Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Sound of Music


Robert Wise

Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn, Peggy Wood, Charmain Carr, Heather Menzies-Urich, Nicholas Hammond, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright, Debbie Turner, Kym Karath, Daniel Truhitte, Gilchrist Stuart, Ben Wright and Norma Varden

4 and up

Maria (Andrews) is a nun in 1930’s Austria, but unfortunately failing. The mother abbess (Wood) soon sends Maria on her way to become the governess to the seven children of widower and naval captain Georg Von Trapp (Plummer). Georg is going to marry a widow Baroness (Parker), to Maria's disappointment as she herself has fallen in love with the captain. At the same time, the oldest daughter (Carr) falls in love with a young postman Rolfe (Truhitte), who visits her secretly whenever he can. Georg is an Austrian and is happy to be one, but Rolfe is a Nazi. When Maria fills the family with singing, laughter and joy, Max Detweiler (Haydn) thinks he has found the perfect troupe for his music festival.

The two-disc special edition of the film  
Why it’s good
Because it is tuneful and also because I remembered watching this in class during music lesson.

I later found the DVD among the old racks of videos on the shelves in my house. The DVD was faulty, but it didn’t matter and the film became a staple in our movie diet. We watched this for  many weeks before retiring the film. After we did, we would watch it occasionally when there was nothing else to watch.

The songs are well-known; well-known enough it appeared in piano examinations and a commercial advertising Cold Storage Supermarket. The evergreen songs include ‘Edelweiss’, ‘My Favourite things’, ‘Do-Re-Mi’, ‘I Have Confidence’, ‘Maria’, 'Climb Every Mountain' and the title song, ‘The Sound of Music’.

Other than the songs, watch this movie for the beautiful scenery with hills, mountains and churches.  For older children, use the movie to tell them about World War II. Although there are no war scenes, war is brewing in the background,  and Georg Von Trapp shows his children (and the audience) how patriotic he is and how much he loves his country when he sings 'Edelweiss'.

Parent’s guide
It is a G-rated motion picture, though there are several Nazis like Herr Zeller (Ben Wright) and Rolfe (Daniel Truhitte), who, at one point, points his gun at a character. There are some alcoholic beverages in the party scene.

The film was to be directed by William Wyler, who toyed around the script and scouted locations, but was replaced by Robert Wise.

If you like this…
Director Robert Wise also directed "The Curse of the Cat People" (1944) and "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951). If you can find any other Rodger and Hammerstein musicals, get them - they're an ace team.  Rodger composed the music while Hammerstein wrote the lyrics. See the Musicals chapter for more musical delights.                       

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