Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Anna Lee, Charmian Carr, Nicholas Hammond, Heather Menzies, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright, Debbie Turner and Kym Karath

Robert Wise

Running Time:
174 mins

Out to buy on DVD 28/11/05

"The hills are alive..."

Leaving her convent to become the new governess for the seven Von Trapp children, Maria (Andrews) discovers that widower Captain Georg von Trapp (Plummer) has been running his house like he is still in the military. Getting to know the children, Maria brings a sense of fun back into the household, as she teaches them music and all the important lessons they will need in life. But as the German occupation starts to push Austria into becoming ready for war, the happiness becomes one of fear as Captain von Trapp is called back into active duty.

When it comes to naming the most beloved musicals or even films of all time, one is inevitably at the top, 'The Sound of Music'.

Released in 1965, the movie became an instant classic and lived in the hearts of every generation that followed. Based loosely around a true story, the film combines a historical setting with inspiring songs that instantly became part of film culture forever. The opening scene of Julie Andrews as Maria on running across a field with the Alps in the back singing the main theme of the film is one of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history.

Since its release, the film has become a cultural phenomenon and a firm family favourite. With sing-a-long versions of the film, with subtitles companying the songs becoming extremely popular, the film continues to add to its legion of dedicated fans that simply adore the movie. Add to this the numerous repeats during the different holiday seasons throughout the year and the film becomes an institution.

There are many elements that come together to make this film such a firm favourite but it is the story and the characters that are key to the film's success. As well as the WWII backdrop, the story covers many different elements that appeal across the age range. You have Captain von Trapp trying to raise seven children after the death of his wife. Maria torn between her duties to the church and the family she has grown to love. Liesl finds romance for the first time. The children actually start to have a childhood. Austria tries to cope with change under German occupation. All of these elements amalgamate into a story of family, love and duty that everyone should find something to connect with.

When it comes to writing music and songs for movies no one is renowned as much as Rogers and Hammerstein. With 'The King & I', 'Carousel', 'South Pacific' and 'Oklahoma!' to their credit, the songs for 'The Sound of Music' were bound to be just as memorable. With songs like 'Maria', 'Sixteen Going On Seventeen', 'My Favourite Things', 'Do-Re-Mi', 'So Long, Farewell', 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain' and 'The Sound of Music', there is bound to be one you remember.

Driving the film is the performances from the cast however. The immortal Julie Andrews gives the performance of her career as Maria. She is absolutely exquisite in the role, bringing warmth and believability to the role as well as her amazing singing voice. The same can be said about Christopher Plummer. His screen presence brings something extra to the role of Captain Georg von Trapp, making him a very strong character that re-finds life thanks to Maria. It is the chemistry between the two however that is the main driving force of the characters and the story. When you add to these exceptional performances from the young actresses and actors playing the Von Trapp children and the rest supporting players and you have an exceptional cast to bring the songs and story to life.

'The Sound of Music' is a classic musical that has a story to back up the collection of songs. While this might not be everyone's cup of tea and with the multitude of seasonal repeats every year some people might have become tied of the sound, there is no denying that this is still a movie that you can not help but remember with a little fondness.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 16x9 with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, the movie has been digitally restored extremely well.


Disc 1

Introduction by Julie Andrews (2.06 mins)
Legend Julie Andrews introduces the main feature and talks about the 40th Anniversary of the classic musical

Feature Commentary by Robert Wise
The director of the movie comments during key sections of the movie while you just watch the film with just the original score. While the director only talks during certain scenes, you can forgive this because of the film's length, what he does have to say is very informative and passionate about one of the most successful films of all time. With insights into the making of the film and how key moments, scenes and songs came together this is a decent commentary from the acclaimed man at the helm.

Feature Commentary by Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Charmian Carr, Dee Dee Wood and Johannes von Trapp
The star of the movie is joined at key moments during the film by cast, crew and Maria von Trapp's youngest son to talk about 'The Sound of Music'. The screen legend talks passionately and informatively about the movie, as her screen husband and stepdaughter for key scenes join her. She also talks to choreographer Dee Dee Wood about the key dance sequences as they all reminisce about the Salzburg shoot back in the 60s. This is a good commentary, even though it doesn't run for the entire three hours.

Watch the entire movie or just the songs with subtitles that inform you when to sing and the timing of the much-loved songs.

Disc 2

Introduction by Julie Andrews (1.44 mins)
The star introduces the special features of the 40th Anniversary release.

My Favourite Things: Julie Andrews Remembers (63.19 mins)
Director Robert Wise, President of Rodgers & Hammerstein productions Ted Chapin, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, choreographer Dee Dee Wood, son of Maria von Trapp Johannes von Trapp and stars Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Charmian Carr come together to talk about the impact of the film around the world. With behind the scenes footage and images from the shoot, Julie Andrews and the cast and crew talk passionately about the film, the songs and the real life story behind the movie. The documentary also talks about the impact Rodgers & Hammerstein had on big screen musicals, Julie Andrew and Christopher Plummer and the von Trapp children.

Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer: A Reminiscence (19.25 mins)
The two stars of 'The Sound of Music' come together to talk about what they remember about making the film 40 years ago and how they movie affected them and their careers. Accompanied by behind the scenes footage and images, the pair reveals on set stories and talk passionately about their characters and the rest of the cast.

On Location with The Sound of Music (22.34 mins)
Star Charmian Carr takes you on a tour of Salzburg in Austria, the location of 'The Sound of Music'. Revealing the history behind the city, the influence of Mozart and the story of the real von Trapp family. The star also takes you on a tour of the locations used in the movie and the various places that became the von Trapp family home.

From Liesl to Gretl: A 40th Anniversary Reunion (32.07 mins)
Charmian Carr, Nicholas Hammond, Heather Menzies, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright, Debbie Turner and Kym Karath come together to talk what 'The Sound of Music' means to them. Revealing what they have been doing over the last 40 years. With behind the scenes images and footage, the von Trapp children talk about what it was like making the film, growing up on set, working with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer and how the fans react to them. When you know the notes to sing:

A Singalong Phenomenon (12.14 mins)
Host Melissa Peterman, director of presentation Steve Linder and Singalong producer Thomas Lightburn take you behind the scenes of the 40th anniversary Singalong presentation of 'The Sound of Music' at the Hollywood Bowl. With behind the scenes footage and interviews with the 18,000+ fans that attended the event, the featurette shows the popularity of the film and the Singalong attraction.

Biography - The von Trapp Family: Harmony & Discord (45.52 mins)
Peter Graves introduces a historical look at the real family that influenced 'The Sound of Music'. The Biography Channel looks that the von Trapp family and reveals the true story behind the romance between Maria and Georg, the children and what actually made the family leave Austria before the start of World War II.

Restoration Comparison (6.05 mins)
A short featurette that highlights how the film has been restored for the DVD release via split screen comparison.

Mia Farrow Screen Test (0.32 mins)
Archive footage of Mia Farrow's screen test for the part of Liesl.

Still Galleries
View storyboard, behind the scenes, lobby card and one-sheet images from 'The Sound of Music'.


Fans of the movie should rejoice at the 40th Anniversary DVD release of 'The Sound of Music'. With extremely good documentaries and featurettes, two good commentaries and even a look at the real von Trapp family, this is an exception 2-disc package and one that fans of the film will treasure.


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