Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Classic Film Flashback" - The Sound of Music (1965)

Ok, I've got a confession to make.  I was obsessed with the movie of The Sound of Music.  When I was about 6 years old, The Sound of Music must have been re-released and my whole family went to see it.   I became obsessed with it, knew all of the songs and even have seen pictures that were taken of me and my family at that time where I had to have the soundtrack lp prominently displayed in the photos.

Crazy I know.

I remember watching the movie on tv on NBC during the many annual airings that began in the late 70's, and getting excited every time that it was going to air. Anyone else have a similar experience either with this film or another?

The first time I actually saw the stage musical that the movie was based on was in the early 90's.   This was the Lincoln Center Theatre production that starred Debby Boone.  While the production itself was very good and Boone made a fine "Maria," having known the film intimately, I was struck by how many changes were made from the stage production for the film.  The elimination of all of the songs for Elsa and Max, how "Climb Every Mountain" ends the first act but in the film it is the beginning of the second and how "My Favorite Things" and "Lonely Goatherd" were used in different scenes.    As much as I appreciate the stage version, I do think the film version was able to eliminate the parts that didn't focus on Maria, the Captain and the children and also was able to provide more depth to the characters through the addition and revision of some of the dialogue.  And, of course, the use of location shooting in the movie to show us the cities and mountains of the story could never be matched on stage as well.   Also, the fact that the film added the song "I Have Confidence" as a great "I want" song that was lacking in the stage version was an added bonus.   And "An Ordinary Couple" is just a substandard song to "Something Good" that replaced it in the film.   It is interesting to note how many current productions now include those two songs.
Over the years I owned the film on vhs, on laser disc, on a special edition laserdisc box set, on dvd and even as part of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical film dvd collection.

Recently the film was released on blu-ray dvd, and having watched parts of it, I have to urge anyone who is a fan of the film to get this blu-ray.   The image quality is simply astounding and is a perfect example of how superior blu-ray is to regular dvds.   The remastering of the film is amazing, you can now make out the threads on Maria's tweed coat and see fine details in every image like the crisp blades of grass in the opening and "Do Re Mi" scenes.  I give this transfer and blu ray a huge A+.

I can step out of the confession box now with my head held high since the world now knows about my obsession with this great movie (well at least the few people who read my blog!)

The Sound of Music (Three-Disc 45th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)Amazon link for the Sound of Music on blu ray - The Sound of Music (Three-Disc 45th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)

Amazon link for the soundtrack cd - The Sound of Music - 45th Anniversary Edition  The Sound of Music: 40th Anniversary Edition

Trailer for the Blu Ray release....

Check out this clip which makes the movie look like a horror film- great work on whoever created it!

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