Monday, July 26, 2010

Movie of the Week - The Sound of Music

This week’s movie is The Sound of Music (1965).

The film is about a young woman who leaves an Austrian convent and becomes the governess to a naval officer widower. The family becomes attached to her, and she to them, but they are all caught up in the conflict of Nazi rule in Austria and must find a way to escape (all while singing about this and that). The film is based on the musical stage production by Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers (based on the book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse). Robert Wise, who also directed The Day the Earth Stood Still and West Side Story, helmed the project, having experience with both musicals and large productions. Screenwriter Ernest Lehman (who wrote a number of very good films) was also hired on due to his prior work with Wise and success with musicals in the past. Production designer Boris Leven and composer Irwin Kostal also, along with Lehman, worked with Wise on West Side Story (winner of ten Oscars including Best Picture) and 20th Century Fox wanted the same team in place for their next big musical production (as they were the thing in the early 60’s). The film stars Julie Andrews who was just coming off a number of hit stage musicals (including The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady) and her breakout, Oscar winning, film role in Mary Poppins. Christopher Plummer co-stars. What makes the movie great is Andrews and the wonderful songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Wise also shoots the film with wonderful craning shots and gives such a sense of beauty to both the characters and the world they inhabit. The commentary on and struggle with the Nazis gives the film an added depth and historical context as well. This is a must of fans of musicals and film. Check out the trailer.

The Sound of Music (Blu-ray/DVD)

No comments:

Post a Comment