SOUND OF MUSIC
Based on the true life story of the Trapp Family Singers, Maria
(Julie Andrews) is a spirited young Austrian woman studying to
take her religious vows. Suspecting that her true calling may lie
elsewhere, the Mother Superior (Peggy Wood) arranges for her to
leave the convent and become governess to the children of the
autocratic widower, Baron Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), who is
engaged to the Baroness Schneider (Eleanor Parker). Despite her
inexperience, Maria soon wins over the children and eventually
their father. But Nazi youths are lobbying the neighbourhood, and
the bitter winds of war are beginning to blow. The Trapp family
is faced with a choice; to stay or to leave.
"A classic for all time, Sound of Music is one of those
delightful cinematic experiences that totally captivates at each
viewing. Here is a film with real heart: itís impossible not
to be swept away by the magical spell that it weaves. From the
very first sweeping shot over the stunningly beautiful Austrian
alps to the sight of the irrepressible Julie Andrews singing the
title song, the goosebumps start tingling. Although she
didnít win the Oscar for this role, her performance is
faultless as the naÔve governess finding her direction.
Christopher Plummer and Eleanor Parker add great depth, and the
entire cast is terrific, the children enchanting. No-one can
complain that there are no singable songs here - Richard
Rodgersí melodic, wonderful music and Oscar Hammerstein
IIís bewitching and inspiring lyrics are lilting, memorable
and poignant. Sound of Music is a movie masterpiece, combining
very human elements with real life drama, romance and song. In
this digitally mastered version, the sound, colour and clarity
zings, allowing the sentiments and magic to be stored in the
video library forever."
"The old saying about truth being stranger than fiction
applies in this case: the Trapp familyís life as it
intersected with Mariaís, provided an ideal mix of romance,
drama, music and character tranformation for a musical that has a
powerful dramatic core. In this case, of course, a massive one in
the form of encroaching Nazi occupation in Europe. What writer
would today dare write a fictional screenplay for a musical with
such a backdrop? Then there is the execution of the script: as
Louise notes, the quality of talent here is awesome, and the
players and filmmakers have all come together fortuitously Ė
by accident, even, in some cases Ė to create a film that
offers insight and entertainment, drama and laughs."
Andrew L. Urban
Facts you may not
Baroness Maria von Trapp visited the film on location and can be
seen as an extra.
Nixon made her film debut in Sound of Music as Sister Sophia.
(Nixon provided singing voices for Deborah Kerr in The King &
I and for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady).
Originally, 20th Century Fox wanted Doris Day to play
Maria. But Robert Wise and screenwriter Ernest Lehman wanted
Julie Andrews after seeing just a little of Mary Poppins at the
Walt Disney Studios. Other actresses considered included Shirley
Jones, Anne Bancroft and Leslie Caron.
Bing Crosby and Yul Brynner were suggested for the role of
Captain von Trapp, but Robert Wise wanted Christopher Plummer.
Others considered were Sean Connery, Richard Burton, Peter Finch
and Walter Matthau.
* Five of
the ten Academy Award nominations were successful.
Wood, who plays Mother Abbess, had been a major stage star,
playing the lead in the original Broadway production of Naughty
Marietta in 1910. And Marni Nixon sang Climb Every Mountain for
Peggy Wood in The Sound of Music!
* In the
stage musical version, the song, My Favourite Things, is sung by
the Mother Abbess - to Maria.
songs were deleted from the stage musicals, "How Can Love
Survive?" and "No Way to Stop It". This was
because the characters who sang the song on stage were not
singing characters in the film.
Originally William Wyler was to direct The Sound of Music, but
other projects intervened. Robert Wise turned down the film three
times before agreeing to make it.
Christopher Plummer was determined to do his own singing until he
heard his voice in the playbacks. The Captainís voice heard
in the film is that of Bill Lee.
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SOUND OF MUSIC (G)
(20th Century Fox Entertainment)
CAST: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Richard Haydn, Peggy
Wood, Eleanor Parker
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Robert Wise
SCRIPT: Ernest Lehman (from the stage music)
MUSIC: Richard Rodgers
LYRICS: Oscar Hammerstein II
RUNNING TIME: 167 minutes
AWARDS: Academy Awards 1965, Best Picture, Best Director, Best
Sound, Best Scoring of a Music Adaptation, Best Film Editing
AUSTRALIAN VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox
AUSTRALIAN VIDEO RELEASE: April 8, 1998
Digitally remastered in THX for superior sound and image
Also available in widescreen format
FACTS YOU MAY NOT KNOW
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.