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The Music Man
TheMusicManPoster.jpg
Original Broadway Poster
Music Meredith Willson
Lyrics Meredith Willson
Book Meredith Willson
Productions 1957 Broadway
1980 Broadway revival

2000 Broadway revival

Awards Tony Award for Best Musical

The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson. The show is based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys' band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naive townsfolk before skipping town with the cash. In River City, Iowa, prim but progressive Marian the librarian sees through him, but when Hill helps her younger brother, Marian begins to fall in love with Harold. Harold, in turn falling for Marian, risks being caught to win her.

In 1957, the show became a hit on Broadway, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and running for 1,375 performances. The cast album won the first Grammy Award for "Best Original Cast Album". The show's success led to revivals and a popular 1962 film adaptation and a 2003 television remake. It frequently is produced by both professional and amateur theater companies.

Contents

Background

Meredith Willson was inspired by his boyhood in Mason City, Iowa, in writing and composing his first musical, The Music Man.[1] He first approached producers Cy Feuer and Ernest Martin for a television special, and then MGM producer Jesse L. Lasky. After these and other unsuccessful attempts, Willson invited Franklin Lacey to help him edit and simplify the libretto. At this time, Willson considered eliminating a long piece of dialogue about the serious trouble facing River City parents. Willson realized it sounded like a lyric, and transformed it into the now-famous song, "Ya Got Trouble".[2]

The character, Marian Paroo, was inspired by Marian Seeley of Provo, Utah, who met Willson during World War II, when Seeley was a medical records librarian.[3] In the original production (and the film), the School Board was played by the 1950 International Quartet Champions of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA),[4] the Buffalo Bills. Robert Preston claimed that he got the role of Harold Hill despite his limited singing range because, when he went to audition, they were having the men sing "Trouble". The producers felt it would be the most difficult song to sing, but with his acting background, it was the easiest for Preston.[citation needed]

Productions

After years of development, a change of producers, almost forty songs (twenty-two were cut), and more than forty drafts, the original Broadway production, directed by Morton DaCosta and choreographed by Onna White, opened on December 19, 1957 at the Majestic Theatre. It won five Tony awards, including Best Musical, even beating out West Side Story.[5] It remained at the Majestic for nearly three years before transferring to The Broadway Theatre to complete its 1,375-performance run. The original cast included Robert Preston (who went on to reprise his role in the 1962 screen adaptation) as Harold Hill, Barbara Cook as Marian, and Eddie Hodges as Winthrop, with Pert Kelton, David Burns and Iggie Wolfington in supporting roles. Eddie Albert and Bert Parks each replaced Preston later in the run.

Dick Van Dyke on the 1980 Playbill

After eight previews, the first Broadway revival, directed and choreographed by Michael Kidd, opened on June 5, 1980, at the New York City Center, where it ran for 21 performances. The cast included Dick Van Dyke as Hill, Meg Bussert as Marian, and Christian Slater as Winthrop.

After twenty-two previews, the second Broadway revival, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, opened on April 27, 2000 at the Neil Simon Theatre, where it ran for 699 performances. The cast included Craig Bierko (making his Broadway debut) as Hill and Rebecca Luker as Marian. Robert Sean Leonard and Eric McCormack portrayed Hill later in the run.

Willson recorded his trials and tribulations in getting the show to Broadway in his book But He Doesn't Know The Territory.

In 2008, there was a revival of the show at the Chichester Festival Theatre, England. This starred Brian Conley as Professor Harold Hill and Scarlett Strallen as Marian Paroo. This opened to critical acclaim and was nominated for the Whatsonstage.com award for Best Regional Production.

In 1987, a Chinese translation of the musical was staged at Beijing's Central Opera Theater.[6]

Synopsis

Act One

It is the year 1912. On a train leaving Rock Island, Illinois, Charlie Cowell and other travelling salesmen in the car begin a heated argument about credit ("Rock Island"). Charlie and another salesman tell the others about a con man known as "Professor" Harold Hill, whose scam is to convince parents he can teach their musically disinclined children to play musical instruments. On the premise that he will form a band, he takes orders for instruments and uniforms. But once the instruments arrive and are paid for he skips town without forming the band, moving on before he is exposed.[7] The train arrives in River City, Iowa, and a stranger on the train stands up and declares, "Gentlemen, you intrigue me. I think I shall have to give Iowa a try." He picks up his suitcase clearly labelled "Professor Harold Hill," and exits the train.

The townspeople of River City describe their reserved, "chip-on-the-shoulder attitude" ("Iowa Stubborn"). Harold discovers that an old friend, Marcellus, has "gone legitimate" and now lives in town. Marcellus tells Harold that Marian Paroo, the librarian who gives piano lessons, is the only one in town who knows about music. Marcellus informs him that a new pool table was just delivered to the town's local billiard parlor, and as a part of his scheme, Harold convinces River City parents of the "Trouble" that will be caused by that pool table. Harold follows Marian home and attempts to flirt with her, but she pays no attention to him. At home, Marian gives a piano lesson to a little girl named Amaryllis while arguing with her mother, Mrs. Paroo, about her "standards where men are concerned" after telling Mrs. Paroo that a stranger followed her home ("Piano Lesson/If You Don't Mind My Saying So"). Marian's self-conscious, lisping younger brother Winthrop arrives home, and Amaryllis, who secretly likes him but makes fun of his lisp, asks Marian who she should say goodnight to on the evening star since she doesn't have a sweetheart. Marian tells her to just say goodnight to her "someone" ("Goodnight, My Someone").

The next day is Independence Day, and Mayor Shinn is leading the morning festivities in the high school gym, with the help of his wife, Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn ("Columbia, Gem of the Ocean"). After Tommy Djilas, a boy from the wrong side of town, sets off a firecracker, interrupting the proceedings, Harold takes the stage and announces to the townspeople that he will prevent "sin and corruption" from the pool table by forming a boys' band. He soon excitedly leads them with "Seventy-Six Trombones". Mayor Shinn, who owns the billiard parlor, tells the bickering school board to get Harold's credentials, but Harold teaches them to sing as a Barbershop Quartet instead ("Ice Cream/Sincere"). Harold also sets up Zaneeta, the mayor's oldest girl, with Tommy, and persuades Tommy to become his assistant. Marian then rejects Harold again, and he explains to Marcellus that "The Sadder But Wiser Girl" is the one he wants. The town ladies are very excited about the band and the ladies' dance committee Harold plans to form. He asks them about Marian, and they intimate to him - falsely - that she had an inappropriate relationship with deceased old miser Madison, who gave the town the library, but left all the books to her. They also warn Harold that she advocates the "dirty books" ("Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little"). The school board arrives to collect Harold's credentials, but he leads them in singing "Goodnight, Ladies" and slips away.

The next day, Harold walks into the library, but Marian ignores him yet again. He declares his unrequited love for her, leading the teenagers in the library in dance ("Marian the Librarian"). For a moment, Marian forgets her decorum and dances with Harold. He kisses her, and she tries to slap him. He ducks, and she hits Tommy Djilas instead. With Tommy's help, Harold signs up all the boys in town to be in his band, including Winthrop. Mrs. Paroo likes Harold and tries to find out why Marian is not interested. Marian describes her ideal man ("My White Knight"). She tries to give Mayor Shinn evidence against Harold that she found in the Indiana State Educational Journal, but they are interrupted by the arrival of the "The Wells Fargo Wagon", which delivers the band instruments. When Winthrop forgets to be shy and self-conscious because he is so happy about his new cornet, Marian begins to fall in love with Harold. She tears the incriminating page out of the Journal before giving the book to Mayor Shinn.

Act Two

The ladies rehearse their classical dance in the school gym while the school board practices their quartet ("It's You") for the ice cream social. Marcellus and the town's teenagers interrupt the ladies' practice, taking over the gym as they dance the "Shipoopi". Harold grabs Marian to dance with her, and all the teenagers join in. Regarding Winthrop's cornet, Marian later questions Harold about his claim that "you don't have to bother with the notes". He explains that this is what he calls "The Think System", and he arranges to call on Marian to discuss it. The town ladies ask Marian to join their dance committee, since she was "so dear dancing the Shipoopi" with Professor Hill ("Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little" (reprise)). They have reversed their opinions about her books, and they eagerly tell her that "the Professor told us to read those books, and we simply adored them all!"

That night, the school board tries to collect Harold's credentials again, but he gets them to begin singing "Lida Rose" and slips away. Marian, meanwhile, is sitting on her front porch thinking of Harold, and, in counterpoint, asks herself, "Will I Ever Tell You?". Winthrop returns home after spending time with Harold and tells Marian and Mrs. Paroo about Harold's hometown, "Gary, Indiana". As Marian waits alone for Harold, Charlie Cowell enters with evidence against Harold, hoping to tell Mayor Shinn. He has to leave on the next train, but stops to flirt with Marian. She tries to delay him so he doesn't have time to deliver the evidence, eventually kissing him. As the train whistle blows, she pushes him away. Charlie angrily tells Marian that Harold has a girl in "every county in Illinois, and he's taken it from every one of them – and that's 102 counties!"

Harold arrives, and after he reminds her of the untrue rumors he's heard about her, she convinces herself that Charlie invented everything he told her. They agree to meet at the footbridge, where Marian tells him the difference he's made in her life ("Till There Was You"). Marcellus interrupts and tells Harold that the uniforms have arrived. He urges Harold to take the money and run, but Harold refuses to leave, insisting, "I've come up through the ranks... and I'm not resigning without my commission". He returns to Marian, who tells him that she knows he's a fraud, but she still loves him. (He said he was a graduate of Gary Conservatory, Gold-Medal Class of '05, but the town wasn't even built until '06!) Harold walks her home, and she sings "Goodnight my Someone" while he sings "Seventy-Six Trombones". Harold realizes that he is in love with Marian, and each sings the other's song.

Meanwhile, Charlie Cowell, who has missed his train, arrives at the ice cream social and denounces Harold Hill as a fraud. The townspeople begin an agitated search for Harold. Winthrop is heartbroken and tells Harold that he wishes Harold never came to River City. But Marian tells Winthrop that she believes everything Harold ever said, for it did come true in the way every kid in town talked and acted that summer. She and Winthrop urge Harold to get away. He chooses to stay and tells Marian that he never really fell in love "Till There Was You" (reprise) as the constable handcuffs Harold and leads him away.

Mayor Shinn is leading a meeting in the high school gym to decide what to do with Harold, asking, "Where's the band? Where's the band?" Tommy enters as a drum major, followed by the kids in uniform with their instruments. Marian urges Harold to lead the River City Boys' Band in Beethoven's Minuet in G; despite a limited amount of traditional quality, the parents in the audience are nonetheless enraptured by the sight of their little boys playing music. The play ends as Harold is released into Marian's arms.

Musical numbers

Act 1
  • "Rock Island" - Charlie Cowell and Traveling Salesmen
  • "Iowa Stubborn" - Townspeople of River City
  • "(Ya Got) Trouble" - Harold Hill and Townspeople
  • "Piano Lesson" - Marian Paroo, Mrs. Paroo and Amaryllis
  • "Goodnight, My Someone" - Marian
  • "Seventy-six Trombones" - Harold, Boys and Girls
  • "Sincere" - Quartet (Olin Britt, Oliver Hix, Ewart Dunlop, Jacey Squires)
  • "The Sadder-But-Wiser Girl" - Harold, Marcellus Washburn
  • "Pickalittle (Talk-a-Little)" - Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn, Maud Dunlop, Ethel Toffelmier, Alma Hix, Mrs. Squires and Ladies of River City
  • "Goodnight Ladies" - Quartet
  • "Marian The Librarian" - Harold, Boys and Girls
  • "My White Knight" - Marian
  • "The Wells Fargo Wagon" - Winthrop Paroo, Townspeople
Act 2
  • "It's You" - The Quartet, Eulalie, Maud, Ethel, Alma and Mrs. Squires
  • "Shipoopi" - Marcellus, Harold, Marian and townspeople
  • "Pickalittle (Talk-a-Little)" (reprise) - Eulalie, Maud, Ethel, Alma, Mrs. Squires and Ladies
  • "Lida Rose" - Quartet
  • "Will I Ever Tell You" - Marian
  • "Gary, Indiana" - Winthrop
  • "It's You" (reprise) - Townspeople, Boys and Girls
  • "Till There Was You" - Marian, Harold
  • "Seventy Six Trombones" (reprise) - Harold and Marian
  • "Goodnight, My Someone" (reprise)- Marian and Harold
  • "Till There Was You" (reprise)- Harold
  • "Finale" - Company
Notes: "Lida Rose" and "Will I Ever Tell You", sung first separately and then simultaneously, are examples of Broadway counterpoint – songs with separate lyrics and separate melodies that harmonize and are designed to be sung together. Similarly, "Goodnight, My Someone" is the same tune, in waltz time, as the march-tempo "Seventy-six Trombones". Willson's counterpoint, along with two counterpoint song pairs from Irving Berlin musicals, are lampooned in the 1959 musical Little Mary Sunshine, where three counterpoint songs are combined: "Playing Croquet," "Swinging" and "How Do You Do?"
In the 2000 revival, "Gary, Indiana" is sung in Act 1 by Harold and Mrs. Paroo, with Winthrop singing a reprise of it in Act 2.

Characters

Main characters

  • Prof. Harold Hill — a con man and traveling salesman who tries Iowa after saturating Illinois; falls for Marian
  • Marian Paroo — the town librarian and part-time piano teacher; eventually falls for Harold Hill
  • Marcellus Washburn — Harold's old friend, no longer a con man, who's dating his boss's niece, Ethel Toffelmier
  • Mayor George Shinn — a proud local politician prone to saying nonsensical phrases, tries to control town but can't even control his own family, unlike most of the townspeople he never falls for Hill's scam; he is the main antagonist
  • Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn — the mayor's wife; a grand dame whom Harold appoints head of the "Ladies' Auxiliary Society for the Classic Dance"
  • Mrs. Paroo — Marian's Irish mother
  • Winthrop Paroo — Marian's shy, lisping brother who hardly ever talks since the death of his father

Secondary characters

  • The Barbershop Quartet — four bickering businessmen and school board members united by Harold (Olin Britt, Oliver Hix, Ewart Dunlop and Jacey Squires)
  • Pickalittle Ladies — Eulalie's four gossipy friends, Alma Hix, Mrs. Squires, Ethel Toffelmier and Maud Dunlop
  • Charlie Cowell — an anvil salesman who tries to expose Prof. Harold Hill as a con man
  • Tommy Djilas — a young man "from the wrong side of town" who is secretly seeing Zaneeta Shinn; Harold encourages their relationship and makes him assistant band leader
  • Zaneeta Shinn — the mayor's oldest daughter; secretly seeing Tommy Djilas
  • Constable Locke — the town sheriff
  • Amaryllis — Marian's young piano student
  • Gracie Shinn — the mayor's youngest daughter

Setting

The play's fictional setting, "River City, Iowa", is based in large part on Willson's own birthplace, Mason City, Iowa; many of the play's character types are lifted from Mason City. The "river" in River City is probably the Mississippi, near Davenport, Iowa: the Rock Island conductor's announcing "River City, Ioway! Cigarettes illegal in this state" implies crossing the Mississippi from Rock Island, Illinois, into Iowa at Davenport or thereabouts.

The character of Mayor Shinn indicates that the year is 1912, but the song "Trouble" contains references to both Captain Billy's Whiz Bang, a monthly humor magazine that didn't begin publication until October 1919, and the nonalcoholic "near-beer" Bevo, which was first produced in 1916. Additionally, Harold Hill tells Marian that he is expecting a telegram from Hector Berlioz, a composer who died in 1869.

The two Paroo children, Marian and Winthrop, were named after towns in eastern Iowa, the former now a suburb of Cedar Rapids.[citation needed]

Recordings

The first recording of "Till There Was You" was released before the original cast album version. Promotional copies of the 45 rpm single, Capitol P3847, were released on November 26, 1957, even before the Broadway production had premiered. Produced by Nelson Riddle, it featured his orchestra and 17-year-old vocalist Sue Raney.

The original cast recording was released by Capitol Records on January 20, 1958 in stereophonic & monaural versions and held the #1 spot on the Billboard charts for twelve weeks, remaining on the charts for a total of 245 weeks. The cast album was awarded "Best Original Cast Album" at the first Grammy Awards ceremony in 1958 and was inducted in 1998 as a Grammy Hall of Fame Award winner.[8]

"Till There Was You" was covered by the Beatles on their 1963 LP With the Beatles (Meet the Beatles! in the United States). Willson's widow later told the New York Times that his estate made more money from the royalties of the Beatles' cover of "Till There Was You" than it did from the play.

Adaptations

The film version, again starring Preston, with Shirley Jones as Marian, was released in 1962.

The success of the 2000 revival prompted a 2003 television movie starring Matthew Broderick as Hill and Kristin Chenoweth as Marian, with Victor Garber, Debra Monk, and Molly Shannon in supporting roles.

Response

Awards and nominations

2000 revival cast recording
1958 Tony Award nominations
1958 Theatre World Award
1959 Tony Award nominations
1981 Theatre World Award
  • Theatre World Award – Meg Bussert (WINNER)
2000 Tony Award nominations
2000 Theatre World Award
  • Theatre World Award – Craig Bierko (WINNER)
2000 Drama Desk Award nominations
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical – Produced by Dodger Theatricals (Des McAnuff, Michael David, Rocco Landesman, Doug Johnson, Robin De Levita, Ed Strong, Sherman Warner), The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Elizabeth Williams, Anita Waxman, Kardana-Swinsky Productions, Lorie Cowen Levy, Dede Harris
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical – Craig Bierko
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical – Rebecca Luker
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography – Susan Stroman
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical – Susan Stroman
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations – Doug Besterman
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design of a Musical – Thomas Lynch
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design – William Ivey Long

Critical Reception

The New York Times' theatre critic Brooks Atkinson wrote in his review of the musical's opening night, "If Mark Twain could have collaborated with Vachel Lindsay, they might have devised a rhythmic lark like The Music Man, which is as American as apple pie and a Fourth of July oration.... The Music Man is a marvelous show, rooted in wholesome and comic tradition."[9] Though West Side Story had opened nearly three months earlier, The Music Man managed to capture audiences, critics, and five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

In popular culture

The Music Man's popularity has led to its being mentioned, quoted, parodied or pastiched in a number of media, including television, films and popular music.

Television

The Music Man has been parodied in a number of TV shows, including The Simpsons episode "Marge vs. the Monorail", written by Conan O'Brien (who also sang a version of "Trouble" at the 2006 Emmy Awards). At some point during the second Broadway revival, O'Brien was approached about playing the role of Harold Hill for a brief run, but he ultimately could not fit it into his schedule. He says, on the DVD commentary track for the aforementioned Simpsons episode, that it was the hardest choice he's ever had to make professionally, because The Music Man is one of his favorites. O'Brien did, however, as host of the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, sing a parody version of "Trouble" in his opening monologue targeting NBC and their slide in the ratings.

The television program Family Guy has parodied the musical at least twice. In the episode "Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows", Lois chastises Brian's high standards in a spoof of Mrs. Paroo and Marian in "Piano Lesson". In another episode, "Patriot Games", Peter showboats after scoring a touchdown by leading a stadium full of people in a rendition of "Shipoopi", complete with choreography from the film. In Episode 22 of Boston Legal, "Men to Boys", Alan Shore sings a parody of the song "Trouble" to convince patrons of a restaurant not to eat the salmon. In an episode of The Nanny, Fran goes to her high school reunion, where one of her friends' dates sings "Seventy-six Trombones".[citation needed] Several Music Man songs were used in Ally McBeal, for example in the season 2 episode "Sex, Lies and Politics" in which lawyer John Cage spurs the jury into singing "Ya Got Trouble" with him. In the season 5 Angel episode, "Destiny", Eve says, "we've got trouble with a capital T, that rhymes with P, that stands for prophecy". In the season 6 episode of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', "Once More With Feeling" Spike mentions "76 bloody trombones".

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has numerous times referred to Fox News TV host Glenn Beck as "Harold Hill" on the air. The villain Music Meister uses a Harold Hill-style band costume among his many on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Film

The 1960 film The Apartment makes mention of the musical. Jack Lemmon's character is given tickets to the show but his stood up at the Majestic Theatre. In The Wedding Singer, Robbie teaches Rosie to sing "'Til There Was You" for her 50th wedding anniversary. In Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Michele sings "The Wells Fargo Wagon".

In the documentary film Get Bruce!, about comedy writer Bruce Villanch, Villanch, Billy Crystal and composer Marc Shaiman offer humorous anecdotes about the issues involved with trying to persuade Meredith Willson's widow to allow them the right to parody the song "Trouble" for one of Crystal's Academy Award show opening skits. The 2006 mockumentary/documentary Pittsburgh centers on American actor Jeff Goldblum as he attempts to secure a green card for his Canadian actor/singer/dancer girlfriend (Catherine Wreford) by appearing with her as the leads in a summer regional theatre production in Goldblum's hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

To evoke turn of the 20th century Main Street USA at some of its theme parks around the world, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts uses songs from the show, including: "76 Trombones", "Iowa Stubborn", "Wells Fargo Wagon", and "Lida Rose".

Music

The indie pop band The Shins got its name from the fictional Shinn family. The North Iowa Band Festival in Mason City, Iowa is a yearly event celebrating music with a special emphasis on Marching Bands. Willson returned several times to his home town of Mason City during the 1950s to participate in the event, including leading the "Big Parade". The premiere of the motion picture The Music Man was held in Mason City and the Festival reflected the event with appearances by stars of the film, including Shirley Jones and Robert Preston.

References

  1. ^ Original 1962 Movie Soundtrack CD booklet
  2. ^ Bloom, Ken and Vlastnik, Frank. Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of all Time, pp. 215-16. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, New York, 2004. ISBN 1-57912-390-2
  3. ^ "A Pair of Marians". American Libraries, the journal of the American Library Association, March 2005 issue, p. 12
  4. ^ Although SPEBSQSA retains its full name for legal purposes, it is now known by its decades-old official alternate name, Barbershop Harmony Society.
  5. ^ Filichia, Peter. Let's Put on a Musical! p. 52. VNU Business Media, Inc, 1993. ISBN 0-8230-8817-0
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Willson, Meredith (1958). The Music Man G.P. Putnam Sons, New York.
  8. ^ Official Grammy Awards site (The Grammy Foundation), accessed March 9, 2008
  9. ^ Atkinson, Brooks. Review of original Broadway opening of The Music Man, The New York Times, December 20, 1957

Further reading

  • Willson, Meredith. And There I Stood With My Piccolo. Minneapolis University of Minnesota Press, originally published in 1948 (ISBN 10-083718486X 1975 reprint, Greenwood Press); 2008 (ISBN 13-978-0816667697, paperback). A memoir of Willson's early years, which inspired The Music Man.
  • Willson, Meredith. But He Doesn't Know The Territory Minneapolis University of Minnesota Press, 2009 (Putnam, 1959, ASIN: B0007E4WTO, orig. published 1957). Chronicles the making of The Music Man.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys' band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naive townsfolk before skipping town with the cash.

Contents

Harold Hill

  • "You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you're left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering."
  • "A man can't turn tail and run just because a little personal risk is involved. What did Shakespeare say? 'Cowards die a thousand deaths, the brave man... only 500'? "
  • "It means, that America has finally produced a genius who can play the minute waltz in 50 seconds!"
  • "Never allow the demands of tomorrow to interfere with the pleasure and excitement of today."

Dialogue

  • Marsellus: The billiard parlor's just put in a new pool table.
    Harold: They never had a pool table before?
    Marsellus: No, only Billiards.

Others

  • "It's Capulets like you that make blood in the market place, Ye Gods!"
    • Zaneeta Shinn
  • "You watch your phrasology!"
    • Mayor Shinn
  • "I can't believe I almost missed this oppourtunity! Wait a minute... I haven't got any son!"
    • Mayor Shinn

Songs

  • "But what the heck? You're welcome! Join us at the picnic, you can have your fill of all the food you bring yourself."
    • Iowa Stubborn
  • "All I want is a plain man
    All I want is a modest man
    A quiet man, a gentle man
    A straightforward and honest man
    to sit with me
    In a cottage
    Somewhere in the state of Iowa
    And I would like him to be
    More interested in me
    Than he is in himself
    And more interested in us
    Than in me."
    • My White Knight
  • "Trouble. I'm talkin' 'bout trouble, with a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and that stands for pool."
    • Ya Got Trouble
  • "Why sure, I'm a billiard player, certainly, I'm mighty proud to say it, always mighty proud to say it! I consider the hours that I spend with a cue in my hand are golden!It helps you cultivate a horse sense. A cool head, and a keen eye. Now folks, let me tell you what i mean. You got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 pockets on a table! Pockets that mark the difference between a gentleman and a bum! That's a capital B THat rhymes with P that stands for pool!"
    • Ya Got Trouble
  • Seventy-six trombones led the big parade.
    • Seventy-six Trombones







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