Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Sound of Music

1965 American Feature

Cast: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn, Peggy Wood, Charmian Carr, Heather Menzies, Nicholas Hammond, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright, Debbie Turner, Kym Karath and Daniel Truhitte
Director: Robert Wise
Writer: Ernest Lehman, based on the stage musical by Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay, based on the autobiography The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria von Trapp
Songs: Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

Young postulant Maria leaves an Austrian convent to become governess to the seven children of widower Captain Von Trapp.


  • Internet Movie Database: 7.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 85% / Audience: 91%
  • OMG rating: 9/10

  • DVD/Blu-ray: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director, Scoring of Music - Adaptation or Treatment, Film Editing and Sound; also nominated for Best Actress (Andrews), Supporting Actress (Wood), Color Cinematography, Color Art Direction and Color Costume Design.
  • American Cinema Editor Eddie Award for Best Edited Feature Film.
  • BAFTA Award nomination for Best Actress (Andrews).
  • David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress (Andrews).
  • Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.
  • Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture - Musical/Comedy and Actress - Musical/Comedy (Andrews); also nominated for Best Director and Supporting Actress (Wood).
  • Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Musical.

  • Maria von Trapp's memoir, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, was first published in 1949. It was previously adapted for the screen as the 1956 West German film Die Trapp-Familie (The Trapp Family). A sequel, Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika (The Trapp Family in America), was released two years later. Von Trapp has a cameo in this film during the "I Have Confidence" number.
  • The original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, opened in 1959 and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Actress. It was Oscar Hammerstein II's last musical. The show has enjoyed numerous productions and revivals since then, including the first national tour starring Florence Henderson, a 1981 London production starring Petula Clark and a Broadway remounting in 1998 starring Rebecca Luker and Richard Chamberlain. Andrew Lloyd Webber produced a 2006 London revival which cast its lead via the TV talent show How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria?.
  • Three songs from the stage musical ("How Can Love Survive", "No Way to Stop It" and "An Ordinary Couple") were cut for the film. The songs "I Have Confidence" and "Something Good" (which replaced "An Ordinary Couple" as Maria and the Captain's love song) were written specifically for the film by Richard Rodgers. The two numbers became so popular that they have been added to most subsequent stage productions.
  • Potential Directors: Stanley Donen, George Roy Hill, Gene Kelly and William Wyler.
  • Casting Call: Fred Astaire, Anne Bancroft, Yul Brynner, Richard Burton, Leslie Caron, Veronica Cartwright, Geraldine Chaplin, Sean Connery, Bing Crosby, Kim Darby, Doris Day, Patty Duke, Richard Dreyfuss, Mia Farrow, Peter Finch, Audrey Hepburn, Shirley Jones, Grace Kelly, Jeanette MacDonald, Walter Matthau, Liza Minnelli, Kurt Russell, Sharon Tate, Lesley Ann Warren and the four eldest Osmond Brothers.
  • The house that was used as the Von Trapp home was actually owned by actress Hedy Lamarr.
  • Upon its initial release, The Sound of Music briefly displaced Gone With the Wind as the highest-grossing film of all-time. It is credited as the film that saved 20th Century Fox following the extreme financial losses incurred by 1963's Cleopatra that almost bankrupted the studio. Taking re-releases into account, it ultimately grossed $286 million internationally. Adjusted to contemporary prices it is the third highest-grossing film of all-time at the North American box office and the fifth highest-grossing film worldwide.
  • The soundtrack album on the RCA Victor label has sold over 11 million copies worldwide and has never been out of print. It was Grammy Award nominated for Album of the Year.
  • Christopher Plummer intensely disliked working on the film. He's been known to refer to it as "The Sound of Mucus" or "S&M", and likened working with Julie Andrews to "being hit over the head with a big Valentine's Day card, every day." Nontheless, he and Andrews have remained close friends ever since.
  • The Mother Abbess' oft-misheard line to Maria, "What is it you can't face?", has become an infamous meme in recent years.
  • "Sing-A-Long" Sound of Music revival screenings began in London in the late 1990s, where the audience was encouraged to sing along to lyrics superimposed on the screen. Following a successful run there, the screenings began a hit run in New York in 2000. Audiences dress in costumes based on characters (nuns, Nazis) and even song lyrics (such as "Lonely Goat Herds" and "Brown Paper Packages Tied Up in Strings") and compete in costume contests at the screenings. The revival continues to tour globally.
  • Every year starting in 2005, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles holds its own Sound of Music "sing-a-long". The real Von Trapp children and the actors who played them in the film have made appearances at the event. Fondly called "The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Prozac", the event has sold out every year since its inception. A Hollywood Bowl "sing-a-long" screening is featured as an extra on the film's two-disc DVD.
  • The "Sing-A-Long" Sound of Music was the setting of a memorable 2006 eighth season episode of Will & Grace titled "Von Trapped".
  • In 1998, The Sound of Music was ranked #55 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Movies" list.
  • In 2001, The Sound of Music was inducted into the National Film Registry.
  • In 2002, The Sound of Music was ranked #27 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Passions" list.
  • In 2004, "The Sound of Music" was ranked #10, "My Favorite Things" was ranked #64 and "Do Re Mi" was ranked #88 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Songs" list.
  • In 2006, The Sound of Music was ranked #41 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Cheers" list.
  • In 2006, The Sound of Music was ranked #4 on the American Film Institute's Greatest Movie Musicals list.
  • In 2007, The Sound of Music was ranked #40 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Movies: 10th Anniversary Edition" list.
  • Producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan brought The Sound of Music Live! to NBC in 2013. The live telecast, starring Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer, Laura Benanti, Christian Borle and Audra McDonald, was a direct adaptation of the original stage musical and not a remake of the film (although, like the film version, "Something Good" replaced "An Ordinary Couple").

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