The Sound of Music Review and Blu-ray Features
The Sound of Music
29 March 1965
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
Escape (in reality)
While the von Trapp family hiked over the Alps to Switzerland in the movie, in reality they walked to the local train station and boarded the next train to Italy. From Italy, they fled to London and ultimately the USA. Salzburg is in fact only a few miles away from the Austrian-German border, and is much too far from either the Swiss or Italian borders for a family to escape by walking. Had the Von Trapps hiked over the mountains, they would have ended up in Germany, near Adolf Hitler’s mountain retreat
The Captain + Rolfe
I’ve always found it odd how the Captain tells Rolfe “You’ll never be one of them.” He says it in a rather cold, almost mocking tone. Surely from the Captain this should be a compliment?
With armed Nazis all over the place, it was certainly an odd time to taunt him. But if the family had just left quietly, you wouldn’t get all the drama (and a moment of comedy) at the end.
I think the reason why he says it to him in that way is because he knows Rolfe isn’t as tough as he wants them to believe.
I completely agree with your observation, but I wonder if it just was a difficult shot/scene to get perfect. I also thought his remark to Rolfe was extremely patronizing to the point where Rolfe had no choice in order to save face and dignity but to blow the whistle. Perhaps there were a dozen takes on that scene where Plummer tried every variation from sympathetic to sarcastic, and they settled on what we see
There was no need for the Captain to say that. Rolfe would probably have let him go, but, it was almost insulting
I much preferred the ending of the SOM Live when the Captain protects Maria and the little one and Rolfe doesn’t shout or shoot because of Liesl. – showing he did have feelings for her
During this scene the Captain asks Rolfe to come away with them before it’s too late. Did he really expect Rolfe to join them? There would need to be a change of clothes for him since obviously he couldn’t go off with them wearing his uniform. Or was the Captain simply trying to stall Rolfe and keep him calm while the others escaped?
I think that the Captain’s suggestion that Rolfe come and join them seemed sincere, especially since Rolfe was still quite young (seventeen), yet, at the same time, I think that the Captain probably was trying to keep Rolfe calm while him and his family escaped.
City with Nazi Flags all over for the shooting purpose
As part of his research for the film, William Wyler met with the real Maria von Trapp and the mayor of Salzburg. Wyler was concerned that the local residents would be alarmed at seeing their buildings draped with Nazi flags and seeing stormtroopers in the streets only 25 years after the real thing had taken place. The mayor assured him that the residents had managed to live through the Anschluss the first time and would survive it again. Other city officials were much more resistant to the idea of decorating Salzburg with Nazi colors. They soon changed their mind when the film-makers said they would use newsreel footage instead. This footage was actually highly incriminating as it showed the Salzburgers openly welcoming the Nazis, something that the proposed scenes for the film would not do.
Home was taken over by Germans
After the Von Trapps fled Austria, their home was taken over by Heinrich Himmler, one of the key players of the Nazi party. Adolf Hitler personally visited Himmler there several times.
Borders were ordered to shut down after Van Trapp family escaped from Austria
The day after the Von Trapp family left Austria (by train to Italy, not trekking over the mountains to Switzerland as the film depicts), Adolf Hitler ordered the borders of Austria to be shut.
Swastika in the windows of house
People were expected to display the swastika in their windows (something Captain Von Trapp refused to do) and anyone who didn’t was accused of being against Hitler. He had people taken away who were suspected of Communism or being an enemy.
“1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”
Included among the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”, edited by Steven Schneider.
Eleanor in real life
Christopher Plummer: “Eleanor had great fun because she fell in love with the cameraman and they had a marvelous time together. He was an awfully nice guy and she deserved a nice guy. She was the most delicious woman, and, my god, what a beauty, so I loved them both and they were such lovebirds always holding hands everywhere. I think their story is much more romantic than The Sound of Music.” (People Magazine, 2015)
“Greatest Family Films”
Voted number 18 in channel 4’s (UK) “Greatest Family Films”.
Originally to be directed by William Wyler, who actually scouted locations and toyed with the script. He had a different film in mind; tanks crashing through walls, etc.
#40 Greatest Movie of All Time.
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #40 Greatest Movie of All Time.
LIESL’S UNCANNY BEAUTY…
those hideous Nazis could surely do some effective brainwash for Rolfe to choose them over Liesl. Those piercing blue eyes are so hypnotic (not to mention some of her other attributes nicely featured in the dance during the rain) that I think no straight man with a healthy mind would do such!
Agreed, she is an absolutely gorgeous 20-something young woman. But definitely NOT a 16-year old girl !!!
RT/Meta Critic Review
Arguably the best screen adaptation of a stage musical that has yet been made, and certainly the most improved over its source material.(Click here to see)
Now this is how you do a restoration of a film from the mid-1960s. The Sound of Music was shot in the widescreen 70mm Todd-AO format, and for this new release, the original negatives were scanned at 8K and downsized to a 4K master that has been given an extensive restoration. Color fluctuations between takes have been corrected and thousands of instances of dirt and debris have been removed, resulting in a 1080p/AVC- encoded transfer that’s absolutely pristine. Most importantly, the fine grain structure of the 70mm negative hasn’t been tampered with at all and there have been no attempts to artificially sharpen the picture. It simply isn’t needed. Like most of the other 70mm films to appear on Blu-ray—2001: A Space Odyssey, Baraka, etc.—The Sound of Music inherently has a tremendous sense of clarity, revealing every detail of the wool and herringbone suits, the ornately gilded interiors of the von Trapp estate, individual blades of grass on a mountaintop meadow, and the fine textures of the actors’ faces. Some close-ups do appear softer, but this is only because a diffusion filter was used during filming to give a flattering glow to some of the older performers. Color reproduction is warm and dense as well, with vivid primaries, rich neutrals, perfectly attuned black levels, and skin tones that are natural and consistent. Unlike the artifact-heavy DVD, there are no real compression issues to speak of here. I did spot—briefly—some moiré-like shimmer on the fine lines of Maria’s apron at the very beginning of the film, but it’s hardly a distraction. I can’t imagine The Sound of Music looking any better than it does here, and I have no problems giving it a full 5/5 for picture quality.
Unusual for the mid-1960s, The Sound of Music featured six-track stereo, allowing seamless pans and sweeps and plenty of room for the orchestral score to breath. For the first time, the film’s restorers had access to the original six-track print master, which they’ve digitally restored and expanded into a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround mix. The results—without gushing too much—are flawless. I mean, you’d expect nothing less from a film called The Sound of Music, right? Well, rest assured, the music sounds fantastic—rich, dynamically expressive, and wonderfully clean. The score fills every channel during the musical numbers, and the spacious mix generates a great sense of interplay between the individual instruments. And the singing! As crisp as the alpine air. The same goes for the non-sung dialogue, which is perfectly balanced. Fans couldn’t ask for more. Like the restoration of the print, it’s clear that a lot of time and effort went into optimizing the audio for this release. (If you’re interested, make sure to check out the Restoring a Classic: A Glorious Sound featurette for details on how the audio cleanup was accomplished.)
Your Favorite Things – An Interactive Celebration
Like most of Fox’s tent pole Blu-ray productions, The Sound of Music comes with an all-new interactive bonus features interface that can be accessed while watching the film. When you select “Your Favorite Things” from the extras tab, a brief video tutorial plays and you’re taken to a menu where you can customize the experience. There are four options here, and you can select as many or as few of them as you’d like. Making Music: A Journey in Images is a picture-in-picture mode that displays many never-before-seen storyboards and photographs of the film’s production in the upper right corner of the screen, The Sing-Along Experience provides karaoke-style lyrics across the bottom of the screen, Many a Thing to Know is a trivia track about the making of the film and the real Maria, and Where Was it Filmed? is an ongoing multiple-choice quiz. With all four options turned on, I find that the interface obscures too much of the film, but I can see many fans taking advantage of the karaoke mode.
Music Machine (1080p, 58:02)
From here you can skip directly to your favorite songs from the film or watch them all consecutively.
Sing-Along (1080p, 54:22)
For all intents and purposes, this mode is exactly the same as “Music Machine.” In fact, I’m not quite sure what’s different about the two, except that “Sing-Along” seems to trim off some of the music before the singing starts.
The disc includes two commentaries tracks. The first, with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Charmian Carr, Choreographer Dee Dee Wood, and Johannes von Trapp, is one of those tracks where all the participants are recorded separately and patched in to comment on certain scenes. Andrews is the most vocal figure, but there are many long stretches of silence throughout. The second track, with director Robert Wise, is where you’ll find more concentrated making-of information, although fans will eventually want to give both commentaries a go.
BD-Live Exclusive: Laura Benanti on The Sound of Music (720p, 3:33)
Disc Two: Extras
An “interactive backlot tour,” Musical Stages allows you to explore the foyer of the Von Trapp home, which serves as a menu for a host of all-new special features, including profiles of many of the film’s songs and featurettes about The Sound of Music’s production and enduring legacy.
- Maria in the 21st Century (1080i, 6:52)
- Restoring a Classic: Bloom and Grow Forever (1080p, 5:54)
- Edelweiss (1080i, 2:28)
- I Have Confidence (1080i, 3:09)
- My Favorite Things (1080i, 2:47)
- Sixteen Going on Seventeen (1080i, 2:20)
- After the Escape (1080i, 8:43)
- R&H: Partnership at its Peak (1080i, 3:43)
- Shaping the Story (1080i, 4:50)
- The Von Trapps Today (1080i, 5:48)
- Climb Ev’ry Mountain (1080i, 2:07)
- Stage Vs. Screen (1080i, 3:12)
- Maria (1080i, 3:03)
- The Sound of Music (1080i, 2:32)
- Maria and the Musical (1080i, 5:06)
- Cutting Room Floor (1080i, 2:50)
- Something Good (1080i, 2:17)
- The Lonely Goatherd (1080i, 2:30)
- Do-Re-Mi (1080i, 3:31)
- So Long, Farewell (1080i, 1:11)
- A Generous Heart (1080i, 3:54)
- Final Dream: Oscar Hammerstein Remembered (1080i, 5:51)
- Stories from Broadway (1080i, 4:19)
- Restoring a Classic: A Glorious Sound (1080i, 5:31)
A City of Song
An interactive map of Salzburg, from which you can access “Fascinating Facts,” photos, and brief video clips about each location seen in the film.
- Mellweg: Maria’s Mountain (1080i, 2:26)
- Nonnberg: Maria’s Abbey (1080i, 2:42)
- Residenzplatz: Scenes of Joy and Sorrow (1080i, 2:23)
- Siegmundplatz: The Horse Pond (1080i, 1:26)
- von Trapp Villa: A Place of Harmony (1080i, 00:43)
- Frohnburg: A Facade Fit for Hollywood (1080i, 1:36)
- Gazebo: A New Home at Hellbrunn (1080i, 1:48)
- Mozartsteg – A Bridge to the Past (1080i, 1:19)
- Werfen: Planning a Picnic (1080i, 1:39)
- Winkler Terrace: The Ultimate View (1080i, 1:29)
- Mirabell Gardens: Do-Re-Mi-rabell (1080i, 2:10)
- Leopoldskron: Story of a Lake (1080i, 1:49)
- Salzburg Marionette Theatre: Pulling Strings (1080i, 2:54)
- Mondsee Cathedral: A Marriage of Fact and Fiction (1080i, 2:27)
- Rock Riding School: Staging a Festival (1080i, 2:23)
- St. Peter’s Cemetery: Safe Haven (1080i, 1:33)
- Rossfeld: A Dangerous Escape (1080i, 1:02)
- The Sound of Music Tour: A Living Story (1080i, 2:40)
An enormous collection of special features that appeared on previous DVD releases, including vintage featurettes and several exhaustive making-of documentaries.
- The Sound of Music: From Fact to Phenomenon (SD, 1:27:22)
- My Favorite Things: Julie Andrews Remembers (SD, 1:03:18)
- Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer: A Reminiscence (SD, 19:24)
- From Liesl to Gretl (SD, 33:33)
- Salzburg Sight and Sound (SD, 13:04)
- On Location with The Sound of Music (SD, 22:33)
- When You Know the Notes to Sing: A Sing-along Phenomenon (SD, 12:50)
- Rodgers and Hammerstein: The Sound of American Music, 1985 (SD, 1:23:25)
- Rodgers and Hammerstein: The Sound of Movies, 1996 (SD, 1:36:36)
- Location Interviews (audio only, 11:49)
- Reissue Interview with Julie Andrews and Robert Wise, 1973 (audio only, 7:46)
- A Telegram from Daniel Truhitte (audio only, 13:02)
- Ernest Lehman: Master Storyteller (audio only, 34:56)
- Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall: The Pratt Family Singers (SD, 6:41)
- The Julie Andrews Hour: Julie Andrews and Maria von Trapp (SD, 16:33)
- Screen Tests (SD, 26:13)
- 40th Anniversary DVD Introduction by Julie Andrews (SD, 2:10)
- Pre-production, Production, and Publicity Galleries (1080p, windowboxed)
- Fox Movietone News Academy Awards (SD, 2:46)
- Trailers and Teasers (SD, 20:35 total)
- TV Spots (SD, 1:23)
- Radio Spots (1:00)
Note: English SDH, French, and Dutch subtitles are available for all special features.