The Sound of Music (1965)

You Brought Music Back Into The House

This was an odd request to fulfill.  Not because the movie is bad or anything, but it’s a really old musical drama that I would not expect my friend Josh to request of me, but he said if you can get through a musical, this movie was actually really good.  It was also a pretty easy request to fulfill because I already owned the movie.  But, as is the case with a ridiculously large portion of my collection, I had not opened it and had no recollection of the movie.  But, in order to fulfill the review request, I popped open this movie for the first time and sat down to watch, and review, The Sound of Music, written by Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse, Ernest Lehman, and Maria von Trapp, directed by Robert Wise, and starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Charmian Carr, Nicholas Hammond, Heather Menzies, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright, Debbie Turner, Kym Karath, Richard Haydn, Eleanor Parker, Peggy Wood, and Anna Lee.

How do you solve a problem like Maria (Julie Andrews)?  By sending her to be the governess of the seven von Trapp family kids!  Apparently, these little kids do everything in their power to scare off any potential governess’, and Maria would be no different.  She goes to the estate and meets the widowed Austrian Navy Captain, Georg von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), who in turn introduces Maria to his seven children, who he has trained to obey commands via a whistle like dogs.  The children are Liesl (Charmian Carr), Friedrich (Nicholas Hammond), Louisa (Heather Menzies), Kurt (Duane Chase), Brigitta (Angela Cartwright), Marta (Debbie Turner), and Gretl (Kym Karath).  Maria gets close to the children when Georg is off making a booty call to Baroness Elsa Schraeder (Eleanor Parker).  She gets close to them by sewing them play clothes out of curtains and singing songs at them, in turn teaching them to sing.  When Georg comes back with the Baroness, she gets Maria back to a nunnery by insinuating that Georg and Maria are falling for each other.  But Maria comes back with a vengeance and gets her man back.  But all is not well for the von Trapp family, as the Nazi’s are starting to take over Austria, and they want Georg to join their navy.  How do you solve a problem like the Nazi’s?

I was pretty surprised to find that I liked this movie.  Not because it was old, because I like plenty of older movies.  It’s not because it’s a musical, even though I tend dislike them.  I was surprised that I liked this movie ’cause I hate Josh so fucking much and he liked it.  But this was an enjoyable movie.  It’s a pretty cool story, first of all.  It’s got this story of the house keeper winning over snotty children, then it’s got this love story, and it’s got some drama in it too.  I would’ve LIKED for there to be some awesome Nazi shootout/battle scenes, but I guess that wasn’t really what they were going for.  The drama wasn’t too heavy, but it was a little tense near the end when they were hiding out from the Nazi’s.  The love story is one you can kind of see coming from the beginning, but it was still well executed.  What surprised me most about this movie is that it had some genuine laughs in it.  I wasn’t expecting comedy out of this movie.  The first part that made me laugh was when Georg was dissing Maria’s dress.  She says “We gave all of our Earthly clothes to the poor,” and Georg asks “What about this one?” and Maria responds “The poor didn’t want this one.”  That’s a pretty solid joke, and it totally caught me off guard.  The kids said a couple of funny things in the movie as well, using the classic “kids say the darnedest things” style.  The movie looks pretty gorgeous too, having been filmed on location in Austria.  Beautiful scenery in this movie, and all very colorful and pleasant to look at.  I would say the thing that scared me most about this movie would be the fact that it was just shy of 3 hours long.  But, to be honest, I didn’t really notice it.  It kept my attention well enough to make time fly pretty quickly, but you should clear your schedule when you sit down to watch this thing.

As with most musicals, I do feel like they broke into song a little too much.  We don’t all need to be singing all the time.  I get it, the von Trapp family were singers, but you really don’t need to have a whole production number just to say “We’re going to bed.”  Because my mother could not be stopped from singing nonstop in my childhood (because of the nail she had lodged in her brain), I knew the greater majority of the songs in this movie by heart.  What I didn’t know was that they were all from this movie.  If you have a decent degree of knowledge involving older songs and musicals (or you’ve seen enough Family Guy), you’ll recognize the greater majority of these songs too.  Obviously “The Sound of Music” is one that we can all figure out came from this movie, but also “Maria” (which is the one that goes “How do we solve a problem like Maria?”), “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, (These Are a Few of) “My Favorite Things”, “Do-Re-Mi” (the one with “Do, a deer, a female deer”, blah blah blah), “The Lonely Goatherd”, and “Edelweiss” can be found in this movie.  I knew all of them, and if someone hummed a few bars I could sing it, but I just found out that they were from this.  So the songs were indeed an asset to the movie, though one or two were a little drawn out for my tastes.

There was one thing that caught me off guard about the cast that I kept noticing throughout the entire movie: Julie Andrews was hot!  Like, fer real though!  She was also a good actress and a great singer, but that is not what I was focused on when she was on screen.  Christopher Plummer did more acting than singing in the movie, but he was pretty great at both.  At first, he played a dick very well.  Later, he was very warm in his mannerisms.  When it was time to sing, well he could do that too.  Fuckin’ show off.  I would say the only one of the children that made any kind of impact on me was Charmian Carr.  She was really the only one that had any kind of story beyond just hanging out with her siblings.  She performed fine, and was also attractive.  Let me ask you a question: if she actually was 16 in this movie, is it bordering on pederasty to think she was attractive?  ‘Cause she would’ve been born a year before my mom.  I don’t know, it’s a grey area.  The youngest boy, Duane Chase, and the youngest girl, Kym Karath, only struck me because they annoyed me.  The boy seemed to be trying too hard, and the girl was not a great actress.  Yeah, that’s right.  I’m ragging on 7-year-olds for their inability to act!  What of it?!

Anyways, this was a good movie.  If you ask me, they should win AT LEAST 4 Oscars … as they did.  Good call!  A good story, some pretty great songs, and mostly great acting can be found within.  I would thoroughly recommend this movie to anyone that feels they can tolerate a musical, and maybe even if you can’t.  Don’t be so manly that you can’t enjoy a good movie because it’s slightly girly.  This movie is only available in disc form on Netflix, but it’s worth the wait.  Check it out.  The Sound of Music gets “Only grown-up men are scared of women” out of “I wonder what grass tastes like.”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

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