The Sound of Music (1965) Poster


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Charmian Carr who played Liesel and was 21 at the time, wrote in her autobiography that she was attracted to the 35 year old Christopher Plummer, who played her father. Plummer admitted that the feeling was mutual, but insists that it didn't get beyond mere flirtation.
Julie Andrews sang "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" to the children in the cast to entertain them between shooting. Since Mary Poppins (1964) hadn't yet been released, they just thought she'd made up the song for them.
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.
Christopher Plummer intensely disliked working on the film. He's been known to refer to it as "The Sound of Mucus" or "S&M" and likened working with Julie Andrews to "being hit over the head with a big Valentine's Day card, every day." Nontheless, he and Andrews have remained close friends ever since.
Every year the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles hosts an annual Sound of Music sing-a-long where the song lyrics are shown underneath the screen. The actors who played the Von Trapp children and indeed the real Von Trapp children themselves often make appearances at what has consistently been a sold-out event.
"Sixteen Going On Seventeen" was shot in the gazebo, one of the last to be done. On the first take, Charmian Carr (Liesl) slipped while leaping across a bench, and fell through a pane of glass. Although she was not badly injured, her ankle was hurt and the scene was later shot with her leg wrapped and makeup covering the bandages.
Very little was known or available to Christopher Plummer about the real Captain von Trapp so the actor took to the Salzburg mountains with an interpreter. There, they met with Georg's nephew and asked him what the real man was like. The nephew told them that he was the most boring man he'd ever met.
Julie Andrews had to learn how to play the guitar especially for the film.
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.
When Maria is running through the courtyard to the Von Trapp house in "I Have Confidence", she trips. This was an accident; however, director Robert Wise liked this so much that he kept it in the movie. He felt it added to the nervousness of the song and of the character.
Christopher Plummer admits on the DVD commentary that he was drunk during the shooting of the music festival sequence.
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.
Kym Karath (Gretl) couldn't swim, so the original idea was to get Julie Andrews to catch her when the boat tips up and they all fall in the water. However, during the second take the boat toppled over so that Andrews fell to one side and Karath fell to the other. Heather Menzies-Urich (Louisa) had to save her instead. Andrews stated later she felt guilty about this for years.
Christopher Plummer admitted that he ate and drank heavily during filming to drown out his unhappiness with making the picture, and found plenty of opportunities to do both in Austria. His costume eventually had to be refitted for his extra weight.
Julie Andrews nearly turned down the role of Maria Von Trapp, fearing the character was too similar to her role in Mary Poppins (1964).
The song "Edelweiss" was written for the musical and is little known in Austria. The song was the last that Oscar Hammerstein II wrote before his passing in 1960.
The movie is based on Maria Von Trapp's 1949 memoir, "The Story of the Von Trapp Family Singers". She also published another book, "Maria", in 1972 and said that while she was able to attend the opening of the musical on Broadway, she did not have the same luck with the film premiere in 1965. She was able to convince 20th Century Fox to let her see a preview of the movie and expected an invitation to the premiere but "when I didn't hear anything about it and no invitation arrived, I really humbled myself to go and ask the producer whether I would be allowed to come. He said he was very sorry, indeed, but there were no seats left" (p. 216).
Debbie Turner (Marta) had many loose teeth during filming. When they fell out, they were replaced with false teeth.
Peggy Wood (Mother Abbess) not only had a hard time vocally with her "Climb Every Mountain" vocal (which had to be dubbed), but she had an even harder time being able to lip-sync to the prerecorded track. The intro is lengthy and when the vocal comes in, Peggy couldn't master the lip synchronization perfectly. Once into the song she did fine, but perfectly catching that first word was difficult and it kept getting flubbed. After a number of takes and seeing how it was distressing Ms. Wood with every try, Wise had her face away from the camera so her face and mouth couldn't be seen. Her vocal started while she was turned away so she could synchronize her lip movement out of camera sight. Then when she turned towards the camera, she was in perfect sync. In fact, the overall effect of her looking through the window as if communing with a higher spirit worked even better than the original blocking and it added to the mystical emotion of the song and scene.
In the original play the Captain and Baroness separate due to ideological differences: the Baroness refuses to stand up against the Nazis, and the Captain refuses to compromise with the Nazis.
In real life, Georg Von Trapp was not stern. The Von Trapp children were upset and disturbed by the portrayal of their father in the film. Maria von Trapp requested that director Robert Wise soften the character of her husband, but Wise refused.
Although Christopher Plummer's own vocals were in fact recorded, it was subsequently decided that he should be dubbed.
Adjusted for inflation, this would be the third highest-grossing movie of all time.
When Maria and the Captain are at the gazebo, Julie Andrews couldn't stop laughing due to a lighting device that was making, in her words, a "raspberry" every time she leaned in to kiss Plummer. After more than 20 takes, the scene was altered to silhouette the two and to hide Andrews' giggles.
Though the film is virtually unknown in Austria, due to the international popularity you can visit the places where the filming took place with a special tour. Furthermore, in many hotels in Salzburg, the movie is played non-stop on TV for the tourists.
When the film was first released on home video, it stayed on the charts for over 250 weeks, almost five years.
When the film was released in South Korea, it did so much business that some theaters were showing it four and five times a day. One theater owner in Seoul tried to figure out a way to be able to show it even more often, in order to bring in more customers. So he cut out all the musical numbers.
At the beginning of filming, Heather Menzies-Urich (Louisa) was about three inches taller than Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich). He had to wear heel lifts to make him look taller. By the end of the shoot, Nicolas Hammond had grown six inches (5'3" to 5'9"). He often filmed in no shoes and Charmian Carr had to stand on a box to make her taller. All of the Von Trapp children grew a lot during filming, so heel lifts and various camera tricks were used to keep their heights steady.
The Sound of Music (1965) is credited as the film that saved Twentieth Century Fox, after the debacle of Cleopatra (1963).
Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich) has brown hair, and had to undergo several painful hair bleachings before and during filming to make his hair blond.
Maria never uses the Captain's first name, "Georg", in the film. Instead, she calls him Captain, Sir, and Darling.
Robert Wise didn't get along with the real Maria von Trapp when she came to the set, calling her bossy.
In the closing shot, when the family is climbing over the hills to safety, it is not really Kym Karath as Gretl on the shoulders of Captain von Trapp. In the DVD version, it is revealed that while in Austria, Kym Karath gained a lot of weight. This was one of the last shots filmed and so she was evidently a bit too heavy to be carried on Christopher Plummer's back. Plummer requested a stunt double and that is who's seen being carried on his back.
Six burly Austrians were hired to pull the heavy car by two ropes while the actors push from behind when the von Trapps are escaping their home in Salzburg.
The United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2001.
Christopher Plummer learned to play the guitar for his part, but the guitar (like his vocals) were re-dubbed.
The first musical number in the film, The Sound of Music (1965), was the final sequence shot in Europe before the cast and crew returned to Los Angeles. It was filmed in late June and early July of 1964. Despite the warm and sunny appearance, Julie Andrews notes that she was freezing running up that mountain over and over again. Director Robert Wise has said that he had to climb one of the trees nearby to be able to overview the helicopter shoot without getting in the picture.
One of only 4 productions to win both the Best Musical (or Best Play, as applicable) Tony (1960) and the Best Picture Oscar (1965). The other 3 are My Fair Lady (1957/1964), A Man For All Seasons (1962/1966) and Amadeus (1981/1984).
According to the British tabloid The Sun, the movie was selected by BBC executives as one to be broadcast after a nuclear strike, to improve the morale of survivors. The BBC did not confirm or deny the story, saying, "This is a security issue so we cannot comment".
Mary Martin was the wife of Richard Halliday, producer of the original Broadway show. Martin, who originated the role of Maria on Broadway, would eventually see nearly $8,000,000 from the film. In contrast, Julie Andrews earned just $225,000 for her performance.
In 2015, The Sound of Music celebrated its 50th anniversary. At the Academy Awards of 2015 (The 87th Annual Academy Awards (2015)), pop singer Lady Gaga sang a medley of songs "The Sound of Music," "Edelweiss," "My Favorite Things," and "Climb Every Mountain." Julie Andrews then came out and hugged Lady Gaga. It is believed that Lady Gaga did not know Andrews was there.
Christopher Plummer opted out of the Harry Palmer role in The Ipcress File (1965) in favor of the Captain Von Trapp part, a decision he later regretted.
Julie Andrews was always Robert Wise's first choice to play Maria even though no one had really seen how she worked onscreen. Mary Poppins (1964) hadn't been released at that stage.
Duane Chase's (Kurt) high note in the "So Long, Farewell" number was actually sung by Darleen Carr (younger sister of Charmian Carr), as that note was beyond Chase's range.
Mia Farrow tested for the part of Liesl.
Maria's wedding train was 14 feet long.
Among kids who auditioned to play one of the Von Trapp children were Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Veronica Cartwright, and the four eldest Osmond Brothers (Alan Osmond, Jay Osmond, Merrill Osmond, and Wayne Osmond). Dreyfuss couldn't dance.
Fred Astaire was considered for the role of Max.
Grace Kelly was considered for the part of the Baroness. However, she had retired from acting when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco and was not open to offers to return to her former profession.
Christopher Plummer's biggest challenge with the film was simply being in it and resisting the temptation to send it up. Robert Wise kept him in check, telling him to play it straight.
Charmian Carr (Liesl) slipped and injured her ankle while filming "Sixteen Going On Seventeen". In early editions of the film, the bandage covering that ankle is visible. When the film was remastered for DVD, the images of this bandage were digitally removed. On the movie commentary of the 40th Anniversary edition in 2005, Charmian said that because of this, some people do not believe her when she says she danced on an injured ankle.
Much of the movie was filmed at Leopoldskron, an estate outside Salzburg that was once owned by theatrical impresario, Max Reinhardt. Like the von Trapps, Reinhardt fled Austria for the United States with the coming of the Nazis.
The Baroness Schreider, who the Captain plans to marry, is based on Princess Yvonne. As with the Baroness in the Sound of Music, Princess Yvonne had indeed planned to ship the von Trapp children off to boarding school after she and the Captain were married.
Seth MacFarlane is a huge fan of the film and often includes spoofs of it in his TV show Family Guy (1999).
The famous marionette puppet sequence for "The Lonely Goatherd" was produced and performed by the leading puppeteers of the day, Bil Baird and Cora Baird.
Two years before the musical made its Broadway debut, Paramount bought the rights to the Von Trapp Singers story, intending to cast Audrey Hepburn as Maria. When Hepburn declined, Paramount dropped plans for a film.
The gazebo changes size (becomes larger) when we go inside it. This is intentional. There was a real gazebo on the property where they filmed the scenes at the back of the house, but it was too small for the dance numbers, so they built an interior for the gazebo in Hollywood that was significantly larger.
Kym Karath (Gretl) swallowed too much water upon falling out of the rowboat, and threw up on Heather Menzies-Urich (Louisa).
The actors had to be continually hosed down while filming the scene after they had fallen out of the boat, in order to remain dripping wet.
The librettists, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, originally intended to use songs that the real von Trapp family had sung. However, Mary Martin, who was to be in the play, asked Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II to write a song for her character. Due to concerns that their original song would not mix well with the folk music, Rodgers and Hammerstein suggested writing a whole new score, the music we know today.
Marni Nixon had become well known in Hollywood circles as a ghost singer for the leads in several film adaptations of hit Broadway musicals. She provided the vocals for Deborah Kerr in The King and I (1956), Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961) and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964). "The Sound of Music" provided a rare onscreen performance by Marni Nixon, who plays Sister Sophia. Julie Andrews had previously appeared on Broadway in My Fair Lady (1964) but was passed over for the film. The producers were wary of how Julie Andrews would react to Nixon because she dubbed Audrey Hepburn's vocals in a role made famous by Andrews. When Andrews first met Nixon, she exclaimed, "Marni, I'm a fan of you!" and the producers were relieved.
Richard Rodgers composed two new songs for the film - "I Have Confidence in Me" and "Something Good".
In the background of the picnic in the mountain pasture when Maria and the children start singing "Do Re Mi", you can dimly make out a castle on top of a hill. This castle featured more prominently in the Richard Burton-Clint Eastwood thriller Where Eagles Dare (1968) two years later.
The film's status as the most successful movie musical was surpassed thirteen years later by Grease (1978) in actual box office collected, but this film remained the most successful movie musical when adjusted for inflation.
The gazebo used for the "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" and "Something Good" scenes can still be visited in the Salzburg area, on "Sound of Music" tours. However, the public had to be excluded from the interior because film fans who were considerably older than "sixteen going on seventeen" were injuring themselves while trying to dance along the seats. The gazebo in Austria was only used for exterior shots. The actual dance by Charmian Carr and Daniel Truhitte was, in fact, filmed on a replica of the gazebo's interior on a sound stage at 20th Century-Fox in Los Angeles, as were the shots of Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.
The film employed 4,500 extras.
In 1962, Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett appeared in a special, Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall (1962), and at the time, "The Sound of Music" was still running on Broadway. Ironically, in a sketch on this TV special, Julie and Carol did a spoof of the "The Sound of Music" in much the same way Burnett later spoofed movies on her own variety show The Carol Burnett Show (1967). At the time, Julie Andrews had no idea she would later star in the film version.
20th Century Fox paid over $1,000,000 for the rights to the movie - a huge amount of money at the time, and a very high price for a studio still reeling from the massive costs of Cleopatra (1963).
According to director Robert Wise the grass on the hill of the opening song was supposed to be much longer than it was. The filmmakers had made an arrangement with the farmer who owned the land to leave the grass long, but when they arrived for filming it had been cut. Wise commented that the scene turned out very well after all.
During the filming of the opening shot of Maria taken from a helicopter, Julie Andrews relates that although she tried digging her heels into the ground and bracing herself, on every take she was knocked over by the powerful helicopter downdraft. After more than a dozen takes, she attempted to hand-signal to Robert Wise to have the helicopter make a wider pass, but the response she got was a thumbs-up - he was finally satisfied with the shot.
Portia Nelson was the only member of the original Broadway cast to reprise her role in the film version.
The film was heavily censored in Germany with virtually all of the Nazi overtones excised. Eventually, this material was restored to the German release but the film never really scored any traction with audiences there. Consequently the film is largely unknown in Germany and Austria where the films Die Trapp-Familie (1956) and Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika (1958) were much more successful.
Sean Connery and Richard Burton were considered for the part of Captain von Trapp.
Robert Wise went to great pains to ensure that one of the film's iconic songs - "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" - was played very differently from the stage show. In the theatre, the Mother Superior comes centerstage and belts out the number. In the London production he saw of the show, Wise found this treatment cringeworthy and sought to create a more resonant, quieter version of the tune. To that end, he had Peggy Wood virtually silhouetted throughout her rendition of the song.
The real Maria von Trapp claimed that the film actually toned down her behavior in the abbey. In an interview she was asked if she was really that bad and she joked "I was worse."
Even though it was only briefly sung by Julie Andrews, she stated that Edelweiss is her favorite song from this musical.
Christopher Plummer wasn't overly impressed with the film; he has called it "The Sound of Mucus" and says that the song "Edelweiss" was "schmaltzy".
Christopher Plummer was not fond of the song "Edelweiss," which he considered trite, and wrote a letter to screenwriter Ernest Lehman suggesting a new song should be written to replace it, but he was rebuffed.
When negotiations over his film The Sand Pebbles (1966) kept breaking down, Robert Wise started looking around for another project to do while he waited for things to get sorted. The Sound of Music (1965) basically fell into his lap after William Wyler dropped out of the project. Wyler wanted the film to be more serious and make more of the Nazis in the story. 20th Century Fox didn't care for his approach.
Charmian Carr sang "16 Going On Seventeen" for the movie when she was nearly 22. Moreover, although Liesl and Rolf sing about how she is 16 and he is 17, Daniel Truhitte, who played Rolf, is ten months younger than Charmian Carr.
Nicholas Hammond claimed that he had a huge crush on Julie Andrews during production. This is especially evident if one looks at "The Lonely Goatherd". In a couple of shots, Friederich can be seen gazing dreamily at Maria.
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)
At the musical competition at the end of the movie, Fraulein Schweiger, the third place winner, bows 16 times.
The organ passages in the film's underscore were performed by jazz organist Buddy Cole, who suffered a fatal heart attack, just one day after his final recording sessions were completed.
The Reverend Mother's line, "I will lift mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help!" is the first line of the Psalm 121, since the family was heading right into the hills, in hopes that God would send help from those hills to protect the von Trapp family.
In Austria the film is known as "Meine Lieder - Meine Träume" ("My Songs - My Dreams"). It's not very well known there though, and the ending of the film was cut when it was first released in Austrian cinemas in the 1960s.
Four other children were brought in to augment the singing of the seven von Trapp children - to produce a better, fuller, more polished sound. Among the four "extra singers" was the younger sister of Charmian Carr (Liesl), Darleen Carr.
Captain Von Trapp's car is a Mercedes-Benz W142, manufactured between 1936 and 1942.
The Ländler dance that Maria and the Captain shared was not performed the traditional way it is done in Austria.
Liza Minnelli, Patty Duke, Mia Farrow, Kim Darby, Lesley Ann Warren, Tisha Sterling, and Sharon Tate all auditioned/tested for the role of Liesl.
Whilst filming in Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg, the women in the cast and crew wore skirts, not trousers, so as not to offend the resident nuns.
Right after her talk with Maria, the Baroness is at the party talking to Max. The song the orchestra is playing is a song from the play version that was not used in the movie called "How Can Love Survive". This song was sung by the Baroness and Max. However, the tempo and rhythm of the song were altered quite dramatically, when played as a piece of orchestral music at the party in the film, hence the melody isn't immediately recognisable. The melody was stripped of the dramatic intensity and urgency that characterised it in the stage version, and was made to sound like a schmaltzy waltz.
After multiple directors had turned down the film, William Wyler finally agreed to take it on. Wyler at the time was suffering from a loss of hearing and was highly sceptical about making a film about music, thinking he was the wrong man for the job. He was slightly appeased in his decision after seeing the Broadway production.
The interior set of the Von Trapp entry hall (featuring the split staircase) was re-used in the 1965 Doris Day picture Do Not Disturb (1965). The set was re-dressed for use as the hotel ballroom featured in the latter portion of the Doris Day film.
William Wyler wanted Audrey Hepburn to play Maria von Trapp.
Titles of the film in foreign countries translate to English as Smiles and Tears (Spain), The Melody of Happiness (France), "The Rebellious Novice" (Argentina and Brazil). In Croatia the movie is known under the same title as in Austria and Germany- "My Song - My Dream" ("Moje pjesme, moji snovi").
The singing of Peggy Wood (Mother Abbess) was dubbed, as she herself declared that she was too old to handle the vocals.
The film's success encouraged 20th Century Fox to invest in a string of costly musicals. None of them, Doctor Dolittle (1967), Star! (1968), or Hello, Dolly! (1969) turned out to be hits.
In the capacity of producer and director, Robert Wise won two statuettes but was unavailable to claim them due to his location shoot in Hong Kong on The Sand Pebbles (1966).
Robert Wise turned down the film three times before agreeing to direct it.
The production was surprised to discover that Salzburg had the world's seventh highest average rainfall. Many alternative locations had to be sourced as exterior filming was often impossible.
Keith Michell was heavily in the running for the role of Captain von Trapp though director Robert Wise was holding out for another actor better known for his theatre work - Christopher Plummer.
The original plan was to shoot in Salzburg for 6 weeks. However, because of continuing rain, they ended up staying in the city for 11.
The songs "I Have Confidence" and "Something Good" were written especially for the film, by Richard Rodgers, the latter song replacing "An Ordinary Couple" from the stage version. The two numbers became so popular and so integrated into the musical, that most subsequent stage productions, including the 1998 Broadway revival, have felt the need to add them on (and delete "An Ordinary Couple" in the process).
The front and back of the Von Trapp estate were filmed at 2 different locations in Salzburg, Austria.
The movie drops three songs from the original show: "How Can Love Survive" and "No Way to Stop It", which screenwriter Ernest Lehman felt were unnecessary, and "An Ordinary Couple," which was replaced by "Something Good". Ernest Lehman was of the notion that audiences would find the Baroness sympathetic if she sang, and hence her songs ("How Can Love Survive" and "No Way to Stop It") were cut, even though the songs don't necessarily evoke sympathy. "How Can Love Survive" is a duet between Elsa and Max, where the two characters reflect on how wealthy both the Baroness and the Captain are, and how difficult it is to keep romance alive amidst opulence. "No Way to Stop It" is a trio, where Elsa and Max try to convince the Captain not to oppose the Nazis, but to carry on living life as usual.
During pre-production, it was clear to many that William Wyler's heart was not really in it. He was approached midway through pre-production by producers Jud Kinberg and John Kohn who had purchased the film rights to the John Fowles novel 'The Collector' before it had been published. They already had a commitment from Terence Stamp and a first draft screenplay by Stanley Mann. Wyler fell overboard for the script, feeling a much greater affinity with the material than he did with The Sound of Music (1965). Consequently, he asked Darryl F. Zanuck and Richard D. Zanuck to release him from his contract. They agreed. Fortunately, Robert Wise had been experiencing delays with the production of The Sand Pebbles (1966) and was now at liberty to make the film.
The first scene filmed was the scene in Maria's bedroom where Frau Schmidt brings the dress material, and later Liesl sneaks in through the window. One of the last scenes filmed was the "You are Sixteen" number, which appears in the film right before the scene in Maria's room. The two scenes were shot about 4 months apart.
Along with The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966), this is one of the few Twentieth Century-Fox films in which no music at all is heard when the Twentieth Century-Fox logo appears on screen.
Prior to 14 March 1938 Austria drove on the left-hand side of the road. This is why cars registered in Austria up until the Anschluss had right-hand drive.
CASTLE THUNDER: Heard throughout the scene with Maria and Frau Schmidt's second meeting in Maria's room and during "My Favorite Things".
Doris Day was apparently offered the role of Maria von Trapp, but turned it down.
The soundtrack album of the film (RCA Victor: 1965) is one of the best-selling soundtracks of all-time (some 11 million copies sold worldwide) and has never been out of print. A Grammy nominee for Album of the Year which remained at number one on the Billboard Charts for some five weeks, the very earliest issues of the album came with an illustrated booklet discussing the making of the film and the lives and careers of composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.
The Sound of Music (1965) recruited some of the same people that worked on West Side Story (1961): producer and director Robert Wise, screenwriter Ernest Lehman, associate producer Saul Chaplin, singer/actress Marni Nixon, music adapter/conductor Irwin Kostal, and production designer Boris Leven.
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #40 Greatest Movie of All Time.
One of the two musical films directed by Robert Wise and written by Ernest Lehman to feature the main protagonist named as Maria: Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961) and Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music (1965).
Danny Lockin, the blond actor best known for his supporting role of Barnaby Tucker alongside Michael Crawford as Cornelius Hackl in Hello, Dolly! (1969), screen tested for the role of Rolfe. The test survives today, along with those of many other notable actors who were not cast in the film, including Mia Farrow. These tests can be seen in the engrossing Hollywood Screen Tests: Take 2 (1999).
First showed in USA on ABC television stations, on Sunday, February 29th, 1976, to register its ratings, in North America's 50 United States, Canada & almost all other parts on the continent.
The Baroness's (Eleanor Parker) good bye to Captain von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) is very similar to her goodbye scene in Scaramouche (1952), 13 years earlier.
The costume that Duane Chase (Kurt) wears at the party is called a Tracht, an authentic Austrian costume. The jacket he wears is called a Loden.
The idea for the hugely successful Sing-A-Long-Sound-of-Music first came about when one of the organizers of the 1998 London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival heard that staff at a retirement home in the Scottish town of Inverness were handing out lyric sheets to their residents during video showings of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) so that they could sing along. London based Drag performer, Ivan Cartwright was the original Hostess at the film festival, and still regularly hosts the Sing-A-Long at the Prince Charles cinema Leicester Square.
Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta and Gretl were not the von Trapp children's real names. The children's real names (from oldrst to youngest) is in fact Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, and Martina.
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Jeanette MacDonald was originally considered for the role of the Mother Abbess, and she was interested, but, in the end, her increasingly worsening health precluded her taking the part. She died a month before the film was released. Had she been able to accept, it would have been her first film in sixteen years.
Among the other actresses considered for the part of Maria were Shirley Jones, Anne Bancroft and Leslie Caron.
When Dick Van Dyke got the role of Bert in the 1964 movie musical Mary Poppins (1964), Walt Disney asked him if he had a recommendation for a choreographer. Van Dyke recalled working with the team Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood, who had created his dance number for NBC's The Jack Benny Hour (1965) "I'm not really a dancer," Van Dyke said. "I could move a little and I was what you call an eccentric dancer - loose limbed and light on my feet. But Marc and Dee Dee took what I could do and made the most of it. I was just thrilled." Disney took Van Dyke's recommendation and the married duo created one of the best know live-action dances in the history of the Disney Studio - the chimney sweep number to the song "Step In Time." Van Dyke remarked, "We had so much fun. Then I took them to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) with me. 'Mary Poppins' also led them to work on the 1965 film version of 'The Sound of Music.' Robert Wise saw a screening of the chimney sweep number and hired them. Van Dyke said one of his fondest memories of Breaux concerns a step the choreographer put in the "Jolly Holiday" number of "Mary Poppins." It was based on a bit Breaux used to do for fun. "Hard to describe, but it's like you try to step on your own foot, and then jump out of the way. Marc stuck it in there as our little signature. It was our own little joke".
Director Robert Wise considered Yul Brynner for the role of Captain Von Trapp. Brynner had also portrayed the King of Siam in the Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical and its film adaptation of The King and I (1956).
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.
Spyros Skouras and the board of Fox were not going to approve "The Sound of Music." When they heard that Irving Paul Lazar was offering the studio a $250,000 profit to obtain the rights, they did an about face and approved its inclusion on the schedule of upcoming projects. When Darryl F. Zanuck took the studio back from Skouras, he reviewed the idea of the film adaptation of the musical. He and his son 'Richard D. Zanuck', then, hired Ernest Lehman to write the screenplay. Immensely astonished with Lehman's script, the two Zanucks immediately saw true potential in The Sound of Music, than they ever had from the original stage musical. The project was then green-lit for production.
When the Best Picture Oscar went to The Sound of Music (1965) (April 18, 1966), it was the first time the Academy Awards had ever been broadcast in color (ABC TV) (see also The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)).
Among some of the other actors considered for the part of Captain von Trapp were Bing Crosby, Peter Finch and Walter Matthau.
The original Broadway production of "The Sound of Music" opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 16, 1959, ran for 1443 performances and won (in a tie) the 1960 Tony Award for the Best Musical.
When Von Trapp and Maria return from the honeymoon, it is late afternoon. The daughter gives him a telegram, and he reads that he is to report to the Naval base at Bremerhaven the next day.

He is in Salzburg, Austria and Bremerhaven, Germany is 954km (592.8 Miles) away. There is no way he could have driven from Salzburg to Bremerhaven, and been able to report for duty the next morning. If he took the commission, he would have been AWOL.
The two most popular and acclaimed motion pictures of 1965 were The Sound of Music (1965) and Doctor Zhivago (1965). Each film initially was met with a lukewarm response from film critics, then eventually rescued by its muscular studio marketing campaign and strong word of mouth. Each film featured their respective elements that are beneficial to the enduring legacy of each film: a sensational soundtrack, spectacular production values, and the encompassing message of the triumph of the human spirit over evil and corruption. Ironically enough, the two films went on to receive ten Academy Award nominations, respectively, and each film taking home five Academy Award wins.
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First movie of Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews together.
Voted number 18 in channel 4's (UK) "Greatest Family Films".
Twentieth Century-Fox bought the film rights to the musical in 1960, along with the rights to two German films about the family. The project was jeopardized by the poor box-office showing of a compilation of the German films, as well as Fox's extreme financial difficulties and dangerous warnings of bankruptcy resulting from Cleopatra (1963).
Robert Wise and Marc Breaux, on their initial "The Sound of Music" Salzburg location survey of the city's streets and squares, walking, discussing, planning the cutting of shots for each tracking dance sequence involving Maria and the Von Trapp children. Marc and Dee Dee, busy with creating the motivation for the dance sequences were followed on the sidewalk by Robert Wise, while Marc planned each choreographed sequence out in the city street traffic lanes. The congested city traffic didn't stop Marc from sailing out into the traffic patterns planning each dance routine. After the film's principle photography in Salzburg had finished, the weather was overcast, the country side shrouded in fog and mist, and heavy daily rain, prevented the opening hill top shot-set-up. The company remained in their hotels waiting for the final sequence filming. Fox management gave the company departure travel orders. The very last day, as Robert Wise tells, the sky opened with a bright glorious sunny morning. The entire company raced to the hill top, with the helicopter loaded with camera and crew, setting up the film's opening sequence of aerial shots, finally coming upon Julie Andrews spinning around on a hill top before breaking into the title song. To get the timing right, Breaux was hidden in nearby bushes. He watched the helicopter coming over the mountains and at the right moment he had a bullhorn, yelled to Julie Andrews, "OK, Julie! Turn!".
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Robert Wise was the original choice to direct the film but he turned it down, feeling it was too saccharine. Darryl F. Zanuck and his son Richard D. Zanuck then approached Stanley Donen, Vincent Donahue, Gene Kelly and George Roy Hill who all turned it down.
Location shooting in Salzburg lasted three months.
Two of the children, Nicholas Hammond and Kym Karath, went on to appear on The Brady Bunch television show years later. Nicholas appeared on the episode, "The Subject Was Noses" and Kym appeared on the "Cyrano de Brady" episode.
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Came second in the UK's Ultimate Film, in which films were placed in order of how many seats they sold at cinemas.
The von Trapp street address is '53'. When Maria first comes to the villa and is looking through the gate, the address sign is on the stone pillar to the left.
According to Maria von Trapp's 2nd book, "Maria," she did not receive an invitation to the premiere of the movie, although 20th Century Fox did let her preview the film. When no invitation arrived for the premiere, she called the producer to ask if she could attend, but he said sorry, there were no tickets left.
Other actresses considered for the part of Liesl were Geraldine Chaplin, Patty Duke and Sharon Tate.
The film shows that Captain Von Trapp and Maria fall in love immediately. In real life, Maria wanted to return to the Abbey as becoming a nun was always what she desired. She was very upset that she wasn't able to return, unlike in the film, where it seems she wants to leave. Maria Von Trapp said in interviews that she fell in love not with Captain Von Trapp, but with the children, and saw marrying Captain Von Trapp as the best way to become a permanent part of their lives. She said at first she liked, but didn't love, Captain Von Trapp, but learned to love him over the years.
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Christopher Plummer admitted he found Julie Andrews insufferable and annoying during filming, referring to her as Ms. Disney to other cast and crew. Later he admitted to being immature in his feelings and that Julie Andrews was a great actress who behaved like a true professional. The two are now good friends.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich) played Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the 1970's "The Amazing Spider-Man" tv series.
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When the movie first launched to the public, 20th Century Fox held a grand opening on Hollywood Boulevard at what was then called the Grauman's Chinese Threatre with many of the child actors present and signing autographs. A local Southern California kid's band, the Serenaders, played at the opening.
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The 1956 West German film "The Trapp Family" - about the von Trapp family, and its 1958 sequel "Die Trapp-Familie in America" became the most successful films in West Germany during the post-war years. The two films popularity extended throughout Europe and South America. In 1956, Paramount Pictures purchased the United States film rights, intending to produce an English language version with Audrey Hepburn as Maria. The studio eventually dropped their option; but one of the Paramount film studio's directors involved in the preliminary development, Vincent J. Donehue, proposed the story as a stage musical for his friend Mary Martin. Broadway producers Leland Hayward and Richard Halliday (Mary Martin's husband) agreed and secured the rights. Originally envisioned as a non-musical play, they hired playwrights Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, who had won the Pulitzer Prize for "State of the Union," with the play featuring songs from the repertoire of the Trapp Family Singers. Developing the property, Mary Martin agreed with the production team to ask Richard Rogers to add an original song or two by Rogers and Hammerstein. Soon, agreed with the composers Rogers and Hammerstein, the two styles of traditional Austrian folk songs and their two song compositions would not work together. Rogers and Hammerstein offered to write a complete new score for the entire production if the producers were willing to wait while they completed work on "Flower Drum Song." Rogers and Hammerstein based their fictionalized musical on the memoir of Maria Augusta von Trapp, "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers" - published in 1949 by J.B. Lippincott Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The original multiple Tony Award-winning Broadway musical by Richard Rogers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse - "The Sound of Music" - starring Mary Martin (at age 46) and Theodore Bikel (at age 35), opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Monday, November 16th, 1959, moved to the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Tuesday, November 6th, 1962 and closed on Saturday, June 15th, 1963 after 1,433 performances. The director was Vincent J. Donehue, and the choreographer was Joe Layton. The original cast included Mary Martin as Maria, Theodore Bikel as Captain Georg von Trapp, (Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote the song "Edelweiss" specifically for him to perform), Patricia Neway as Mother Abbess, Kurt Kaszner as Max Detweiler, Marion Marlowe as Elsa Schrader, Brian Davies as Rolf and Lauri Peters as Liesl. Sopranos Patricia Brooks and June Card were ensemble members in the original production. The show tied for the Tony Award for Best Musical with "Fiorello!." Other awards included Martin for Best Actress in a Musical, Neway for Best featured Actress, Best Scenic Design (Oliver Smith) and Best Musical Direction (Frederick Dvonch). Bikel and Kasznar were nominated for Tony acting awards, and Donehue was nominated for his direction. The entire children's cast was nominated for Best Featured Actress category as a Tony single nominee, even though two children were boys. Mary's understudy, Renee Guerin performed the 'Maria' role with Theodore Bikel during the Broadway run when Mary vacationed from the show. Martha Wright replaced Martin in the role of Maria on Broadway in October of 1961, followed by Karen Gantz in July of 1962, Jeannie Carson in August of 1962 and Nancy Dussault in September of 1962. Jon Voight, who eventually married co-star Lauri Peters, was a replacement for Rolf. The national tour starred Florence Henderson as Maria and Beatrice Krebs as Mother Abbess. It opened at the Grand Riviera Theater, Detroit, on Monday, February 27th, 1961, and closed on Saturday, November 23rd, 1963 at the O'Keefe Centre, Toronto. Henderson was succeeded by Barbara Meister in June of 1962. Theodore Bikel was not satisfied playing the role of the Captain because of the role's limited singing; Bikel did not like to play the same role over and over again. In his autobiography, he writes: "I promised myself then that if I could afford it, I would never do a run as long as that again." The original Broadway cast album sold three million copies. The musical premiered in London's West End at the Palace Theatre on Thursday, May 18th, 1961, and ran for 2,385 performances. It was directed by Jerome Whyte and used the original New York choreography, supervised by Joe Layton, and the original sets designed by Oliver Smith. The cast included Jean Bayless as Maria, followed by Sonia Rees, Roger Dann as Captain von Trapp, Constance Shacklock as Mother Abbess, Eunice Gayson as Elsa Schrader, Harold Kasket as Max Detweiler, Barbara Brown as Liesl, Nicholas Bennett as Rolf and Olive Gilbert as Sister Margaretta. "The Sound of Music" was the final musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Oscar Hammerstein II died of cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere. His lifetime: Tuesday, July 12th, 1895 to Friday, August 23rd, 1960, at age 65 years, 1 month & 11 days. He lived 23,782 days, equaling 3,397 weeks & 3 days).
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Both Yul Brynner and Maximilien Schell were considered for the role of Baron Von Trapp.
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Final film appearance of Peggy Wood.
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One of three films to be the first released on VHS tape in 1977, along with Patton (1970) and MASH (1970).
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While the name "Liesl" is not a real von Trapp name, daughter Maria von Trapp (portrayed as "Louisa"), had a favorite childhood doll named "Liesl".
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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.
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Production designer Boris Leven's design for the living room at the Benedict ranch home "Reata" in "Giant" (1956) was used again as the grand entry hall for the Von Trapp family home in "The Sound of Music" (1965). Both use the same split staircase, proportions, scale, and mezzanine hallways, however, the color scheme, details, and decorations were different for each film. Each were also independently constructed in different studios 9 years apart.
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Charmian Carr was only 15 years younger than Christopher Plummer, who played her father. The relative closeness in age made the two actors attracted to each other, though they admitted nothing happened beyond innocent flirting.
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The Von Trapp family was relatively pleased with the final film, but one request they had was to make Captain Von Trapp less strict and cold, since they said he was never this way. Robert Wise insisted he stay this way, saying the film was a fictionalized version of the family and this showed how Captain Von Trapp transformed when Maria entered his life.
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The film shows that the family relocates to Switzerland. In real life, the family moved briefly to Italy before relocating to the United States.
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The film is not by definition a holiday movie, but the song "My Favorite Things" gets frequent radio airplay during the holiday season due to lyrics that talk about gifts, presents, snow and winter.
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Of the seven actors that play the Von Trapp children, 5 are from the United States, one from Canada, and one from England.
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During the party scene of the movie, Captain Von Trapp is wearing a white "Knight's Cross" medal. He was awarded the order for becoming "the dread of the Adriatic" for sinking 13 ships as a submarine commander during the First World War.
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Two of the Von Trapp children are called Liesl and Kurt; in The Book Thief (2013), two of the characters are called Liesel and Kurt, and that was set during WWII as well.
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"Sixteen going on Seventeen" was the final scene shot in Salzburg before production relocated back to Los Angeles for final filming. Charmian Carr had her ankle bandaged due to an injury she suffered earlier. Special makeup effects attempted to hide this, but early versions of the film still have it noticeable during the number. Later technological advancements made it easier to edit this out, which makes it not noticeable in later versions of the film.
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Charmian Carr, who sadly died in September 2016, was a grandmother and had written two books about her experience of making the movie. She also became a successful interior designer, once creating a mock sweet shop for Michael Jackson. She was working part-time for a doctor when she auditioned for the film and director Robert Wise got her to change her name from Farnon to Carr. She is thought to have won the role over such famous names as Mia Farrow and the late Sharon Tate.
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Maria von Trapp: portraying The elder of the two women in Austrian peasant garb who are in the background as Maria (Julie Andrews) walks through a brick archway during "I Have Confidence".


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

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.
When setting up for filming the Captain and Maria's wedding scene, there was nobody at the altar to wed them when they reached the top of the stairs. Someone had forgotten to summon the actor playing the bishop. According to Julie Andrews, the real bishop of Salzburg is seen in the movie.
When Maria returns to the Abbey, a girl wanting to become a nun is being shown in wearing a green dress. When Maria returns to the Von Trapp home, she is wearing the same dress that the girl was wearing.

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