Monday, March 2, 2015

The Sound of Music

'The Sound of Music' is a 1965 American musical drama film directed and produced by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The film is an adaptation of the 1959 Broadway musical 'The Sound of Music,' with songs written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The movie was released exactly 50 years ago today, on March 2. Based on the book ‘The Story of the Trapp Family Singers’ by Maria von Trapp, the film is about a young woman who leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the seven children of a naval officer widower. The Sound of Music was filmed on location in Salzburg, Austria; the state of Bavaria in Germany; and at the 20th Century Fox studios in California, United States. It was photographed in the 70mm Todd-AO format, and eventually won five Academy Awards including Best Picture.
The main characters, then and now.
Principal photography began on March 26, 1964 at 20th Century Fox studios in Los Angeles, where scenes from Maria's bedroom and the abbey cloister and graveyard were filmed. The company then flew to Salzburg where filming resumed on April 23 at Mondsee Abbey for the wedding scenes. From April 25 through May 22, scenes were filmed at the Felsenreitschule (festival concert), Nonnberg Abbey, Mirabell Palace Gardens, Residence Fountain, and various street locations throughout the Altstadt (Old Town) area of the city. 
Julie Andrews as Maria, then and now.
On days when it rained—a constant challenge for the company—Wise arranged for scenes to be shot at St. Margarethen Chapel and Dürer Studios (Reverend Mother's office). From May 23 to June 7, the company worked at Schloss Leopoldskron and an adjacent property called Bertelsmann for scenes representing the back of the Von Trapp villa. From June 9 to 19, scenes were shot at Frohnburg Palace which represented the front of the villa. The "Do-Re-Mi" picnic scene in the mountains was filmed above the town of Werfen in the Salzach River valley on June 25 and 27. The opening sequence of Maria on her mountain was filmed from June 28 to July 2 at Mehlweg mountain near the town of Marktschellenberg in Bavaria. The final scene of the Von Trapp family escaping over the mountains was filmed on the Obersalzberg in the Bavarian Alps.
Charmian Carr as Liesl, the oldest girl, then and now
The cast and crew flew back to Los Angeles and resumed filming at Fox studios on July 6 for all remaining scenes, including those in the villa dining room, ballroom, terrace, living room, and gazebo. Following the last two scenes shot in the gazebo—for the songs "Something Good" and "You Are Sixteen"—principal photography concluded on September 1, 1964. 
Duane Chase as Kurt, then and now
A total of eighty-three scenes were filmed in just over five months. Post-production work began on August 25 with three weeks of dialogue dubbing to correct lines that were ruined by various street noises and rain. In October, Christopher Plummer's singing voice was dubbed by veteran Disney playback singer Bill Lee. When dubbing, editing, and scoring were complete, Wise arranged for two preview showings, the first one held in Minneapolis on February 1, 1965 at the Mann theater, and the second one held in Tulsa, shortly thereafter. Despite the "sensational" responses from the preview audiences, Wise made a few final editing changes before completing the film. According to the original print information for the film, the running time for the theatrical release version was 174 minutes. 
Kym Karath as Gretl
In the United Kingdom, it was released on March 29, 1965. The movie had a budget of $8.2 million and eventually grossed at the Box office $286 million. The film had its opening premiere on March 2, 1965 at the Rivoli Theater in New York City. After its Los Angeles premier on March 10, ‘The Sound of Music’ opened in 131 theaters in the United States.
The original Von Trapp family

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