Con man in the guise of a traveling salesman gets off the train in River City, Iowa. After hearing about plans to build a pool hall, he argues it would be the gateway to hell for the young, impressionable males of the town. He then convinces the River Cityzens to look toward the future of the community and finance a wholesome children's marching band. Although the huckster plans to take their money and run before the instruments arrive, his feelings for the town librarian cause him to think twice about fleeing the Heartland. This isn't just a slice of Americana; it's a whole pie. Acting and singing are terrific "with a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and that stands for" Preston, who epitomizes the charismatic pitchman.
Time-Life Video and Television, 1450 Palmyra Ave., Richmond, VA 23227-4420, Phone: (804)266-6330, Toll-free: 800-950-7887, Fax: (757)427-7905
Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 151 minutes.
Oscars 1962: Adapt. Score; Golden Globes 1963: Film--Mus./Comedy, Natl. Film Reg. 2005.
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