Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Sound of Music (1965)

Young Maria (Julie Andrews) is a misfit at a convent, so they convince her to take the job of a governess of seven children (the oldest is sixteen, going on seventeen), of a military disciplinarian. Who hates Nazis.

Loosely based on real life, what actually happened over two decades is depicted over a few months. There are a great many other inaccuracies, but I won’t bore you with Wikipedia stuff. What’s interesting about this movie? If you know it only by pop culture references, you may be surprised by the presence of Nazis. They are actually a foundational part of the story. What shouldn’t be surprising is that Julie Andrews is wonderful and lights up the screen every time she’s on, which is virtually every frame.

Grumpy Christopher Plummer, who hated making the film and hated the end product, called working with Andrews as being hit over the head with a Valentine’s day card every day. He used an old actors technique to get himself through the shoot called drink-yourself-blotto. Maybe his malcontentedness helped him channel his inner jerk. Real father Georg wasn’t the dower soul as he is depicted. The real Maria and Von Trapp children asked to have his character soften, but what fun would that be. Maria was something of a pest on the set.

The Sound of Music is a wonderfully looking film. The combination of fluffy songs with evading the Nazis tied up in a Rom Com format is unexpectedly enjoyable. Robert Wise knows how to shoot a film and is a much underrated director. AMRU 4.
“The poor didn’t want this one.”

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