Starring: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
Director: Robert Wise
Running Time: 174 mins
The Sound Of Music is an American film about a nun who leaves her convent to work as the governess for a wealthy Salzburg family, and tries to show the children of a strict Navy captain the joy of music and playing.
Along with Oliver! and My Fair Lady, this is one of those hugely enjoyable and jolly musical classics. It’s got a brilliant soundtrack, with some of the most iconic songs in movie musical history, along with a great storyline that both excites you and touches you deeply.
And one of the most impressive things about this film is how consistently paced it is. Oliver was a little inconsistent, and My Fair Lady seemed to grind to a halt towards the end, but this film is constantly fast and fun, very rarely feeling at all boring to watch.
Despite that, it’s split into two very evident halves, the first of which I definitely preferred. Basically, as soon as Maria leaves the convent, you’ve got an hour or so of fantastic songs, a fun story about going outdoors and enjoying yourself, which, amidst the context of the film, is very uplifting to see as well as simply entertaining.
Now, it is a little difficult for me to pick my favourite song, because from ‘The Sound Of Music’ to ‘My Favourite Things’ and ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ to ‘How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?’, everything is great to sing along to, and always a fast, fun pace, making the whole thing a lot more jolly.
But you can’t look past ‘Do-Re-Mi’ as the best song. It embodies the entire story in a matter of five minutes, is hugely uplifting, amazingly enjoyable, surprisingly educational and probably one of the two songs that people most associate with this film, showing its worth.
So, the first half is hugely enjoyable, and while the second is still interesting, it doesn’t live up to the beginning. In similar fashion to Oliver!, it moves to a more exciting and serious side to everything, and while that was definitely still perfectly entertaining, I was a little disappointed that the musical side to it all couldn’t be kept up as well.
While the songs and the story are all good, the performances are fantastic. Christopher Plummer’s Captain von Trapp is an intriguing and original character, performed excellently, while Julie Andrews does a great job of playing Mary Poppins again, but in lederhosen; in fact she’s even better in this.
Overall, this gets a 7.6, because it was so enjoyable and uplifting to watch, even though the end may not have be so much so.