How can you not know about The Sound of Music? It’s a yearly favorite like The Wizard of Oz, It’s a Wonderful Life and The Ten Commandments. The movie marks a slight step towards adulthood when a young kid’s parents will let them stay up to see the ending. Little kids pay for this when they wake up without enough sleep, but it’s a good fatigued feeling as they hum about deers and climbing mountains on the school bus. With the release of The Sound of Music on Blu-ray, a responsible parent can start the 3 hour film so the final song can coincide with last call before bedtime. The Sound of Music: 45th Anniversary Edition brings the hills alive in 1080p.
The brilliance of the film is the mixing of Nazis, nuns and musical numbers. It’s got World War II action for the men. Songs for the ladies. Nuns for traumatized Catholic high school graduates. You can tell the Nazis are the bad guys since they don’t have a dance routine besides their normal goose stepping. It’s a film for the whole family.
For some reason if you have never seen The Sound of Music, it’s not a difficult story. Maria (Julie Andrews) wants to be a nun, but she’s a bit too carefree for the convent. She gets sent off be the Nanny for Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer). He’s a widower with seven kids. He wants order in his house. He wants to hook up with a Baroness (Eleanor Parker). Maria thinks the kids have beautiful voices and makes them a musical act. The Captain has no dreams of being the Austrian Joe Jackson. There’s a bit of a power struggle that gets complicated with the arrival of Nazis who want Captain Von Trapp in their navy. He’s not thrilled at serving Hitler’s war machine. His route for escape involves songs and sabotaging nuns.
The Sound of Music remains a work of uplifting beauty. Julie Andrews was just coming off Mary Poppins so she was able to remain the singing nanny with that extra special zing. It’s easy to mock the film with its sweet nature and glorious ending. But the charm of the film is compelling. The majesty of the Alps is overwhelming as Julie’s voice echos from the snowy caps. You have to hum along with the songs that have been ingrained into the collective memory over the decades. Even if you don’t know all the songs, the Blu-ray provides a sing-along function.
The video is 2.20:1 anamorphic. This is looks like one giant postcard from Austria. The opening shots of the Alps will make you want to sing with Maria. There’s a touch of grain so they didn’t scrub it all alway to create a video feel to the action. It looks gorgeous huge. The audio is in DTS-HD 7.1 Master audio and Dolby Digital 4.0 Surround. The mix brings the singing kids all around you. There’s also French and Spanish dubs in 5.1. The subtitles are English, French and Spanish.
The Feature Film Disc
BD-Live on the feature film requires a Profile 2.0 capable Blu-ray Disc Player. BD-Live Lookup connects you with the IMDb on the screen. Your Favorite Things: An Interactive Celebration uses Bonus View to give behind-the-scenes images, on-screen lyrics, trivia track and location quiz. You need a Profile 1.1″ capable Blu-ray player. Music Machine directs you straight to the musical sequences of the film. Sing-along is a karaoke track. Commentary by Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Charmian Carr, Dee Dee Wood, and Johannes von Trapp Commentary by Robert Wise has the departed director discuss how he adapted the Broadway musical for the big screen.
Bonus Disc: Musical Stages: Creating The Sound of Music breaks down the film in various stages. There’s plenty of people giving background information.
• “Maria in the 21st Century” (6:52)
• “Restoring a Classic: Bloom and Grow Forever” (HD, 5:44)
• “Edelweiss” (2:28)
• “I Have Confidence” (3:09)
• “My Favorite Things” (2:47)
• “Sixteen Going On Seventeen” (2:20)
• “After the Escape” (8:43)
• “R&H: Partnership at its Peak” (3:43)
• “Shaping the Story” (4:50)
• “The von Trapps Today” (5:48)
• “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” (2:07)
• “Stage vs. Screen” (3:12)
• “Maria” (3:03)
• “The Sound of Music” (2:32)
• “Maria and the Musical” (5:06)
• “Cutting Room Floor” (2:50)
• “Something Good” (2:17)
• “The Lonely Goatherd” (2:30)
• “DO-RE-MI” (3:31)
• “So Long, Farewell” (1:11)
• “A Generous Heart” (3:54)
• “Final Dream: Oscar Hammerstein Remembered” (5:51)
• “Stories From Broadway” (4:19)
• “Restoring a Classic: A Glorious Sound” (5:31)
A City of Song guides us around the town and the various musical numbers. Eighteen locations are on the map. The Sound of Music: From Fact to Phenomenon (1:27:22) is from a previous edition. My Favorite Things: Julie Andrews Remembers (1:03:18) is more fun than Oprah’s Favorite Things. Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer: A Reminiscence (19:24) reunites the couple. From Liesl to Gretl (33:33) gives us the story of the kids. Salzburg Sight and Sound (13:04) On Location with The Sound of Music (22:33) When You Know the Notes to Sing: A Sing-Along Phenomenon (12:50) lets us know about sing-alongs in movie theaters. Rodgers and Hammerstein: The Sound of American Music, 1985 (1:23:25) goes through their entire career.. Rodgers and Hammerstein: The Sound of Movies, 1996 (1:36:36) explorers how so many of their musicals became cinematic hits. Audio Interviews include Location Interviews with Julie Andrews (11:49), Christopher Plummer (5:15), and Peggy Wood (6:34), Reissue Interview with Julie Andrews and Robert Wise (7:46) is from 1973. A Telegram From Daniel Truhitte (13:02) Ernest Lehman: Master Storyteller (34:56) focuses on the screenwriter who also wrote North By Northwest. Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall: The Pratt Family Singers (6:41) is a spoof of the Broadway musical featuring Julie (before she got the role) and Carol Burnett. Great musical slapstick from the duo and a cast of a 1,000 Pratts. The Julie Andrews Hour: Julie Andrews and Maria von Trapp (16:33) lets the duo unite. Screen Tests (26:13) gives an idea of what it took to sing in the hills.
40th Anniversary DVD Introduction by Julie Andrews (2:10) seems like she only did this five years ago. Galleries has hundreds of pre-production, production, promotion, and publicity photos. FOX Movietone News Academy Awards (2:46) capture the big night. Trailers and Teasers (21:15) TV Spots (2:46) include re-issue commercials from 1973. Radio Spots (3:02) has the AM promotion.
DVD of The Sound of Music is provided for when you want keep the kids calm in the car for 3 hours. The bonus material on the disc include “Music Machine,”“Sing-Along,” and “The Sound of Music Tour“
The Sound of Music: 45th Anniversary Edition is a Master Class in the movie. If you have any questions about the movie, the answer is in this boxset. The movie has never looked better on home video. This is the ultimate gift for that relative who has to sing “Favorite Things” during road trips. Hard to think what they can possibly do for the 50th Anniversary Edition. All that’s missing in the box is tickets to Austria.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment presents The Sound of Music: 45th Anniversary Edition. Directed by: Robert Wise. Starring: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker and Angela Cartwright. Written by: Ernest Lehman. Running time: 174 minutes. Rating: G. Released on DVD and Blu-ray: November 2, 2010.
Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.