'The Music Man' marches into town on Region free Blu-ray with a bright and colourful 1080p VC1 transfer framed in the widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio.
There's a general warmth to the colour, which looks good and fits in with the happy feel of the movie. As the band appear in their uniforms in the finale, the bright scarlets leap off the screen. The image is sharp and detailed with great depth, most noticeable in the marching band street scenes. There's a hint of grain over the wooden toy soldiers main title sequence, but it is tamed afterwards. Contrast is good throughout, although occasionally I felt that blacks weren't as deep as they might be in some night shots. The only other niggle I noticed was a bit of 'cross colour' or moiré patterning on the suit of a townsman. That said, this is one very good looking transfer with no hint of over sharpening or DNR to spoil it. Good job Warners!
The audio on 'The Music Man' has been remixed into DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround from its original stereo soundtrack and it sounds very good indeed. The full width of the front soundstage is utilised by the musical numbers and there's very little use of the rears, but the subwoofer just adds the right amount of bass to produce a full bodied sound. It seemed to me as if the treble had been filtered, perhaps to remove some hiss, so it did sound a tiny bit compressed and therefore lacking the overall range of a modern DTS-HD original mix - but for a film released in 1962, it's great.
You do notice a slight change in reverb as the musical numbers kick in, but hey what's new? The songs are brilliant.
The dialogue is clear throughout and there's nothing else to spoil the fun. Just sit back, relax and enjoy it.
Bonus material is a bit thin on the ground with 'The Music Man' but we do get some nice stuff that was produced for an earlier DVD release. We could have done with more.
- Introduction by Shirley Jones (SD, 2 mins)
Exactly as it says on the tin, filmed in 1998, we hear that Shirley enjoyed making the film.
- Right Here in River City: The Making of 'The Music Man' (SD, 22 mins)
Shirley Jones introduces this interesting featurette which takes us back to 'The Music Man's' roots with Meredith Wilson's original idea based on Mason City, Iowa through the Broadway production and on to Warner Bros picking up the rights for a movie.
Some remaining cast members including Buddy Hackett as well as choreographer Onna White fill in the background details on the production.
- Trailer (SD, 1 min)
We're given the all too short trailer that was issued for the re-release of the movie, complete with print scratches and dirt.
With a baton twirl and a flourish 'The Music Man' marches on to Region free Blu-ray with a fine looking 1080p VC1 transfer framed in the widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio. It's big, it's bold, it's colourful with a sharp and detailed image that has a nice warmth about it. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track brings out the best in the catchy, rousing musical numbers while dialogue is clear throughout.
The extras consist of a featurette, trailer and introduction from Shirley Jones.
The main feature is solid gold with excellent performances by Robert Preston and Shirley Jones in the tale of a conman who starts a marching band in Iowa. Forget the story, it's the songs that really matter and they're performed here to perfection in HD.
Watch it tonight.
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