Wednesday, May 19, 2010

best films: #39: THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

Previously ranked and blogged at #31
Call me a cheeseball if you will, but I am and always will be taken with the can-do attitude and impeccable singing voice of one Maria von Trapp and her band of merry Austrian children. From the hill-top opening sequence (still magnificent 45 years later, in my humble opinion) to the highly musically educational "Do Re Mi" to the rambunctious "Lonely Goatherd," The Sound of Music is a timeless (well other than the whole WWII thing) film classic that still translates as cross-generational. I remember watching this on videocassette virtually every time I spent the night at my grandparents' house, and it still impresses and amuses me more than a decade later. For starters, it's hard to top the musical fortitude of Julie Andrews (and yes, she won the Oscar for the wrong movie, Mary Poppins). As the wayward nun Maria, Andrews is both boyish and adventuresome (I mean, who can pull of that bob haircut like her?) and motherly and whimsical in one fell swoop. Add to that Christopher Plummer (both still alive - how great would a second pairing of these two be?!), who's pitch-perfect as the staunch and cold family man turned guitar-strumming, friendly dad, and you've got the makings of a great 1960s musical. Though Rodgers and Hammerstein arguably border on the obnoxious at times, some theater aficionados might say, I think The Sound of Music transcends most criticism. It has a fantastic musical score, it boasts some incredible performances from its leads, and it's always a pleasure to look at with each repeat viewing.

Standout Performance: Andrews' Maria is the inspiration for so many jabs and honors alike in subsequent films. But the truth is, they're all just jealous. A career-best.


The Taxi Driver said...

Hey man, I had you in terms of the Honeymooners but I can't give any love to this movie. Glad it does it for you though.

Unknown said...

I haven't seen the whole thing in years, I usually just skip from musical scene to scene now, I always get bored when the Nazis arrive in the end.
I have very warm memories of it growing up but now I just don't find it so good cinematically speaking.

Robert said...

I love, love, love this movie so much! Definitely Andrews's best performance, and I agree about R&H, I get a bit tired of their music but there is no song in this particular musical that I don't love.

Andrew K. said...

HEY! Mary Poppins is excellent, this is just better. Few moments of musical soliloquies are as excellent as "I Have Confidence"

Luke said...

Mike: Well thanks for finding the silver lining. :)

Jose: What can I say, I'm driven slightly by childhood feelings I suppose. And alas, I understand your feelings. (Particularly the part about wanting the end to go away. :)

Robert: At last! Someone agrees with me. A trait I like about you, sir. Haha

Andrew: Oops. Forgot your affinity for Poppins. I'll take it easy on her. :) And yes, "I Have Confidence" is such a great scene.