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The Point


A musical fable by Harry Nilson.Music & Lyrics: Harry Nilsson; Adaptation: Ron Pember & Bernard Miles

Mermaid Theatre, London - 16th December, 1976 (Christmas season)


The round-headed Oblio has had to wear a pointed hat since birth to conceal his "pointless" condition from his pointy-headed peers. However, Oblio is accepted in the town despite his nonconformity until one day when the son of an evil Count in the land is unwittingly dishonored by Oblio. The Count's son challenges Oblio to a one-on-one game of Triangle Toss (where participants catch the triangle on their heads), which Oblio wins. In a fit of rage, the Count (who wants his son to rule the land one day) confronts the good-hearted but timid King to reaffirm the law of the land, which states that those who are pointless must be banished from the kingdom and into the Pointless Forest. A jury reluctantly convicts both Oblio and his dog Arrow (who helped him win the Triangle Toss), leaving the king no choice but to send the pair away.

Oblio and Arrow are sent to the Pointless Forest, but soon discover that even the Pointless Forest has a point. They meet curious creatures like giant bees, a "pointed man" pointing in all directions who proclaims "A point in every direction is the same as no point at all", a man made of rock, three dancing fat sisters, and the man made out of leaves who helps Oblio see that everyone has a point, though it might not be readily displayed.

Oblio and Arrow spend the night in the Pointless Forest, then awaken to a large stone hand with the finger pointing to their "destination". They take the road indicated by the hand and make their way back to the Land of Point, where they receive a hero's welcome from the land's citizens, and the King. Oblio begins to tell his story but is interrupted by the furious Count, who is then silenced by the King.

Oblio tells the King and the people of the land that everything has a point, including the Pointless Forest, and himself. Angered, the Count pulls off Oblio's pointed hat, but is taken aback when he sees a point on top of Oblio's bare head.

Upon this revelation, the points of everyone else in the land disappear, and pointed buildings become round. Oblio's cap is removed only to discover that while everyone and everything else is becoming round, he has developed a point.

Musical Numbers

  1. Overture – Orchestra
  2. Everything's Got 'Em – Company
  3. Me and My Arrow – Oblio
  4. Poli High – Company
  5. Remember – Mum
  6. To Be a King – The King and Company
  7. He's Leaving Here This Morning (Bath) – Kid, Count, Count's Lady
  8. Think About Your Troubles – Oblio and Company
  9. Blanket For a Sail – Oblio
  10. Life Line – Oblio
  11. Thursday (Here's Why I Did Not Go to Work Today) – The Rockman
  12. It's a Jungle Out There – Kid
  13. P.O.V. Waltz – Oblio and Company
  14. Are You Sleeping? (Song Title) – Oblio and Company
  15. Gotta Get Up – Oblio, Kid
  16. Reprise Overture – Orchestra


Backing vocals were provided by Anna Macleod, Richard Barnes, and Jean Gilbert.


The film version of The Point! was first broadcast on February 2, 1971, at 7:30pm on the ABC television network as an ABC Movie of the Week. The film was directed by Fred Wolf and produced by Murakami-Wolf Films in association with Nilsson House Music. In this version, there is a framing device of a father telling his son the fable as a bedtime story. In its initial airing, the voice of the father was provided by Dustin Hoffman, but for contractual reasons later airings of the film could not use Hoffman's voice and it had to be re-recorded.

Ringo Starr as Narrator/Father (home video release)
Dustin Hoffman as Narrator/Father (first telecast)
Alan Barzman as Narrator/Father (second telecast)
Alan Thicke as Narrator/Father (third telecast)
Paul Frees as Oblio's Father/Pointed Man's Right Head/King/Leaf Man/Villagers
Lennie Weinrib as Count
William E. Martin as Rock Man
Buddy Foster as Count's Son
Joan Gerber as Oblio's Mother
Mike Lookinland as Oblio