The Sound of Music make 50 years old in March which will be marked with a special festival in Salzburg, Austria, in June . To celebrate, here are 5 facts that might surprise you about the classic.
1. It is the fifth highest grossing film of all time. Sort of…
The Sound of Music won five Oscars in 1966, and became the highest grossing film in history, knocking Gone with the Wind off the top spot. Translating the figures into today’s money, it would be the fifth highest-grossing film of all time.
2. The key players responsible for making it a success nearly didn’t take part
Julie Andrews nearly turned down the part due to its similarity to the previous year’s Mary Poppins. Robert Wise originally didn’t want to direct the film because he felt it was too saccharine. Christopher Plummer didn’t want anything to do with the film, referring to it as “The Sound of Mucus,” and allegedly needed to have some drinks before going on set so he could cope.
3. Lots of critics didn’t care for it, either, in both its stage and film incarnations
The eminent critic Pauline Kael described the film as “the sugar-coated lie that people seem to want to eat”. Brooks Atkinson, a New York Times critic, said it was clichéd, and Walter Kerr at the New York Herald Tribune thought the show was “not only too sweet for words but almost too sweet for music”.
4. The Trapp Family Singers were a real band for almost 30 years
The film depicts the Von Trapps as a wealthy family who had leisure for a bit of music on the side. In reality music was their sole source of income. Near financial ruin as soon as Maria and Georg married in 1927, they turned to music to make money, and by 1935 were a popular group.
5. Julie Andrews had never played a guitar before appearing in the film
Andrews learned to play “Do-Re-Mi” before filming on the hillside, but always had trouble singing and playing at the same time. She found it much easier, reportedly, after a big shot of schnapps. It makes you look at the above clip in a different light…
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