'The Sound Of Music', a film-based musical, was released five decades ago on March 2, 1965, in America.
This movie is an American classic which has won five Oscars and two Golden Globes! This musical masterpiece is known as one of the greatest movies of all time and starred Julie Andrews as a nun-turned-nanny.
For people around the world, 'The Sound Of Music' remains their favorite movie even though the movie was completed five decades ago. The movie amazingly combines a touching story, melodic music, and beautiful scenery. The story is of Maria, an aspiring nun who takes up the job of becoming a governess to seven von Trapp siblings.
You can try visiting some of the iconic shooting locations of the film such as Mirabell Gardens, where the famous wedding of Maria and Captain took place but if you can't visit, how about you dive into the world of 'The Sound Of Music' in this article. Let's unleash some amazing facts about the cast and crew of the film, famous songs, the sweet plot of the movie and much more!
Popular Artists From 'The Sound Of Music'
'The Sound Of Music' is an eternal musical classic that has made countless people love it throughout history and today.
Did you know that the famous opening scene where Julie Andrews twirls was actually shot in the rain? As effortless as it looked in the film, the scene was quite difficult to shoot. 'The Sound Of Music' was another partnership between Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers who also successfully created 'The King And I', 'Oklahoma!' and 'South Pacific.' 'The Sound Of Music' had a Broadway premiere in 1959 that showed mild enthusiasm from critics.
Another fact about the movie was when Carol Burnett and Andrews parodied 'The Sound Of Music' in a skit by the name of Pratt Family 'Singers!' Interesting, right? Read more such facts on 'The Sound Of Music' below.
Christopher Plummer played the famous role of captain George von Trapp in 'The Sound Of Music.' Plummer was a Canadian actor who got selected based on his performance in a high school play, which led him to a place in the Canadian Repertory Theater in Ontario. Christopher Plummer also played and performed roles in 'King Lear', 'Othello', and as Henry Drummond on Broadway.
One of Hollywood's popular artists is Julie Andrews, who played the role of Maria. She made herself a household name on Broadway in shows such as 'Camelot', 'Cinderella', and 'My Fair Lady.' Andrews is a recipient of several awards and has improved her performance with age. Julie Andrews made her debut in the unforgettable 'Mary Poppins', which also earned her an Oscar. After 'The Sound Of Music' Andrews worked with many new-age actors and actresses such as Anne Hathaway in 'The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement' and 'The Princess Diaries.' Julie Andrews also regularly uses her voice as characters in animated films. The Queen of England named Julie Andrews a Dame in the year 2000 and her name was featured in the list of 100 Greatest Britons. Andrews also received the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award for all her outstanding performances in her career.
The part of Friedrich was played by Nicholas Hammond, who was chosen due to his apt personality despite being a little short in height. While filming, the producers had to put lifts in Nicholas's shoes to make him as tall as other actors, especially in front of the actress playing the role of Louisa. But at the end of the film, puberty hit Nicholas Hammond, and he became considerably taller by several inches. Ironically, the other actors then had to stand on boxes to appear consistent in terms of their height with Nicholas.
The third eldest von Trapp sibling was played by Heather Menzies, who was then an inexperienced actor. Heather was also a Canadian actress, and Louisa was the most renowned role in her entire acting career. She was later also seen in the sci-fi series 'Logan's Run' as Jessica 6. Heather was married to Robert Urich and had three children. She passed away in 2017 from brain cancer.
Duane Dudley Chase, who was only 14-year-old at the time of filming, played the part of the second von Trapp boy Kurt in 'The Sound Of Music.' When the movie was released, Duane had just graduated from high school, and after 'The Sound Of Music', Chase was reluctant to pursue acting as a career. Instead, unlike many, he chose a very different path from acting and decided to serve in the United States Forestry Service, in California. Chase got a degree in geology after graduating from UC Santa Barbara in 1976, after which he also studied a master's in geology at the University of Alabama.
Angela Cartwright was one of the von Trapp siblings who had a successful acting career even after the classic 'The Sound Of Music.' This American actress had British roots. Other than her famous role of Brigitta von Trapp, she has played other successful roles on the 'Danny Thomas Hour' as Linda Williams, the stepdaughter, and in the show 'Lost In Space' while she was in her 60s.
Debbie Turned played the role of Marta von Trapp in 'The Sound Of Music', but before this stint, Turner had a good experience of being on the camera with her numerous commercials and appearances in TV shows. After 'The Sound Of Music' was released, Debbie Turner decided to give more focus on her education and after studying she soon opened her own interior design firm. Her own company was known by Debbie Turner Originals, specializing in floral decoration and planning and was very successful.
Kym Karath played the role of the youngest von Trapp Gretl, and she was already quite well known in the acting industry even at such a young age. Kym had an early start in her acting career at the tender age of three. She appeared in many films such as 'The Thrill of It All', 'Good Neighbor Sam', and 'Spencer’s Mountain.'
In the Ellen DeGeneres show, Julie Andrews praised all the von Trapp children for being lovely.
Charmian Carr was the beautiful elder daughter Liesl in 'The Sound Of Music', and it looked as though her road to stardom would be endless. But despite her talent and her beauty, Charmian Carr never appeared in another hit movie. Charmian Carr played smaller roles in 'She's Mine', 'Evening Primrose', 'Take Her', and a musical written for television by Steven Sondheim, but didn't reach the heights of fame that many expected of her after her first feature film.
Eleanor Parker played the cold, sophisticated fiancee of Captain von Trapp, Baroness von Schrader. Parker was nominated for an Academy Award for her role, but this was not the only film that earned her an Oscar nomination. Parker's roles in 'Interrupted Melody' and the 'Detective Story' each earned her Oscar nominations as well.
Popular Songs From 'The Sound Of Music'
When anyone thinks of musicals, 'The Sound Of Music' definitely crops up in their minds. In fact, the movie is based on the true story of the von Trapp family, who in 1932 escaped the Nazis in Austria.
Several adaptations of this story have been made, but the Julie Andrews film is the most popular one. Being a musical there were many songs included in the movie, such as 'Something Good' and 'Do Re Mi', which are still popular today and known by millions of people around the world. Let's look at some more famous songs from 'The Sound Of Music.'
'Sixteen Going On Seventeen': This is a cute and romantic song between Liesl and Rolfe, who are in love. This isn't the most popular song but it does have a soothing feel to it. The song revolves around the central idea that Liesl needs 'someone older and wiser' and that someone is Rolfe.
'Something Good': This is a romantic track between Maria and Captain von Trapp where they express gratitude about finding each other. The lyrics tell that both Captain and Maria must have done something good to find each other.
'The Lonely Goatherd': This is a theme song for the puppet show that the von Trapp children and Maria put together. The puppet show is fun to watch as the kids and Maria enjoyed putting up the show. The song is catchy and represents happy moments in the family.
'Climb Ev'ry Mountain': This is one of the songs in the movie where Maria herself does not sing. This song is dubbed over Margery MacKay's vocals, and this is a song to send off Maria.
'I Have Confidence': This is a song that reflects Maria's nervousness about being a governess in the von Trapp family. It is a kind of assurance to herself and helps her to build confidence in herself. The entire song is crafted in such a way that it is still remembered to be one of the most delightful songs of the movie.
'Do Re Mi': This is the classic and most famous song of the movie where Maria teaches the von Trapp children the basic literals of music scales 'do re mi fa sol la ti do'.
'So Long Farewell': This is a farewell song where the kids line up to say their goodbyes to the party-goers. All the von Trapp children sing and shine in this song, and the closing line 'The sun has gone to bed and so must I' by Gretl is the highlight of the song.
'My Favorite Things': A Christmas-linked song of 'The Sound Of Music' makes it a favorite amongst all audiences. The lyrics like 'raindrops on roses' and 'brown paper packages' make it a warm song for Christmas.
'Edelweiss': One of the most exquisite songs from the movie, this song motivates Captain von Trapp to resume his singing capability, and Liesl sings along as well. Edelweiss is a white flower local to Switzerland, Austria, and Germany and synonymous with the flower's beauty. The song is melodious and becomes a kind of hope to the entire von Trapp family.
'The Sound Of Music': The titular track is regarded to be the best song of the movie. Maria's dancing in the hills of Austria, along with the scenic backdrop, makes it one of the most iconic songs in the history of film music.
How does 'The Sound Of Music' begin?
The story of 'The Sound Of Music' is based on a book written by Maria von Trapp that encapsulates the adventurous lives of the von Trapp family. This book was published in 1949, and since then, Hollywood has been behind the title and story. This is how the production started; now, let's know how the film begins.
'The Sound Of Music' opens with the iconic song 'The Hils Are Alive' as Julie Andrews sings amidst the backdrop of an alpine meadow. This meadow is in Germany, unlike most scenes of the movie. This shot was taken about 30 minutes drive from the other shoot locations in Salzburg, Austria.
The movie starts with the enthusiastic Austrian Maria aspiring to be a nun at the Nonnberg Abbey. Still, this very jovial nature of hers is of concern to a few, following which Mother Abbess decides to send Maria to Captain Georg von Trapp's house as a governess to his seven kids. The Captain had been raising kids in a military-like discipline, and so the children at first don't behave well with Maria's happy nature. But later, Maria softens and interacts with them with patience and kindness, thus earning the children's respect and trust.
Some of the sweet scenes include Maria making play clothes for the Captain's kids as he is away in Vienna. She takes the children around Salzburg and the mountainous areas to teach them the basics of singing, and this is where the famous song 'Do Re Mi' comes.
What is special about 'The Sound Of Music'?
'The Sound Of Music' was a movie that hit the right chords of any person's heart who watched it. The story of Captain (Christopher Plummer) von Trapp and Maria, along with the innocence of children, did wonders on the silver screen. Let's take a look at how and why this movie was so special and so well-loved by audiences around the world.
First and foremost, the core of the movie was the music itself, which probably made the movie a dozen times more special. It was composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein that captured the von Trapp family and Maria beautifully alongside the scenes. The movie and its music don't just show the unitedness of the family but also support the power of love and togetherness that can sustain even the horrors of war.
The way a jovial and quirky Maria helped a strict Captain soften up and, in turn, escape with the family to America was commendable and special.
The stunning backdrop of the hills in Salzburg made the film all the more appealing. It was not just the city of Salzburg that offered scenic views for the von Trapp family adventures, but also surrounding areas like Mondsee basilica (the wedding scene), Hohenwerfen Castle, and the Gschwandtanger meadows that all made an integral contribution to the popularity of the film. The Untersberg Mountain is also visible in the closing or opening scenes of the movie, which makes watching the film an incredibly awesome experience.
Here are some trivia facts for you all to read and know more about 'The Sound Of Music':
Can you imagine someone else other than Christopher playing the part of the famous Captain? Well, Richard Burton and Sean Connery were both in line to play the Captain!
For the role of Leisl, many people such as Sharon Tate, Lesley Ann Warren, Patti Duke, Geraldine Chaplin, and Mia Farrow all auditioned. At the time, Mia Farrow was just 18 years old. However, despite her age being aged 21 (and turning 22 soon), Charmain Carr bagged the role.
Singer Bill Lee dubbed the singing voice of Christopher Plummer as Captain von Trapp.
The real von Trapps chose a different escape route when fleeing from the Nazis in Austria. Instead of crossing the Alps, the von Trapps went to America by boarding a train which took them into south Tyrol, part of Italy.
Richard Rodgers wrote the songs 'Something Good', and 'I Have Confidence' by himself after Oscar Hammerstein's death.
Many other famous actors were considered for the role of Maria apart from Julie Andrews, such as Shirley Jones, Grace Kelly, Anne Bancroft, and Leslie Caron. Even for the role of Captain, producers were keen on casting Bing Crosby.
William Wyler was considered to direct the film originally, but he had to quit because of his other pending projects but thank goodness for that! Why? Well, it is said that William Wyler had a rather more dark vision for the film as he wanted to focus more on the war background which would have changed the outcome of the film dramatically.
It is said that the real Maria von Trapp had been called to tutor only one child and not called to be a governess for all of the children. Georg von Trapp, a kind young man and she were married for about 11 years before the Nazis took over Austria.
The real Maria von Trapp had actually not fallen for the Captain when he proposed to her, according to her 1948 memoir. Maria had merely liked him and truly loved the children, but decided to marry him anyway because of her love of the children.
Who wrote 'The Sound Of Music'?
The 1965 two-hour and 54 minutes-long American musical classic has captured the hearts of its audiences for five decades now and has been one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.
The melodious and memorable songs, along with its breathtaking scenic backdrop of the mountains, helped it become a timeless classic and earned it 10 Academy Awards, including that for best director and best picture.
The writer of this beautiful movie was Ernest Lehman, who wrote the screenplay from the book written by Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay. The director of the movie was Robert Wise, and the production house was Argyle Enterprises and Robert Wise Productions. Originally 'The Sound Of Music' was supposed to be released as a limited roadshow theatrical release.
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