81 Days With Oscar And Me

Every Academy Award-Winning Movie, Back to Back, Starting With the First

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Sound of Music, The

September 26th, 2009 · No Comments · 1965, Adaptation, Christopher Plummer, Color, Julie Andrews, Marni Nixon, Musical, Robert Wise, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Sound of Music, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

The Sound of Music I have to be careful with The Sound of Music. Even though it’s a musical, my wife loves the film. She says it’s part of her childhood. And everyone knows how critical such memories are.

So I will tread lightly regarding this particular musical, to wit:

The scenery is gorgeous.

Julie Andrews’ voice is remarkable.

Angela Cartwright (Brigitta) was fantastic as Penny Robinson in the TV show from my childhood, Lost In Space.

Christopher Plummer (Captain Von Trapp) was splendid as William Fawcett Robinson in one of my favorite movies, Somewhere In Time.

Richard Haydn (Max Detweiler) was one of those great character actors who was in everything. You had but to look and there he was.

The Sound of Music was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won five: Best Director (Robert Wise, 1914-2005), Best Film Editing, Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment, Best Picture (Robert Wise), and Best Sound.

There. Have I waxed lightly long enough?

“This is the scene to end all scenes,” my wife says as Maria hands the captain a guitar. Reluctantly, he takes the guitar, stands as everyone gathers at his feet, and begins to sing “Edelweiss,” which, according to its entry on Wiki, was the last song that Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote together; Hammerstein was suffering from stomach cancer, which would take his life nine months after The Sound of Music opened on Broadway.

“Oh-oh,” she says as the camera cuts to a shot of Maria watching the captain. “Pickin’ up on a little subtext.”

Soulmate“I always liked this part,” she says again a few minutes later. “Christopher Plummer cuttin’ a rug.”

I looked over at her, all smiles, and snapped a photo.

“I like it, Soulmate,” she says. “It’s my favorite movie.”

See? There’s no way I can criticize this movie, even though it’s a musical. It would break my wife’s heart. Crush her childhood memories. Squash her soul.

A turd, I am not.

Therefore, I will say that The Sound of Music features quite a few memorable songs and is one of the more uplifting films to win a Best-Picture Oscar. Despite my best inclinations, I like it.

I do.

Really.

Okay. So I’m not crazy about it. But my wife is. And nothing on earth makes me happier than to see her happy. So I like The Sound of Music because she does.

Do I hear a chorus of “Awwwww”?

This is, after all, a musical.

The Sound Of Music is based on the book “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers” by Maria von Trapp (1905-1987), and was shot, partially, within the Austrian town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. For more on where this movie was filmed (including pictures of how the locations look today), visit Movie-Locations.

THE CAST
Julie Andrews (1935- )………………………………….Maria
Christopher Plummer (1929- )……………………….Captain Von Trapp
Eleanor Parker (1922- )…………………………………The Baroness
Richard Haydn (1905-1985)…………………………..Max Detweiler
Peggy Wood (1892-1978)………………………………Mother Abbess
Charmian Carr (1942- )…………………………………Liesl
Heather Menzies (1949- )………………………………Louisa
Nicholas Hammond (1950- )…………………………..Friedrich
Duane Chase Kurt (1950- )…………………………….Kurt
Angela Cartwright (1952- )…………………………….Brigitta
Debbie Turner (1956- )…………………………………Marta
Kym Karath (1958- )……………………………………..Gretl
Marni Nixon (1930- )…………………………………….Sister Sophia

THE PLOT (from its entry on IMDB)
Baron Von Trapp, a widower, runs his home near Salzburg like the ship he once commanded. That changes when Maria arrives from the convent to be the new governess of his seven children. Their romps through the hills inspire all to sing and to find joy in the smallest things — like raindrops on window panes. With a renewed zest for life, the baron hosts a party to introduce his new fiance. Maria knows then she does not want to be a nun. She marries the baron. The happy ever after part is threatened when Austria’s new German rulers want the baron back in military service. (Written by Dale O’Connor.)

Christopher Plummer’s bio on IMDB begins this way: “Christopher Plummer is arguably the finest actor of the post-World War II period never to be nominated for an Academy Award, following in the footsteps of John Barrymore, for whose portrayal on Broadway he won a Tony Award. Aside from Barrymore, Plummer is the premier Shakespearean actor to come out of North America in the 20th century.”

I agree. I’ve always liked Christopher Plummer.

See? I just can’t stop saying positive things about The Sound of Music.

“Thank you for watching it with me,” my wife says.

“My pleasure,” I say.

There’s that “Awwww” again.

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