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The sound of Music

 

"We thought it might make a lovely movie, but none of us knew what it would become ….. because how could you? "

Julie Andrews

The Sound of MusicA young postulate, Maria, who, after proving too high-spirited for the Mother Abess and other nuns, is sent off to work as a governess to seven unruly children. The Von Trapp family is run, in military style, by the seemingly cold-hearted Captain Von Trapp, a lonely widowed naval officer. Seeing how badly he and his children need companionship, he proposes to the Baroness Schraeder, a calculating, mutual friend of beloved family friend Max Detweiler. It is the baroness who soon realizes that it's Maria--with her warmth and love for the children--the captain really loves. It is nearly bliss for the newly formed family who loves to sing together--except for the cloud looming over their beloved Austrian horizon: Hitler is ascending to power, forcing Von Trapp to decide whether to join the Nazi party--which he loathes--or force his family to leave their home forever.


Julie Andrews as Maria

Directed By

Robert Wise
Screenplay By
Ernest Lehman
Music By
Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein
Release Date/Runtime
02 March 1965 (US)
174 Minutes
Character
Maria
Cast
 
Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn, Peggy Wood
   

 

The Sound of Music Curiosities
 
Julie Andrews relates that although she tried digging in her heels and bracing herself, she was knocked off her feet every time by the helicopter downdraft in the opening shot. 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.
 
Julie Andrews nearly turned down the role of Maria Von Trapp, fearing the character was too similar to her role in Mary Poppins (1964).
 
Christopher Plummer intensely disliked working on the film. He's been known to refer to it as "The Sound of Mucus" and likened working with Julie Andrews to "being hit over the head with a big Valentine's Day card, every day." Nonetheless, he and Andrews have remained close friends.
"She must have eight thousand bits", said one crew member. Many of them took place off camera. One day, to clear the tension before a complicated camera move, she did a deliberate trip and fell flat on her face. She was versatile enough, on another occasion, to pratfall on her back.
 
To play Maria, Julie learned to play a little bit of guitar. One day she flung her instrument aside to fly into an impromptu flamenco dance - still wearing her postulant's habit and high-button shoes.
 
Scheduled to drive to Munich one weekend to see her friend Svetlana Beriosova dance with the Royal Ballet company on tour, Julie instead hired a bus and took thirty members of the cast and crew. Throughout the sixty-mile trip from Salzburg to Munich, she imitated an English sightseeing coach conductor, sometimes lapsing into bits od Cockney. On the return trip to Salzburg, Julie led group singing and soloed on some Cockney songs.
 
While waiting to film a particular scene, Julie, Saul Chaplin, and co choreographer Marc Breaux, would sing songs on the rainy hillside for hours. She considered the trio's harmonies so good, particularly on the "Hawaiian War Chant", that she named the group the "Vocalzones".
 
Although Christopher Plummer's own vocals were in fact recorded, it was subsequently decided that he should be dubbed.
 
The first time they filmed the wedding scene between the Captain and Maria, 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.
 
The very first scene to be shot was "My Favorite Things" sequence, in Maria's bedroom.
 

 

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