The Sound of Music TwoDisc 40th Anniversary Special Edition starring Julie Andrews Christopher Plummer Eleanor Parker Richard Haydn Peggy Wood - Great Product

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					 The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40th
Anniversary Special Edition) starring
Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer,
   Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn,
            Peggy Wood




                              Nice Classic Movie.


When Julie Andrews sang The hills are alive with the sound of music from
an Austrian mountaintop in 1965, the most beloved movie musical was
born. To be sure, the adaptation of Richard Rodgers and Oscar
Hammerstein IIs Broadway hit has never been as universally acclaimed
as, say, Singin in the Rain. Critics argue that the songs are saccharine
(even the songwriters regretted the line To sing through the night like a lark
who is learning to pray) and that the characters and plot lack the
complexity that could make them more interesting. Its not hard to know
whom to root for when your choice is between cute kids and Nazis.
Read our interview with Charmian Carr, who played Liesl von Trapp in The
Sound of Music. It doesnt matter. Audiences fell in love with the
struggling novice Maria (Andrews), the dashing Captain von Trapp
(Christopher Plummer), and, yes, the cute kids, all based on a real-life
World War II Austrian family. Such songs as My Favorite Things, Do Re
Mi, Climb Every Mountain, and the title tune became part of the 20th
century Zeitgeist. In addition, The Sound of Music officially became a cult
hit when audiences in London began giving it the Rocky Horror Picture
Show treatment, attending showings dressed as their favorite characters
and delivering choreographed comments and gestures along with the
movie. So why resist, especially when the 40th Anniversary Edition is the
best DVD yet./p> The DVDs As if the direct involvement of Julie Andrews
werent enough, the 40th Anniversary Edition of The Sound of Music is a
must-have for fans because of the fond sense of nostalgia that will touch
all but the worst cynics heart. Andrews introduces both discs and
contributes a commentary track on the film. Its a joy to hear her speak
about the film (for example, she explains how she solved her dislike for the
lyrics of I Have Confidence), and also heard are remarks by Christopher
Plummer (who at one point refers to his being 48, which if true would mean
his comments were made in about 1975), Charmian Carr (Liesl),
choreographer Dee Dee Wood, and Johannes Von Trapp (the real-life
Maria Von Trapps youngest son, who admits that his father did have a
whistle but claims that he was not as stern as portrayed in the film). Even
with all those people involved, there are still significant gaps of silence,
however. Retained from the previous two-disc editions is the commentary
track by director Robert Wise, which during the musical numbers becomes
an isolated score with no vocals. Also new are sing-along subtitles in
English, Spanish, and French, which allow you to have your own sing-
along at home. In addition, the films remastering shows off a truer and
much warmer sense of color./p> On the second disc, Andrews participates
in a new 63-minute documentary My Favorite Things: Julie Andrews
Remembers. But its really a general making-of documentary with
contributions from a number of principals, including director Robert Wise,
who died in mid-2005 (not surprisingly, some stories are repeated from the
commentary track and from the 87-minute documentary on the previous
DVD). Andrews also shares a warm 19-minute sit-down with Christopher
Plummer. Carr, who over the years has become the films biggest
advocate, narrates a new 22-minute documentary, On Location with The
Sound of Music, in which she revisits the places in Salzburg where the
movie was filmed, and even joins one of the Sound of Music tours that
have become a booming industry. And acknowledging another big
industry, theres a 12-minute featurette on the sing-along phenomenon,
focusing specifically on the audience, costumed and otherwise, that
attended a sold-out Hollywood Bowl sing-along in 2005. Making special
appearances at the event are four von Trapp great-grandchildren and all
seven of the actors who played the children. Thankfully, those actors also
appear in a 33-minute documentary From Liesl to Gretl: A 40th
Anniversary Reunion, in which they explain what they do now (many are
still in show business) and share stories about the film, who was afraid of
Christopher Plummer, and what they feel is their responsibility to the films
passionate fans. Whats touching is how the group still considers
themselves a family so many years later. Other material includes an A&E
documentary on the von Trapps, Mia Farrows screen test for the Liesl role,
and a restoration comparison./p> Whats Missing? If you already own the
previous two-disc editions, youll want this 40th Anniversary Edition as well,
but you might not want to toss those versions. Probably the most
significant omission from this edition is the original 14-minute documentary
Charmian Carr made in 1967, Salzburg Sight and Sound. Carrs new
documentary includes only a couple clips from the vintage piece. Its not a
great work of art, but its a notable loss and would have made a good
contrast with the new documentary. In addition, the new making-of
documentary is about 24 minutes shorter than the old one. Also missing
are the audio-only features--the interviews, the radio programs, the Ernest
Lehman spotlight--and the historical still gallery examining the history of
Salzburg and the film. Granted, this material probably got the least play of
any of the old features, but completists might want to hold ont o their old
discs for it. It would have also been nice to have screen tests other than
Farrows. Tests for all the children and for Christopher Plummer (including
singing in his own voice before he was dubbed for the film) were included
on Hollywood Screen Tests and Rodgers and Hammerstein: The Sound of
Movies. Again, theyre not critical but it would have been nice to have them
all in one place. So maybe the 40th Anniversary Edition isnt the complete
package on The Sound of Music, but its the most satisfying edition yet,
with enough new material to please even the veteran SoM DVD watcher. --
David Horiuchi Stills from The Sound of Music (Click for larger image)
/p> /p> /p> /p> /p> /p>

This beloved 1965 classic--one of the world's favorite things-- has all the
elements of an Academy Award winner: Exquisite scenery, a compelling
story, children, religion, romance, characters serving as comic relief,a
memorable musical score, and one family's ultimate triumph over evil.
  Based on the true story of former Naval Captain Georg Von Trapp and
his second wife, Maria Augusta Kutschera, the film greets up with a serene
and panoramic view of the Austrian landscape on a lovely spring day.
  High on a green hilltop, momentarily escaping from her convent, is the
bobbed haired, pinner-clad novice, Maria( the formidable Julie Andrews)
initiating the Rodgers and Hammerstein score by singing the title song,
which could not express the communion of music and escaping to nature
to find joy and solace more perfectly.
 As urgent as the call of the natural world feels to Maria, the urgent call of
the chapel bell soon compels her return to the spiritual world of Nonnberg
Abbey, where the are nuns gathering for Mass to which Maria will be quite
characteristically late.
  Peggy Wood's Mother Abbess is a patient woman regarding Maria's
shenanigans, but this is not the case with her assistant, Sister Berthe(
Portia Nelson). Along with Sisters Margaretta, Sophia, and Bernice,( Anna
Lee, Marni Nixon,and Evandne Baker),she ponders her dilemma regarding
the renegade novice.
  For the Mother Abbess, the answer seems to be to send Maria out into
the world as a governess to the seven children of a retired and widowered
sea captain.
 Little does Maria realize she is being called to bring a somber household
back to life.
  Reluctantly, she begins her journey, filled with trepidation. Slowly building
herself up with her "pep song", "I Have Confidence", her feelings of
assertiveness wane as she approaches the estate. Greeted rather coldly
by the family's butler, Franz(Gil Stuart)upon her arrival, she wanders into
the sealed-off ballroom, genuflecting and wondering how she should
present herself to the nobleman who is her new boss.
 But the gruff captain( a cooly elegant Christopher Plummer) encounters
her at the ballroom's entrance. Once they meet, their relationship is a bit
antagonistic. But soon, the captain blows his whistle and six of Maria's new
charges march downstairs clad in sailor suits to greet her. These include
the eldest, 16-year-old Liesl(Charmain Carr), 14-year-old
Frederich(Nicholas Hammond), 13-year-old Louisa(Heather Menzies),11-
year-old Kurt(Duane Chase), 7-year-old Marta(Debbie Turner), and pug
tressed,5-year-old Gretl(Kym Karath). Displaying the same penchant Maria
has for tardiness, 10-year-old Brigitta(Angela Cartwright), distracted by
another matter, arrives on the scene later.
 Maria withstands the pranks of the children to psyche them out at the
dinnertable, from which Liesl excuses herself upon learning that her young
swain Rolfe(Daniel Truhitte) is close at hand.
 The budding romance of the teenagers gives an enchanting moment as
the two get caught in the rain.
 Housekeeper Frau Schmidt( Norma Varden) helps Maria settle in. Soon,
despite Captain Von Trapp's rules about the strict observance of bedtime,
Maria finds herself consoling the youngsters by making them think of their
favorite things during the thunderstorm,and proving her worth to the initially
skeptical Liesl as well.The captain arrives to express his displeasure. But
Maria has plans of her own.
 While enduring one of the Captain's many absences, Maria makes the
children some play clothes from old bedroom drapes, takes them on
outings, and teaches them to sing in multipart harmony as an alternative to
playing pranks to get their father's attention.
 As the musical education of the Von Trapp children gets underway amid
the fabulous urban and rural scenes of Salzburg, their father returns with a
couple of very interesting and influential guests, namely, Baroness Ilsa
Schroeder(Eleanor Parker), and a chaperoning concert promoter, Max
Detweiler(Richard Haydn). As the three gather on the terrace, Rolfe,
hoping to contact Liesl, and deliver another rele vant message, proves to
be a nuisance, hiding behind membership in the HitlerJugend when
confronted by the captain.
 Soon the captain and his guests are greeted by the joyous band of Maria
and the children as they fall from a boat and into the lake at the edge of the
terrace.When reprimanded by the captain, Maria defends herself, and
openly criticizes his inattentiveness to his children almost at the expense of
her job.But the childrens' song for the Baroness and the Captain's joining
them in song at the last moment breaks down a long-standing barrier
between a grief-stricken man and his children. Maria is allowed to stay.
 The second half of the story finds the family in sunnier circumstances,
expressing their love of music (as is typically Austrian) throug h a colorful
puppet show, and by the childrens' urging their father to recite a song he
hasn't sung in years, accompanied by Liesl.
 But Baroness Schroeder begins to see Maria as a rival for the Captain's
affections, and her plotting to marry him begins in earnest. Convincing
Georg to host a ball to introduce her to his friends, Ilsa acts as a gracious
hostess, accompanied by Max and Georg.
 Georg's intercessions of Maria's teaching Kurt the Landler causes the
Baroness to step up her scheming against Maria, and Max steps up his
scheming to have the children in the Salzburg Music Festival after the
children charm guests with their good-night song.
 A meeting between the two women results in Maria's sudden return to
Nonnberg Abbey, leaving behind the heartbroken children, who may end
up with an uncaring stepmother.There is evidence during Ilsa's
unenthusiastic ball game with the children that Liesl suspects the truth.
 A visit to the Abbey, during which the children are turned away from
seeing Maria sets the course of more favorable events in motion. The
young novice soon has a glad reunion with her charges when ordered to
return to the family. The Baroness concedes defeat, acknowledging her
incompatability with Georg's family, clearing the way for a beautiful and
stately wedding between the captain and Maria in what are truly the Last
Golden Days of the Thirties.
 The couple return from their honeymoon amid the Anschluss, during
which Herr Zeller(Ben Wright) once a guest in the Von Trapp Home, has
been named the Gauleiter of Salzburg and shadowy events that were only
peripheral during much of the story become central. Rolfe's relationship
with Liesl changes.
 Georg is soon ordered to fill a postion in the German Navy, and in an act
of true moral courage, this tr uly noble family leave their beloved Austria
behind amid moments of poignancy and solidarity with fellow Austrians,
the distress of pursuit by those who would compromise them, and the
benediction of the Benedictine nuns(two of whom tip the balance in their
favor). We leave them en route to a new life elsewhere in one of the most
triumphant moments in cinematic history.
 The film takes liberties with some aspects of the story while remaining true
to others. But in writing this tribute on the 45th anniversary of this film's
release, it is considered opinion that the film's message of the triumph of
virtue, and the soaring spirit of this enduring classic will continue through
the ages.

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