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508 of 528 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Re-Mi!
After years and years and years of watching The Sound of Music on VHS and DVD, I thought I knew every blade of grass and every gust of wind visible in the movie. How wrong I was! You don't realize how much picture is lost with standard 480p releases until a monumental blu ray transfer like this comes along and provides a home viewing experience that literally feels like...
Published on November 3, 2010 by Tyson

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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Julie Andrews
Why anyone would want to view this classic in full frame is beyond me. Shot in Panavision 70, the glorious vistas of the Alps and Austrian countryside are breathtakingly captured. And then, of course, there's Julie Andrews. From her introduction, twirling about the tip of a hillside, to her whimsical "My Favorite Things" Ms. Andrews is one of the cinema's great guilty...
Published on March 1, 2003 by Nix Pix


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning blu-ray, November 7, 2010
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I've been very disappointed with some of the my blu-ray purchases because the quality is not what I would expect. In some cases, they are no better or even worse than the DVD version. So, I was prepared to be disappointed again when I purchased the blu-ray for The Sound of Music. After watching it, I can only say the blu-ray is extraordinary. The detail and sound are stunning. If all other blu-ray transfers would use this disc as a benchmark, I'd never be disappointed again.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a fitting restoration for this classic!, November 4, 2010
By 
Janna LaPenter (Hopatcong, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
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As a big fan of the movie I waited a bit nervously to see the results of the latest restoration of the Sound of Music. Past restorations have fallen quite short, slapping this classic in the face with everything from horrible skin tones to seemingly "jumping" color palettes mid-shot.

It's truly breathtaking the images, clarity and vividness they were able to restore from not just the picture, but the audio as well. The small details that really come through now let you get fully immersed in this film. Even the standard DVD included, while obviously not as sharp or stunning as the blu-ray, is a far better release then the last restoration. This latest edition finally does the justice this classic film deserves.

Do yourself a favor and add this to your movie library.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Julie Andrews, March 1, 2003
By 
Nix Pix (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
Why anyone would want to view this classic in full frame is beyond me. Shot in Panavision 70, the glorious vistas of the Alps and Austrian countryside are breathtakingly captured. And then, of course, there's Julie Andrews. From her introduction, twirling about the tip of a hillside, to her whimsical "My Favorite Things" Ms. Andrews is one of the cinema's great guilty pleasures, a wholesome, smart and funloving girl next door that anyone would be happy to have as either their mother or girlfriend - depending on one's age.
Fox previously issued this film as a "Five Star Edition". Here, you don't get the fabulous extras, including a wonderful documentary on the history of the film and the Von Trapps. But no matter which version you get, you can't escape the fact that this transfer, although better than the laserdisc or VHS versions previously issued, still has a long way to go to live up to the very best DVD transfers. There is considerable digital noise in the backgrounds, some color smearing and a bit of edge enhancement and fine detail shimmering to contend with. Though it doesn't necessarily distract, it is present throughout and does draw attention to itself, particularly if you are viewing the film on a screen 32 inches or greater. The soundtrack has been nicely restored though at moments it can have a strident sonic characteristic that is slightly grating. Overall, Fox needs to revisit this title with a new transfer. Still, no one can deny that the hills will continue to be alive with the sounds of music for many, many years to come.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous new 40th Anniversary edition is one to treasure..., December 1, 2005
By 
Byron Kolln (the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Special Edition) (DVD)
This lovely new 40th Anniversary 2-disc edition of THE SOUND OF MUSIC is a real treat. But, for those in a quandry about buying yet another DVD release of the film (following the "Five Star" 2-disc edition), I say, buy this version but keep the old one too, because it has some great extras that were not ported onto this new edition (more about that later).

THE SOUND OF MUSIC is of course based on the long-running 1959 hit Broadway musical that originally starred Mary Martin. The musical was inspired by a Geman film called "Die Trapp Famile", based on the book by Maria Augusta Trapp. The story is as well-known as those hills that truly did come alive with the sound of music: Maria (Julie Andrews) is a postulant nun at the Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg circa 1938. The Mother Abbess (Peggy Wood) becomes well-aware that the spirited Maria is hardly suited to the cloistered life of a nun. So Maria is assigned as governess to the seven children of an autocratic widower, Captain Georg von Trapp (Christopher Plummer). Like a breath of fresh mountain air, Maria transforms the children and eventually steals the Captain's heart away from a worldly Baroness (Eleanor Parker). But the Nazi Anschluss is coming, and the family's safety is under threat...

This new DVD contains a wealth of new bonus material including :
"Audio Commentary" - brand new commentary track with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, choreographer Dee Dee Wood and Charmian Carr amongst others. The Robert Wise director commentary (from the "5 Star" release) is also included.

"A Few of My Favourite Things" - Julie Andrews hosts this generous-length documentary which features new interviews with key cast and production team members, some rare photos, footage from behind the scenes and more.

"Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer: A Reminiscence" - Julie and Chris sit down and share their memories from the film.

"From Liesl to Gretl: A 40th Anniversary Reunion" - This is something truly special. This segment reunites all seven von Trapp children to share their own memories and talk about the film. With Charmian Carr (Liesl), Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich), Heather Menzies (Louisa), Duane Chase (Kurt), Angela Cartwright (Brigitta), Debbie Turner (Marta) and Kym Karath (Gretl).

"On Location with The Sound of Music" - Charmian Carr takes us on a personally-guided tour of Salzburg, taking in the historical sites as well as the locations featured in the film. This is a cute update on "Salzburg Sights and Sounds", which Carr made as a featurette during production of SOM in 1965 (and which can be found on the "5 Star" release).

"When You Know the Notes to Sing: A Sing-Along Phenomenon" - This takes a look behind the scenes during the 40th Anniversary "Sing-Along a-Sound of Music" screening held at the Hollywood Bowl with an audience of over 18,00 people. The "Sing Along" version of the film has taken off all over the world, and this featurette gives you a definite flavour of one.

"The von Trapp Family: Harmony and Discord" - This is the fantastic `Biography' episode which takes an in-depth look at the real von Trapp clan. We learn that the real Maria was a far more flawed and fallible human being than we ever saw in "Sound of Music", and also the shocking fact that infamous Himmler took over the von Trapp villa shortly after their exit from Salzburg. Featuring interviews with several of the real von Trapp children.

"Mia Farrow screen test" - A fascinating look at the girl who might have played Liesl if Charmian Carr was never cast in the role. Farrow sings a brief section of "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" in a blonde wig. Lesley Ann Warren also auditioned for the role (she appeared in the title role of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" instead), but it might have been nice to have had Lesley's screen test also. Oh well...

"Restoration comparison" - Compares a 1993 print of the film with the new 40th Anniversary restored print.

There are also copious trailers and galleries to watch and explore.

The "Five Star" double disc set also included the fabulous doco "From Fact to Phenomenon", and that is the main reason why I'll keep my old DVD alongside this new version. I recommend that all fans purchase this new edition, if only for the reunion featurette. For those who have yet to buy SOM in digital format, this release is a no-brainer.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW !, November 3, 2010
By 
Patrick J. Mack (santa monica, california) - See all my reviews
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After having seen this movie too many times to count both in the theater and at home I never expected this to be such a revelatory experience. I sat through the entire film with my mouth hanging open at the clarity of the picture and sound. It was literally like I had never seen it before. I'm sure even just the DVD is far superior to the last release of this film. For anyone who is a fan this is a must. The thrill of that mountain top opening and the wedding scene brought back chills I hadn't experienced in years. The hills are alive...again !
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A restored version with mondo extras of the best movie musical of all time, December 15, 2005
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This review is from: The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Special Edition) (DVD)
As far as I am concerned there are two reasons to pick up "The Sound of Music (40th Anniversary Edition)" DVD is you already have the movie on DVD. First, the movie has been digitally restored and if you look at the examples of the restoration on Disc 2 where they the right half of the frame has been cleaned up you can see that they really got the red out (seriously; the old version does not look so much washed out as it does rather reddish to me). Consequently, the movie looks a lot better. The change is not as thrilling as when I got to first see it in the letterbox format at home on the laser disc version and realized that on pan and scan we were missing literally half the picture (my kids still remember the shot where they could finally see the massive fountain on the left half of the scren), but if you really love this movie then you want a copy of the new print because the difference is so noticeable.

Second, if the first reason is not strong enough, they have loaded up on extras for this DVD. You have a commentary track by the late director Robert Wise and another with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Charmian Carr, choreographer Dee Dee Wood, and Johannes Von Trapp (the 10th and last of the Von Trapp kinder). If you think listening to songs on the DVD is better than listening on the CD (I often find that to be the case), then you can play only the songs or play the songs with sing-a-long subtitles in three languages. I especially liked the retrospective documentary "A Few of My Favorite Things" because it talks about the way the Broadway musical was turned into a Hollywood film by shifting songs and setting them up differently (see below). The reminiscence by Andrews and Plummer is worthwhile as well and the "Biography" episode "The Von Trapp Family: Harmony and Discord" will certainly open your eyes to the "true" story behind it all.

Watching the film again and learning about how the film was created from all of the DVD extras got me thinking about why this is the most popular movie musical of all time. The first thing that works is that Robert Wise frontloads this movie big time. We begin with the wonderful descent of the camera from the clouds until it finds Maria on top of the mountain, where she bursts into the title song and makes it clear that the beautiful vistas of Austria are integral to this film (it did for Salzburg, Austria what "The Lord of the Rings" did for New Zealand). After the overture during the title credits we have the "Preludium (Dixit Dominus)," during which Wise presents us with some stunningly beautiful shots of nuns at prayer, establishing weight to the religious elements of the film. Then when we get to "Maria" the Mother Superior and the rest of the nuns strike absolutely the right tone for singing a cute song while dressed in habits. There is not a moment in this film where Peggy Wood's Mother Superior does not seem like an absolutely real person. By the time Maria runs past them and does the big double take at having been caught, the film's first big joke, Wise has already established an extremely serious tone for a movie musical.

What impresses me about this film is that if you take out the songs I think it still works as a drama and the only reason Julie Andrews did not win an Oscar for the best thing she ever did on film was that she had won the year before for playing the title role in the Dick Van Dyke film "Mary Poppins" (you have to be Katharine Hepburn not to overcome this sort of liability). The only musical number that is in danger of going too far is the new "I Have Confidence," but that is because Andrews plays it as bluster on Maria's part (e.g., the stumble on the last run). Once we get past the opening of the movie where Wise so beautifully sets the stage for the film, the person who deserves a lot of the credit is screenwriter Ernest Lehman. Pay attention to how he sets up the songs so that the seque from dialogue to singing is more naturalistic ("My Favorite Things" is a prime example of this in the film). Lehman's script also turned the Captain into a more of a fully developed human being than the martinet of the Broadway version. Special mention also must be made of the poignant reprises of "My Favorite Things" when Maria returns, "Maria" during her walk down the ailse as the bride to be, and the high-brow "Do-Re-Mi" at the folk festival.

Of course, if you have seen the show performed on stage you know that some of the songs have been put in different contexts. For example, "My Favorite Things" was originally sung by Maria and the Mother Superior on stage and now becomes the song Maria sings with the kids to establish a report with them instead of "Do Re Mi." That, of course, becomes the show piece of the film as Maria and the children tour Salzburg and the countryside singing, which gets us back to the wonderful scenery that Wise highlights from the opening moment of the film. There are few Broadway musicals that have been transformed rather than ending up being merely translated when they are brought to the screen. Some take advantage of more locations (e.g., "Camelot," "Evita"), but all things considered no musical has been upgraded on the big screen as much as "The Sound of Music," which is why it remains on the top of the mountain forty years down the road.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Blu-ray!, November 2, 2010
Everyone knows The Sound of Music is a timeless classic. So I am not going to review the fantastic movie, but the quality of the blu-ray. This blu-ray edition of The Sound of Music has excellent picture and audio quality. It is a big step up from the VHS and even the DVD. Those who have a Blu-ray Player need to get this movie on blu-ray. Even if you don't have a blu-ray player right now, but are planning on getting one later on, it comes with a DVD copy. Overall this is a fantastic blu-ray release for all fans of The Sound of Music.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best dvd version of this film yet, November 15, 2005
This review is from: The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Special Edition) (DVD)
I bought the 40th Anniversary Edition because I had heard that the picture was improved over previous versions (I also own the 5 Star Collectors Edition). I have to say that this is true. The new version has a much cleaner picture with less noise and more vivid color than the previous one. The language choices features an "English 5.0 Surround" track (no .1 subwoofer track, I guess, although this film doesn't need a lot of bass). The previous version I own has 4.1 surround. Add to that many more special features, and I think the 40th Anniversary Edition is one that you will want to add to your collection even if you already own another version of it. For me, the much improved picture makes it worth the extra cost.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exhaustive DVD Package and a Pristine Print Should Satisfy Fans of This Indisputable Musical Classic, April 13, 2006
This review is from: The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Special Edition) (DVD)
It's downright sacrilegious to say anything critical of this 1965 musical classic, and I have to admit I still love the movie like almost everyone else I know. Between the postcard-perfect Austrian scenery captured by Ted D. McCord's vibrant cinematography and the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein score, it's an irresistible entertainment with Julie Andrews ideally realizing the role of Maria, the young Salzburg novitiate nun who may be too independent to become part of the order. She is assigned by the abbey's Mother Superior to become a governess for the seven mischievous children of retired Navy Captain Von Trapp. The rest of the plot focuses on the burgeoning love that develops not only between Maria and the Captain but also between the two principals and the children.

A romantic triangle arises in the form of a Baroness who has her talons in the Captain until she realizes she cannot manipulate the inevitable, but the bigger conflict comes with the encroaching Nazi regime who attempts to strong-arm Von Trapp to serve in the Reich. A closer examination of the 174-minute movie really shows an odd imbalance to the narrative. The lighter first half is all told from Maria's perspective, and consequently, this is where most of the memorable songs are performed. After the intermission, Maria is pushed to the background when the Captain becomes engaged to the Baroness and then later when things heat up between him and the Nazi officials. Even though the story makes sense as presented, I've always thought this strange given the build-up of the story as Maria's personal odyssey.

But no matter as the songs are beautifully staged and choreographed by Mark Breaux and Dee Dee Wood, in particular, the joyous Salzburg montage used for "Do Re Mi", the unintended slumber party for "My Favorite Things", the simplicity of the Captain's rendition of "Edelweiss", the gauzy gazebo duet "Something Good", the puppy love pas-de-deux in the same gazebo of "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" and of course, the how-can-it-be-topped opening title song. Besides the transcendent Andrews (is it a wonder why we all fell in love with her back then?), Christopher Plummer is far more dimensional as Von Trapp than I remember from my youth. Not only does he capture the sternness, but he brings a saucy sense of humor and fey quality to his performance. Looking regal the way Hollywood stars used to, Eleanor Parker plays the Baroness not so much as a vindictive man-handler but more as an insecure woman too comfortable with her exalted status in life.

In stock roles, Richard Haydn provides comic relief as the cagey impresario Max, while as Rolfe, Daniel Truhitte transforms from smitten bike messenger to cold Nazi youth in record time. As the Mother Superior, Peggy Wood brings calming assurance, though her dubbed performance of "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" is a tad too operatic for the movie's tone. The children are all well played, though I tend to think of Charmian Carr as a bit too Ann-Margret-kittenish as Liesl, especially as her singing voice does not sound remotely Tyrolean. Minor flaws aside, major credit should be given to director Robert Wise, who already performed similar chores on "West Side Story" and has somehow mastered the art of pacing such a marathon musical story. Wise's frequent collaborator, screenwriter Ernest Lehman, adapted the original stage book by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse with wit and heart and manages to tone down the innately saccharine tone of the story.

The 2005 40th anniversary two-disc DVD package is obscenely full of extras which should satisfy the most persnickety aficionado. Still looking great at 70, Andrews provides brief introductions to both discs. First things first, the 2005 restoration effort and the transfer on the DVD have yielded a superb print, and it will not disappoint any fan of the movie. There are two commentary tracks, one done by Wise in a rather perfunctory fashion, the other a more anecdotal account by Andrews, Carr, Dee Dee Wood and the real Maria Von Trapp's youngest son Johannes. Then there is a very informative, 63-minute making-of documentary produced for the new DVD, "My Favorite Things: Julie Andrews Remembers" which thoroughly discusses the history of the Von Trapp family, the Broadway incarnation and the complicated transfer of the stage show to screen - even though a number of participants provide recollections, not just Andrews.

There are also two charming looking-back interview sessions. The first is a 20-minute conversation between Andrews and an especially acerbic Plummer, who seems to be ridiculing the original Maria in the Broadway version, stage legend Mary Martin, for her reputed megalomania. The second is a 33-minute group discussion among the seven actors who portrayed the Von Trapp children, all looking decidedly middle-aged (their ages now ranging from 47 to 62) and showing a friendly compatibility with one another in their remembrances. There is also a 22-minute featurette showing Carr revisiting the Salzburg locations, providing a history of the city and even joining in on The Sound of Music bus tour (I've done that one, too).

Another short focuses on the current phenomenon of the sing-along screenings of the movie, this one a massive event at the Hollywood Bowl complete with extravagantly costumed viewers. Also included are a fascinating A&E Biography special of the real Von Trapps, a text-driven demonstration of the restoration process, and a real howler - scratchy screen test footage of an 18-year old Mia Farrow sounding particularly tone-deaf in her audition as Liesl (I only wish they had similar footage for others who auditioned like Richard Dreyfuss, Kurt Russell and the Osmond Brothers). Lastly, there are a number of trailers and an exhaustive photo gallery. Whew. This really defines what a complete DVD package is all about, and in this case, it's perfectly justifiable.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect family and kid gift!!!!, December 17, 2005
By 
S. Kochel "Sam K" (Ventura, California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Special Edition) (DVD)
I write this review in order to encourage people to buy this as a gift for families with children or for their own family or kids. I remember all the songs I was exposed to over and over from when I was little, don't you? From Anine, and Grease, and Sound of Music, and Fiddeler on the Roof.

This is such a positive, fun, heart-warming movie with such great and simple songs for any kid to learn and sing. I think it is a must to counter-balance the world of video games, and violent and mindless T.V. to expose your kids, other's kids to something positive like this, AND, importantly, something they will enjoy!

What a wonderful present.

Here are some of the things this DVD will hold for you:

The movie, of course

Wonderful surrond sound, and sing alongs to the songs!

Commentary by the actors and directors for those of you who want to get into the movie even more deeply...maybe because the wondeful memories you have of it!

Still photos of behind-the-scenes and some screen tests and other storyboard stuff, which makes learning about the production of the movie great.

Also, some previews too, which is a great walk through history.

All and all, give a wonderful postive gife to any family, this is a great one!

Lastly, I am in a review writing competition with some other people, so if you liked this review I would love your Yes vote, I write this review though with sincerity and hope for that the kids in the world will find the positive joy of musicals, before they run into the negative elements waiting to take their minds and money later. Take care and best wishes!
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The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Special Edition)
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