The Music Man
One cannot say this is the best movie musical, which is to say it transcends Singin’ in the Rain, indeed one cannot say anything at all about it, because it leaves one speechless, or because one can’t explain why, but one believes it is.
Is it because of some simple congruence of matter and method, some America put on to amuse itself awhile, the blistering tricks, the stern musical style executed with precision and levity, the charming tunes and witty lyrics (best since Loesser)?
It’s just a little story Twain tells in passing, of two traveling salesmen overheard on a train, comparing notes, that’s what it is.
And of course Robert Preston is wonderful, too. Probably this is the most musical of all musicals by the nature of it, it accomplishes a great deal without looking labored at all.