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THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

This delightful muscial tells the adventures and tribulations of the singing Von Trapp family prior to WW2. When former nun, Maria, arrives on scene as the new governess of the seven Von Trapp children, the family is suddenly inspired despite the current unstable political climate of their country. Spirits "in tune," Mr. Von Trapp decides to throw a bash to introduce his fiancee, much to the demise of one Maria who, having left the covent, is ready for love. But will the political situation, and Von Trapp's latest fiancee allow for such a happy ending? As Austria's new German ruler tries to pull Baron Von Trapp back into service, the Von Trapp children wrestles with the fate of their family and Maria.

The cast includes: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Richard Hayden, Peggy Wood, and Eleanor Parker.

Ten Oscar Nominations; Five wins (Best Picture, Best Director, Editing, Sound, and Music).

Directed by Robert Wise.

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The well-loved musical, "The Sound of Music", produced by Argyle Enterprises, Inc., was inspired by the true story of the adventures of the Von Trapp Family Singers. The story takes place in Austria, just before World War II. A young woman, Maria (Andrews), who wasn't quite making it as a nun-in-training, is sent by the Mother Superior of the convent, to the austere home of widower, Baron Von Trapp (Plummer), a no-nonsense father, to be the governess of his 7 children, who desperately want their father's attention. After their mother died, the Baron withdrew emotionally from his children, and banned music and play from the house, as it reminded him of his late wife. He ran the house and the children as if he was the commander on one of his ships.

The Direction, by Robrt Wise, and the Casting were perfect, as everyone did a great job individually, as well as working together as an ensemble. The combination of Christopher Plummer (Capt. Baron Von Trapp) and Julie Andrews (Maria) sparkled with chemistry. It was interesting to see these two characters' relationship change and evolve from being on the opposite poles of thinking, to being very much in love in one mindset, and lastly becoming a united force to escape the Nazi occupation.

What brought them together was, of course, the music brought to the grand estate by Maria, and Maria's warmth and love of the children; both of which proved to be a very positive, helpful force. The musical numbers flow naturally in and out of the plot, really enhancing the story, and are just as enjoyable today as they were in 1965. The staging of the musical numbers is flawless, and take place in beautiful, natural settings, and well-designed inside locations. Another plus is that everyone is always on key, and can actually act while they sing as well, which really adds to the drama and overall enjoyment of the film.

Besides the famous opening scene of the movie, highlights of the movie include the many musical numbers, Maria meeting the children & the Baron, the storm scene, the mountain outing with the children, singing for the Baroness, the Andrews -Plummer scenes, and the family's escape from Austria. Romantics will love the gazebo scene, where Plummer tells & shows Andrews of his love for her, which ends in a lovely duet together. (Yes, Plummer can really sing well!) This love scene is refreshingly devoid of today's sometime standard of show all-tell all: SEX with gross kissing, and with clothes flying everywhere! It is instead a personal moment between two people; very tender and moving, yet dignified at the same time. The result is very entertaining.

The movie holds up well, despite the fact it was made before Star Wars; the movie that brought new ideas to story pacing & editing. By today's standards, the movie may be a tad long, but is just as engaging, and involving as when it was made, nearly 36 years ago.

Besides the timeless, wonderful Rodgers & Hammerstein songs and musical soundtrack, and the humorous and touching script, the underlying messages of the film still apply to us today, which have to do with: dealing with children's needs, the positive power of music and love, the need to have an undaunted search for God's purpose for our lives, and the importance of standing firm on our principle beliefs, no matter what the personal cost. This movie has a lot to offer anyone: Wonderful Music, top-notch Direction and staging, well- casted, talented actors/actresses, Lehman's funny and touching script, that has moments of drama, and relevant messages for the whole family, making it one of the best musicals ever made.

The screenplay was written by Ernest Lehman - from the Stage Musical, with Lyrics and Music from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.

If you enjoyed THE SOUND OF MUSIC, you may like BYE BYE BIRDIE, MARY POPPINS, and/or THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE.