The Sound of Music (1965)

Directed by Robert Wise. Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn, Peggy Wood, Charmian Carr, Heather Menzies, Nicholas Hammond. 20th Century Fox.

Decent Films Ratings

Entertainment Value
Value (+4/-4)
? +2
?Kids & Up

External Ratings


Content advisory: Nothing objectionable.

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The Sound of Music (DVD)

Agathe von Trapp, Memories Before and After The Sound of Music (book)

Maria Augusta Trapp, The Von Trapp Family Singers (book)

A National Catholic Register "Video/DVD Picks" capsule review.

By Steven D. Greydanus

Other than The Wizard of Oz, no Hollywood musical is as familiar, reassuring, and beloved of all ages as The Sound of Music. The loosely fact-based story has its earliest origins in the memoirs of Baroness Maria von Trapp, and was turned into a stage musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein in their final collaboration (and their only joint effort to rival their first collaboration, Oklahoma!).

In bringing the musical to the screen, director Robert Wise made spectacular use of magnificent mountain landscapes and shooting locations in Germany and Austria. He also found in Julie Andrews the quintessential Maria, radiantly joyful, earnest and energetic, clear of diction and powerful in song. Her performance anchors the film: Any flicker of condescension or insincerity on her part, and the whole thing would have collapsed into treacle and camp. But cynics will search her face in vain: Her sincerity is absolute, and she sells the role and the film.

While the story depicts a religious postulant leaving the convent for marriage and family, both domestic and religious life are honored; God’s will and one’s own vocation, not one state versus another, is clearly the point. (Still, the musical does de-emphasize the role of religion in the original story. For example, the family’s real musical mentor, after Maria, was a boarder who was a Catholic priest!)

Tags: Top Movie Moms, Drama, Family, Musical, Romance

Product Notes

Now available in a 40th anniversary edition with an improved transfer and loads of extras, including numerous documentaries and a pair of commentary tracks, one by director Wise and the other by stars Andrews, Plummer, and Charmian Carr (Liesl), as well as choreographer Dee Dee Wood Johannes von Trapp, youngest son of Maria.

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