting opinions of Marian (who promotes the classics) and the social ladies of River City (who decry the classics as smut).
The second library scene is the stage for one of the film's many notable song-and-dance numbers, "Marian the Librarian." Harold, expecting to find a "sadder but wiser girl" in Marian after listening to the gossip of River City's social women, visits the library to take out "the librarian." As Harold sings, Marian performs many occupational tasks - stamping books, typing, copying from a dictionary, flipping through a card tray, and (of course) uttering the "shush," as does most everyone in this scene. Willson's lyrics include two lines that reinforce the library dictum of silence. During one energetic routine with the boys during this musical number, Marian gleefully tosses away her glasses as they dance around the library.
In a very brief third library scene, Marian stamps a book and utters a "shush," but more importantly, notices a volume of the "Indiana State Educational Journal" for the years 1890-1910. She checks Harold's professed alma mater, Gary (Indiana) Conservatory of Music, in the volume and discovers that the professor could not have been a member of the class of 1905, as the city was not founded until 1906. With these pages the mayor can prove that Harold's academic academic credentials are fraudulent. As she rushes to give the journal to the mayor, the Wells Fargo wagon arrives in River City with the band instruments. Marian's change of opinion about Harold occurs when Winthrop receives his cornet. Having exhibited antisocial behavior and seldom speaking more than "three words a day" since his father's death two years ago, Winthrop suddenly becomes happy and talkative, a complete change of personality. Marian reacts to her brother's change of behavior by tearing out the incriminating pages; without these pages, the mayor cannot expose Harold as a flimflammer. Marian, by this action, permits the professor (with his enchanting and hypnotic charm) not only to capture her heart but also to energize the imagination of the entire population of River City.
Marian, an attractive young blonde (finger waves; multiple jelly roll buns at crown), lives at home with her mother and younger brother. She dresses colorfully and fashionably in period (circa 1912) clothes throughout the film; she wears wire-rim eyeglasses only in the library, even though she reads sheet music and a newspaper in other scenes. As the only librarian in the film, her use of eyeglasses in the library is one visual characteristic that reinforces the stereotypical image. As previous female librarians, she demonstrates a keen intellect and displays the ability to best Harold.
THE MUSIC MAN
DaCosta, Morton (Director). The Music Man. United States: Warner Bros., 1962.
Starring: Shirley Jones (Marian Paroo); Robert Preston (Harold Hill)
Based on the Play: Wilson, Meredith. The Music Man. NY: Music Theatre Inc., 1957.
And Broadway Musical (1969) Starring: Barbara Cook (Marion Paroo); Robert Preston (Harold Hill)
Marian the Librarian is the first librarian character mentioned when librarians in movies are discussed. The profession is chosen because of its implication of spinsterhood and prudishness and being unconquerable by a ne'er-do-well like Harold Hill (she should be intelligent enough to see through him). Also necessary because she's an outsider who tries to bring literature ("Balzac!") to a repressed community -- unsuccessfully until she is humanized by a man and love. Librarian tasks are irrelevant except for one lively dance sequence (rubber stamps and shushing lips, **sigh**).
In 1962 a film version of the popular 1957 Broadway Musical "The Music Man" was released by Warner Brother's Pictures. The story is set in 1912 and centers around a con man, Harold Hill, who moves from place to place conning naive small towns into giving him money for a town band for youth and making off with the money before the town realizes what has happened. When Hill reaches River City he meets his match in town librarian Marian Paroo, who sees right through his schemes while he begins to fall in love with her.
The character of Marian Paroo is responible for many enduring (and some would say irritating) stereotypes about librarains, particularly female librarians. She is described as a spinster, since most of the men find her intellect intimidating and at one point another character calls her "stuck up". She wears thick dark rimmed glasses, her hair up in a bun, and very conservative professional dress.
She is constantly trying to keep her library quiet by saying "Shhhhhh!" and putting her finger to her lips. At one point, Hill attempts to woo Marian by singing "Marian the Librarian", in which he teases her for her obession with quiet in her libraray.
The idea of the shhh-ing spinster librarian with horn-rimmed glasses and a bun has endured the test of time and become commonplace in popular culture. It is now possible to purchase many products such as coffee cups, stationary, magnets, and t-shirts with Marian-esque images of librarians. One of the more humorous products to cash in on this stereotype is the Librarian Action Figure (with Amazing push button Shushing Action)!
While usually viewed as a negative sterotype, it should be noted that Marian caused some trouble herself in the "Music Man." As one of the townswomen says "She advocates dirty books." Some of the women of the town complain in the song "Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little," that Marian has allowed Chaucer, Rabelais, and Balzac to be part of the library, despite protests of the moral citizens. While she is mainly remembered for shushing, one should also remember that she was also an intellectual freedom advocate.