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The Sound Of Music

"The Sound Of Music", released in 1965, is the most popular movie ever made. It was the most successful movie up to that time, and continues to be one of Hollywood's biggest hits. It's been popular on TV since 1976, and is currently shown on ABC at Christmas. The film has also been an enormous success on home video.

The movie is based on Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's most popular musical, one of the biggest hits in Broadway history. The play was adapted from Maria von Trapp's best-selling memoir, "The Story Of The Trapp Family Singers". It tells the story of how Maria, a young postulant at Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg, Austria, is sent to be governess to the Von Trapp children. She and their father, Captain Georg Von Trapp, fall in love and marry. After the Nazi Anschluss, they flee Austria by walking over the Alps into Switzerland.

Most of the major critics did not like the movie when it was released, but audiences did. They made it the biggest hit in movie history, and it remains a beloved favorite. It won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

So why is "The Sound Of Music" so famous? One reason is its magnificent setting and photography. The movie is a visual feast of color and Austrian locations (it was filmed in and around Salzburg), especially the Alps. Ernest Lehman's screenplay strengthens the story and adds humor to it. Robert Wise's direction keeps the story moving swiftly and brings emotional depth to it.

He is greatly aided by his wonderful cast. Eleanor Parker is very good as the Baroness. Richard Haydn brings warmth and humor as Max. Peggy Wood is excellent as the Moher Abbess. The children are delightful. Christopher Plummer is marvelous as Captain Von Trapp. He brings strength, charm, and wit to what could have been a dull role.

Then there is the Rodgers and Hammerstein score, their best and most popular work. Richard Rodgers wrote some of his most beautiful music, bringing out all the emotion and power of the story and characters. Oscar Hammerstein added lyrics that are witty and moving. The results are songs that have become beloved standards: "The Sound Of Music", "Do-Re-Mi", "My Favorite Things", "Climb Every Mountain", "Maria", etc. Musical director Irwin Kostal and his team have done a brilliant job of adapting the score.

But there is one major reason the movie has become such a cultural icon: its star! Julie Andrews gives the performance of her life. She is perfect as Maria, bringing warmth, humor, compassion, and charm to the role. Julie brilliantly holds the audience right from the classic opening scene, where she has the most memorable entrance in movie history. Her strong , clear singing voice is at its peak here. She simply has never been better!

"The Sound Of Music" is one of the greatest movies ever made - an enduring and endearing classic!