A simple spectrophotometric method has been developed for the determination of propranolol hydrochloride in pure as well as in dosage forms. The method is based on the oxidative coupling reaction with 3-methylbenzothiazoline-2-one hydrazone. A mixture of an acidic solution of the chromogenic agent and the drug upon treatment with ceric ammonium sulfate produces an orange color peaking at 496 nm. The absorbance-calibration plot was linear over the range 1-10 microg/ml with minimum detectability (S/N=2) of 0.1 microg/ml (3.38x10(-7) M). The molar absorbitivity was 3.195x10(3) l/M/cm with correlation coefficient (n=10) of 0.9999. The different experimental parameters affecting the development and stability of the color were carefully studied and optimized. The proposed method was applied successfully to the determination of propranolol in its dosage forms. A proposal of the reaction pathway was presented.