Lists  Reviews  Images  Update feed
MoviesTV ShowsMusicBooksGamesDVDs/Blu-RayPeopleArt & DesignPlacesWeb TV & PodcastsToys & CollectiblesComic Book SeriesBeautyAnimals   View more categories »
Listal logo

The Sound of Music (1965) review

Posted : 2 years, 1 month ago on 13 October 2016 09:55


0 comments, Reply to this entry

The Sound of Music

Posted : 2 years, 8 months ago on 21 March 2016 03:53

The dirty little secret of theater nerds is that the stage show version of The Sound of Music is not very good. The movie isn’t just an improvement, the movie is practically an entirely different beast. It doesn’t just restructure the narrative, it completely rethinks some musical numbers, modifies the plot, and, of course, has Julie Andrews leading the way. It all adds up into something warm and fuzzy, heavily sentimental, and a prime example of popular entertainment done right.


That’s not to say that the film version of The Sound of Music is without problems, because it has several, but it’s almost futile to swim against the tide. Yes, Christopher Plummer frequently looks like he’s counting down the minutes until he can go bar hopping, and the kids are devoid of much in the way of personality, emerging as a seven-person legion of sugary sweet cherubs. But it just doesn’t matter.


It’s impossible, foolhardy even, to fight against the score, the scenery, and Julie Andrews’ life-giving performance. Those three things are enough to guarantee any movie for greatness and memorability, but there’s still something hard to define that keeps us returning to The Sound of Music.


At the time of release, the New York Times dubbed it “romantic nonsense and sentiment,” they meant it as a criticism, but I bring it up as a strength. It’s irresistibly warm and sweet, like being wrapped up in your favorite childhood blanket. Even my cynical, twisted soul is enchanted by this, so it’s obviously doing something right. This is after all a story which bifurcates along its awkward two halves, the first sees a nanny fighting between the lord and her loins, and the second is a tension-filled escape from the Nazis.


How does it successfully employ from the first half to the second? Look at Ernest Lehman’s screenplay which introduces the Nazi element as a slowly growing threat throughout the first half, then has it taking over after the intermission. It also presents a Maria that is already battling with her decision to join the nunnery, so her eventual choice to stay or go has the idea planted with the romance being the push she needed. Lehman also wisely drops some of more unnecessary bits, like numbers from Georg, “Uncle” Max and the Baroness.


Then there’s Julie Andrews’ performance as Maria, another memorable nanny role just a year after winning an Oscar for Mary Poppins. She’s completely different than that role, as she believably places hints of mischief and internal conflict in her novitiate. There’s also that crystalline, incomparable voice of hers wrapping around the Rodgers and Hammerstein lyrics and melodies. Her opening spin through the hills is a memorable movie image, but she’s just as great leading the von Trapp children through the Austrian streets while teaching them “Do-Re-Mi” or consoling them with “My Favorite Things.” She’s radiant, and much of the film rests upon her delicate shoulders.


While the kids and Captain von Trapp aren’t the best, Andrews gets able support from a series of character actors, mainly Peggy Wood and Eleanor Parker. Wood’s Mother Superior is the kind of kind, supportive, understanding authority figure that only exists in fiction, especially nuns. While it’s obviously not her singing voice, she still sells the drama of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” of which there is much to sell. Parker is pure glamour as the Baroness, a slightly pitiable figure that’s supposed to be a villain I suppose, but Parker refuses to make her one-note. Richard Haydn gets to play the clown as Max Detweiler, a purely comic creation in a drama heavy piece.


And the natural beauty of Austria goes a long way towards selling The Sound of Music as an important event. Would moments like “I Have Confidence” or the reprise of “Edelweiss” be half as memorable without the location footage? We all want to spin around on the mountains while singing “The Sound of Music” thanks to that opening shot, which is bursting with nature’s loveliness.


If it feels a bit like a sugar-high, that’s because it is. Yes, it’s old-fashioned, it’s a crowd-pleaser from a time when those movies were actually built upon a strong foundation and not just empty calories. The Sound of Music is timeless, an escapist film about escaping has rarely been this watchable, entertaining, or nice. You’re more likely to hear my vibrato squealing along to “The Lonely Goatherd” than ever say anything too mean or critical about this film.

0 comments, Reply to this entry

A classic

Posted : 2 years, 11 months ago on 26 December 2015 04:24

Of course, I had already seen this movie but since it was a while back,  I thought I should give it another try. In fact, it was my wife who actually introduced it to me when we first met. Indeed, it was one of her favorite movies, one of those that she saw so many times as a child, and she was (rightfully) shocked that I never saw the damned thing in my life. Well,  even though I can see why it has been so much loved after so many years, to be honest, I didn't really connect with this movie, I'm afraid. I mean, I do think that Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer both delivered some really solid performances and some of the tunes were rather catchy, but, unfortunately, the story was just rather sleep-inducing to me. Sure, it is really innocent and harmless but also terribly simplistic and frankly rather outdated.  For example, don’t you think it is rather odd that Maria and the Captain would fall in love without having one single conversation? Sure, it is all inherent to the genre but it all felt rather fluffy to me.  And what about this third act? I mean, so far,  it was a rather charming fairy tale so why on Earth did they bring WWII in the mix? Such a really serious historical tragedy didn’t belong in such a childish musical and I thought it was seriously misguided to portray them as some kind of resistance heroes. To conclude, it was obviously not my thing but it remains a classic and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

0 comments, Reply to this entry

The Sound of Music (1965) review

Posted : 3 years, 7 months ago on 26 April 2015 11:24

People tends to overrate when it comes to old movies for many reasons, But this film is good, authentic, joyful, classic and marvelous.
We really miss this kind of films these days. And I loved it with all my heart.

0 comments, Reply to this entry

The sound of a musical masterpiece.

Posted : 7 years, 9 months ago on 28 February 2011 09:14

I had a deep desire to watch this film seeing as I love classic musicals as well as classics in general, it is my mother's all-time favourite film and I have been told previously by other relatives and friends that recommended it to me and… my God! Am I pleased or what?! The Sound Of Music is one of the single most perfect pieces of art and entertainment that I have ever laid my eyes on in my life. From the very start to the end, I was almost in an enchanting world that was a bit like the enchanting world of Disney. Actually, now thinking about it, The Sound Of Music would have made an awesome Disney film. Then again, if Disney did it, it might not turned out as awesome and successful as it has become.

The Sound Of Music really does take you into a world of pure beauty that doesn't seem like it is from this world. It seems more like from a world that nobody has ever been to and nobody ever will go to again after this film. Ever since watching it, I now have a dream goal to visit Salzburg, Austria and I think was the most perfect place for The Sound Of The Music to be filmed! Like most musicals, the songs within are just pure magic and give you goose-bumps and chills down your spine as you watch it especially in the songs "The Sound Of Music", "Maria", "My Favourite Things" and "Sixteen Going On Seventeen". I just cannot choose what my favourite song is from the film because they are all so brilliantly written, brilliantly performed and also brilliantly directed.

In 1930's Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The Captain's wife is dead, and he is often away, and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father keeps hiring, and have managed to run each of them off one by one. When Maria arrives, she is initially met with the same hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives -- including the Captain's. Eventually he and Maria find themselves falling in love, even though Georg is already engaged to a Baroness and Maria is still a postulant. The romance makes them both start questioning the decisions they have made. Their personal conflicts soon become overshadowed, however, by world events. Austria is about to come under the control of Germany, and the Captain may soon find himself drafted into the German navy and forced to fight against his own country.

After Julie Andrews' outstanding performance as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, 1 year later she stars in the leading role in a musical once again but this time playing a slightly different kind of character. We see Maria as that very gentle and friendly young woman just like Mary Poppins but I think her performance as Maria in The Sound Of Music is simply the best performance that I think she has ever done and I think should have earned her a second Academy Award win (it would have been a back-to-back win if she really won Best Leading Actress. She was nominated, though, so that was good enough). The Sound Of Music proves that Julie really was back then and still is one of the greatest British actresses of all time. I felt like this all the way through but Maria really is one of those women who you just want to give a big hug to and would make the perfect wife so that is another reason why Julie's performance was so special. Christopher Plummer has been widely known for many films in the past but I think this has been his most famous role and I think this is the best role I have seen from him. He was simply robbed of that Academy Award nomination for Best Leading Actor because he damn sure deserved it. I loved how cold he was towards Maria and towards the children but when he softened up again like before, it really showed his character deep-down and moved the audience and shows that children really do need their parent(s) to act like that towards them. Out of the supporting actors and actresses in the film, I would say it is a tie between Peggy Wood as Mother Abbess and Eleanor Parker as Baroness Elsa Schraeder. Well, in shorter words, all of the actors involved were fantastic!

Robert Wise is quite possibly the one director who started off and became an influence to great directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Danny Boyle and Oliver Stone seeing as they are all directors who have made different films of different genres. Wise, who makes his second consecutive musical after Romeo and Juliet like musical West Side Story which won Best Picture and Best Director (but Wise shared that with Jerome Robbins) and makes a musical that melted the hearts of the people in the 1960s and still does now after over 45 years. It perhaps isn't a cinema landmark or like a breakthrough in cinema but in terms of directing and how beautiful it was filmed, it certainly does blow the minds of its viewers.

Overall, The Sound Of Music is quite possibly the best directed musical of all time if not the very best. If you are not moved by this or don't find this a beautifully crafted film, you simply are one empty, heartless creature! This is easily one of the best musicals of all time as well as one of my favourite musicals, one of the best of the 60s and it is on my favourite films ever list too. I can't see there ever being a more beautiful, enchanting and magical musical than The Sound Of Music.

0 comments, Reply to this entry