The Sound of Music (1965)

I've been meaning to watch The Sound of Music for a very long time but always put it off because of its length. I just have to be in the mood to watch an almost 3-hour long musical which I'm usually not in. I finally felt like watching it and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. 

Set in 1930's Austria, the film follows Maria (Julie Andrews), a young woman who wanted to be a nun since she was a little girl but when finally joins them, doesn't like it and keeps getting in trouble. For this reason, the Mother Abbess (Peggy Wood) sends her to the house of a retired naval captain (Christopher Plummer) to take care of his seven children.

The plot is the reason I should have not like it as it is very simple, very predictable, and so sappy, saccharine and sugary that if it was a cake, you'd get cavities only by looking at it. And it's pretty much the same for the subplots. It just shouldn't work and yet it does. It is interesting to follow, the romance between Maria and the captain is so predictable but so delightful as it slowly develops. 

While those flaws I mentioned above didn't bother me, the Nazi did. It's not until the end of the film that we can feel their influence. Unlike in Gone with the Wind, where the story basically revolves around American Civil War, in The Sound of Music it feels like it's thrown into the mix to add some drama. And it does add drama in the third act, but it just doesn't feel right. I don't know if you know what I mean.

Just like the story, the characters too are victims of poor writing. They are paper-thin and yet they are likeable and quite memorable and the credits for that go entirely to the cast. Julie Andrews fits perfectly the character of Maria, a strong-minded, sweet and outspoken novice turned governess, and her voice is a blast. Christopher Plummer does a great job as Captain Von Trapp, and he has a very nice chemistry with Andrews which makes their characters romance so much better. The Von Trapp children are just adorable. 

20th Century Fox
The Sound of Music is eye-pleasing too. In fact, cinematography, sets, locations and costumes all are quite beautiful. 

And yet the best aspect of it easily is the music. The film is indeed filled with wonderful and enjoyable songs. They are silly, just like everything else, but they work because of how joyful and genuine the cast looks. They are the kind of songs that come from the heart, that's why they work even though they shouldn't.

Ultimately, The Sound of Music isn't a perfect film and at some points, I really felt the weight of the length, but it's enjoyable and fun.


  1. Weirdly, everyone in my house has seen this except me. My reasons are the same as you had for not watching it until now. That said, my hand is being forced and I will watch it over the next month or so. Glad you enjoyed it, at least. Wish me luck.

  2. It's been a while since I've seen the film as a whole as it is a great film though I can understand why some people don't like it. After all, Christopher Plummer has a love-hate relationship towards that film.

  3. I'd agree that the darkness of the third act is jarringly at odds with the lightness of the previous two but it's unavoidable since though prettied up the story is based on fact.

    The cinematography is eye candy without question, not just the exteriors but the interiors are dazzling. The opening shot though the hills to Julie on the mountain top sets the mood of the film perfectly. She's spoken of the difficulty they had in getting it since the power of the wind from the helicopter they had to use to get the aerial shot kept blowing her on her can! But it was worth it and her voice is just unbelievably beautiful.

    She and Plummer, SO young and handsome, balances out many of the "Oh come on!" moments and she interacts very well with the children. Obviously the kids got on well together, according to Charmain Carr's bio they've stayed in close contact though years...though both Charmain and Heather Menzies who played Louisa have recently passed away.

    One last thing, I adore Eleanor Parker as the Baroness!!! She's completely wrong for Captain Von Trapp but she is elegance personified and despite her catty behavior towards Maria seemed like a good sort.

    1. I'm glad you mentioned the opening that I somehow managed to forget. It really is spectacular.