The Sound of Music

1965

Biography / Drama

Synopsis


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December 1, 2012 at 6:12 am

Director

Cast

Julie Andrews as Maria
Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp
Eleanor Parker as The Baroness
Richard Haydn as Max Detweiler
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1.10 GB
1280*576
English
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English
23.976 fps
2hr 54 min
P/S 18 / 41
2.34 GB
1920*872
English
Approved
English
23.976 fps
2hr 54 min
P/S 29 / 117

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gbrumburgh (gbrumburgh@aol.com) 9 / 10

Sometimes saccharine can be a good substitute.


1965's "The Sound of Music" is everything a bad musical should be. Providing more sap than a forest full of Vermont maples, it has coy, silly songs, an inane, innocuous script, and unbelievably sugary characters. So why is it one of my favorite musicals? OK, go ahead. Shoot me at twenty paces. But after all this time, it still remains a guilty pleasure. I find myself going for a tub of rocky road ice cream and Rodgers & Hammerstein's immortal classic whenever the real world gets to be too much. I seem to play it a lot around tax time.

And I'm not alone. Why is it still considered the most popular musical of all time? Well, first of all they spared no expense. The extremely well-produced blockbuster has gorgeous, eye-popping scenery. From the first moment Julie Andrews flails her arms and circles around on that beautiful sunny hillside singing the rousing title song, I know I'm being swept away to another world. I'm not in Kansas anymore...or L.A., anyway. The panoramic Salzburg background complements and never intimidates or takes away from the characters or their story (like the other R & H extravaganza "South Pacific.") That in itself is an incredible feat.

Now about those songs. Almost every one of them is absolute drivel. So what makes them work? Easy. The utter joy and sincerity of the cast who sings the infectious, hummable tunes, which are backed by extremely moving orchestrations and an exceptionally beautiful score. It's hard to resist Maria prancing about, pillow-fighting with a bunch of knee-highs and gushing about her most favorite things. Or the austere Captain Von Trapp (the meticulous Christopher Plummer) turning to butter after hearing his brood sing in perfect harmony for the first time (with no prior lessons even) and joining right in. Or the Mother Superior's soaring number that unknowingly forewarns Maria to head for the hills (I mean, mountains) before the Nazis escort them elsewhere. Or the 16-year-old going on 17 squealing with delight after receiving her first kiss. Or the kids working up a clever little ditty to leave their formal party guests when its time for bed. Or two people declaring their love in a moonlit gazebo. The songs work because they come straight from and aim for the heart, not the head, which is exactly the place the viewer should be coming from when watching this movie. If the songs don't transcend the script (which they didn't prior to the 70s), they certainly transcend the mood.

The script is undeniably trite and probably the film's weakest link. But again, the characters play it straight all the way. Not one actor looks embarrassed. Every scene is done with total enthusiasm and total commitment, and the performers who are telling the story are pitch-perfect and picture perfect.

And as for the characters. Try and think of anybody better than jubilant, crop-haired Julie Andrews as a postulant nun who has gorgeous pipes, can make play clothes out of curtains, can set up and operate marionette shows at the drop of a hat, and is confident enough to convince a man that a failed nun is ideal marriage material. I certainly can't. Thank heavens for her Oscar-winning "Mary Poppins" the year before or we might have gotten Julie LONDON instead! After all, Andrews did lose out on "My Fair Lady" the year before. But now certifiably bankable, she proved she could handle this dream role. Andrews is cutely silly, cutely stubborn, cutely astute, cutely shattered and cutely...well, cute. She gives the most wholesomely appealing musical perf since Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz." To actually make you forget Mary Martin in the Broadway role takes some doing and she does it effortlessly. Christopher Plummer is all seriousness, handsomely patrician, and quite a catch for anybody...much less a nun. I can't think of anyone more suitable for this role either. As for the Seven Little Foys, I mean the Von Trapp children, they are adorable and perfect in their own ways too, whether they are marching or singing, creating their own individual personalities by film's end.

Richard Haydn as Max and Eleanor Parker as the flamboyant, haughty Baroness provide wonderful catty relief. Despite having their musical numbers snatched away from them, they make up for it with droll, sophisticated humor. The elegant, perfectly coiffed Parker is particularly delicious as Maria's chief romantic rival, getting some of the film's best zingers and delivering them with biting understatement. Parker developed a devout cult following after this role. Peggy Wood's Mother Superior is suitably reverent and inspiring.

For those who tear "The Sound of Music" apart for its shameless, sugar-coated manipulations, well, I can respect that. But to attack it for its political and historical inaccuracies is like attacking "Peter Pan" for being a subversive plot that encourages young children to run away from home. It's ludicrous. Despite the fact that it's based on a true story, we're not watching "The Sound of Music" for stark realism. Like a sparkling and lavish Ernst Lubitsch operetta, we want a feel-good movie, with feel-good songs, with a feel-good story, and a feel-good ending. Nothing more. If you want a movie that presents a potent depiction of pre-war Austria or anti-Nazi sentiment, rent "Holocaust" or "Schindler's List." Here, we want to believe that a group of nuns can tear out an automobile carburetor and save the world! Period.

I suppose the reality-based MTV generation cannot truly respect or relate to the relative innocence and pure escapism like "The Sound of Music." If this movie was made today I'm afraid the Von Trapp children would not be dangling out of trees for fear of drive-by shooters. It's a tough new world today, sad to say. The 50s and 60s are looking better all the time.

Anyway, for what it's worth, "The Sound of Music" is indeed schmaltz, but its QUALITY schmaltz at its very, very best.

Reviewed by Caren Lissner (lizzner@aol.com) 5 / 10

The Sound of Music rules because it has everything.


While many people agree that the Sound of Music is one of the best films of all time, some are at a loss to adequately explain why; they buckle under and admit that there are parts that are syrupy, etc. Well, I'll tell you why it's the best movie ever (and I DON'T agree that it's too syrupy). It simply has everything one could want in a movie. First of all, it has a REAL romance - one where you can watch the characters slowly fall in love. It's not like today's movies where two characters meet and the next scene is them waking up together. Secondly, it has humor. Not syrupy or corny humor, but very wry, dry tongue-in-cheek humor. For evidence, look at the quotes. Baronness Schraeder is especially well-done in this regard. Her comments simply drip with ice. "Good bye, Maria. I'm sure you'll make a fine nun." You want to smack her. Thirdly, it's got adventure. The Nazis are the ultimate villains in any movie - WWII was as clear a case of good vs. evil as you can find, making it great fodder for films - and so it's great to see Maria, the Captain and the kids outwit them. Fourthly, it's got great music. Fifthy, it's got great scenery. And the plot and dialogue are astounding. I find new things to admire each time I watch. Finally, is there a greater scene in any movie than the nuns revealing the stolen Nazi car parts??? "The Sound of Music" does not just succeed because it cheers people up with syrup or song. It succeeds because it is a wonderfully-constructed, wonderfully-written, wonderfully-acted, brilliant movie. For me, no other movie can compare. Not to be obsessed with it or anything. :)

Reviewed by gerry-russell-139 10 / 10

It just gains more and more fans every year


"The Happiest sound in all the world"? Quite possibly and easily the most famous musical film in Hollywood history. Most of us grown-ups still love it but at the same time we're also tired of seeing it over and over again (maybe that's why it's not rerun on NBC every single year anymore). Julie Andrews takes her MARY POPPINS success and adds even more to it with her delightful rendition of the role that Mary Martin originated on the Broadway stage in 1959 and ran even farther with it than Martin ever could. In my opinion, and I don't think I'm alone here, Martin was too old for the part (she was in her mid to late 40s in the stage version and Andrews was 30 when the transition came to film came around--a perfect age). As for the rest of the cast, it is just as talented: Christopher Plummer in the role he will be forever remembered for (even though he hated the part) is an achingly true Cap. Von Trapp with those "hidden talents" making subtle appearances throughout the film until blatantly bursting out into the open in the film's closing scenes; Richard Haydn makes for a comical and yet sincere "Uncle" Max, Peggy Wood is a starchy yet compassionate Reverand Mother and Charmian Carr as Liesl stands out as our perrenial favorite of the seven children. The locales are breathtaking as well (esp. the opening scenes which is probably the most beautiful aerial shot in all of film history and the cunning floral designs of the public Austrian gardens during the DO-RE-MI sequence). So let's all keep watching this most cherished of all musical films each year and never forget it's universal sentiment: to 'climb ev'ry mountain, ford ev'ry stream, follow ev'ry rainbow till you find your dream'.

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