The Sound Of Music

Year of release: 1965.
MPAA rating: G.
Run time: 174 minutes.

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      "Maria, a postulant in a Salzburg Abbey, is distracted from her religious duties by the majestic Alpine landscape and her restless, passionate spirit.  The Mother Abbess, believing that Maria's buoyant personality may be incompatible with monastic life, wisely sends her away to discover her true calling.

      Maria is to be the governess for the von Trapp family -- a brood of seven children helmed by Captain von Trapp, a widowed naval officer who educates his children with military discipline.  While the children behave well before their father, once out of his sight they are incorrigible pranksters, determined to make their governess miserable.  Maria quickly learns that she is merely the latest in a long line of governesses scared away by the children's antics.

      Ignoring the Captain's prescriptions for stern child-raising, Maria wins the children over with her natural warmth and kindness.  She fashions them clothes from curtain cloth, takes them for picnics in the glorious Alpine countryside, teaches them to sing -- and they respond to her care with happiness and laughter.

      Together, Maria and the children stage a puppet show to entertain the Captain and his guests.  Usually serious, even the Captain is charmed by Maria's contagious personality.  Several nights later, the children sing at a dinner party given by the Captain to introduce his friends to his love interest, the Baroness Schraeder.  Later in the party, the Captain and Maria perform an Austrian folk dance -- "the Laendler" -- as they look into each others eyes -- they realize they have fallen in love.  That night, under the pretext of helping Maria, the Baroness encourages her to leave the Trapp villa.  Confused by her new emotions, Maria returns to the Abbey.

      Though the Baroness tries to win the children's affections, they are inconsolable without Maria.  They are further depressed by the announcement that the Captain will marry the Baroness.  At the same time, Maria confesses her love for the Captain to the Mother Abbess, who encourages her to "climb every mountain" to find her true love.  Maria returns to the Trapp villa but is devastated to learn of the Captain's impending marriage.  The Baroness, finally unable to deny the Captain's true feelings, gracefully bows out.  Now both free, the Captain and Maria make plans to marry.

      While the Captain and Maria are on their honeymoon, the Anschluss takes place and the Nazis occupy Austria.  Max Detweiler, a kindly uncle figure, has entered the children in the Salzburg Festival.  The Captain returns to find he has been called into military service by the German army.  Appalled by the Nazis, he plots an escape and the family packs hastily.  While fleeing the Trapp villa, the family is spotted by storm troopers.  They explain that they are merely on the way to perform at the local Salzburg festival.  The family appears and sings under the watchful eye of the Nazis, planning to flee after the final number, "So Long, Farewell."  The Nazis discover their plans, and the von Trapps make a dramatic escape, hiding in the Abbey before escaping to freedom.  Slowly, the family makes its way up the mountain into the emerging dawn -- a symbol of their new life of freedom and the importance of staying true to your ideals."

      I was introduced to this movie by my mother (it is also one of her favorites).  It is a wonderful love story, great comedy and it is a terrific musical filled with beautiful, recognizable songs.  Most of the songs are exquisitely performed by Julie Andrews.  The Austrian scenery is also a treat for your eyes.  This film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 5, including Best Picture.  Do yourself a favor and watch this movie!


Julie Andrews -- Maria

Eleanor Parker -- The Baroness

Peggy Wood -- Mother Abbess

Nicholas Hammond -- Friedrich

Heather Menzies -- Louisa

Debbie Turner -- Marta

Christopher Plummer -- Captain von Trapp

Richard Haydn -- Max Detweiler

Charmian Carr -- Liesl

Angela Cartwright -- Brigitta

Duane Chase -- Kurt

Kym Karath -- Gretl

Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Robert Wise
Producer: Robert Wise & Boris Leven
Screenwriter: Ernest Lehman
Associate Producer: Saul Chaplin
Choreographer: Dee Dee Wood
Cinematographer: Ted McCord
Composer: Richard Rodgers & Irwin Kostal
Costume Designer: Dorothy Jeakins
Editor: William H. Reynolds
Set Designer: Walter M. Scott
Special Effects: L.B. Abbott & Emil Jr. Kosa

Academy Awards - 1965
Best Picture
Best Sound - Fred Hynes & James P. Corcoran
Best Score - Irwin Kostal
Best Editing - William H. Reynolds
Best Director - Robert Wise
Best Actress - Julie Andrews (Nominated)
Best Art Direction - Boris Leven, Walter M. Scott (Nominated)
Best Cinematography - Ted D. McCord (Nominated)
Best Costume Design - Dorothy Jeakins (Nominated)
Best Art Direction - Ruby R. Levitt (Nominated)
Best Supporting Actress - Peggy Wood (Nominated)

Directors Guild of America - 1965
Best Director - Robert Wise (Nominated)

Golden Globe - 1966
Best Film
Best Actress (in Musical/Comedy) - Julie Andrews

National Board of Review of Motion Pict - 1965
Nominated as one of year's 10 Best Films

New York Film Critics Circle - 1965
Category Nominee Win/Nominated
Best Actress - Julie Andrews (Nominated)

American Film Institute - 1998
Chosen as one of the 100 Greatest American Movies

Information gathered from numerous websites including:

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