In 1930's Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The Captain's wife is dead, and he is often away, and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father keeps hiring, and have managed to run each of them off one by one. When Maria arrives, she is initially met with the same hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives -- including the Captain's. Eventually he and Maria find themselves falling in love, even though Georg is already engaged to a Baroness and Maria is still a postulant. The romance makes them both start questioning the decisions they have made. Their personal conflicts soon become ... Written by
This movie shares a similarity with Robert Wise's previous movie musical, West Side Story (1961). Each movie starts off with a panoramic helicopter shot where the music starts softly and becomes louder as local architecture is seen until it climaxes with the camera closing in on major characters who take up the beginning of the film's initial song. See more »
During the opening credits (for Screenplay, Associate Producer and Director), the Hotel Europa Salzburg can be seen in the distance to the left of the Collegiate Church that is in the foreground. The Hotel Europa Salzburg was built in 1957 and is obviously more modern than the surrounding buildings. See more »
The hills are alive with the sound of music / With songs they have sung for a thousand years. / The hills fill my heart with the sound of music. / My heart wants to sing every song it hears.
See more »
Salzburg, Austria, in the last Golden Days of the Thirties See more »
This film is a triumph in all departments. Every aspect, from the cinematography to the acting, the sets to the costumes, the music, choreography, script, is top notch. While the film is family friendly and has a sweet story, it is constantly amazing the way people attack it as saccharine and sugary. This can certainly be said of the stage show, but the movie version has been carefully produced to provide a more well-rounded vision. Ernest Lehman worked wonders with the underdeveloped and unremarkable dialogue of the play. He inserted so many moments of wit, humor, romance and poignancy that are nowhere in sight in the original. the art directors purposefully chose muted settings and colors. Each of the actors bent over backwards to provide a brilliant performance. Andrews is already down in history for the performance of a lifetime (and a voice to match), but Plummer is not to be forgotten. Not only is he regal and handsome, but his decision to play the Captain as a complex, sophisticated man with a sly dose of sarcasm was wonderful. His steely, stern persona is eventually melted down by the irrepressible Andrews to great effect. Every supporting performance is also delivered with the right amount of appeal, humor or menace as called for in the script. However, the one that takes the cake....that amazes each time, is the slinky, catty, toweringly glamorous Parker as Baroness Schraeder. Wisely, her songs were cut, further separating her from all the glee around her, so that she could whip out such zingers as "Why didn't you tell me....to bring along my harmonica?" or when she's told that Andrews may not make a great nun, "If you need anything, I'd be happy to help you." The character is given a much more polished and integral position in the film versus the stage and virtually every line of her dialogue (unlike in the play) is a howler. Though Wood was lovely in her role as the Mother Abbess, it was Parker who should have gotten an Oscar nod....and WON! Every expression, every syllable, every glance belies the decades of experience Parker gained as a leading lady during the 40's and 50's. Her clothes by Dorothy Jeakins are awe-inspiring. This type of film-making is GONE. The location photography, the simplicity of story and design, the sheer good-spiritedness of it all...they just can't do this anymore. Thankfully, there's this flawless gem to turn to when one just want to feel good. But saccharine? No..... Compare this to other beloved musicals with their garish colors and sugary story lines ("Seven Brides...", "Singin' in the Rain", "...Molly Brown", "The Music Man", to name just a few...) They are all highly enjoyable, but are hardly less sweet than this! Just one word.....Nazis!! Though virtually everyone knows the outcome, there is still genuine suspense at the climax of "The Sound of Music". The film has it all.
160 of 245 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?