54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Sensational Sound of Music on DVD,
This review is from: The Sound of Music (Five Star Collection) (DVD)
Although this picture has had numerous home video releases over the years from tape to laserdisc, this new DVD version is easily the best to date, offering a crisp, clear, pristine wide screen transfer that looks like it was filmed only hours ago, along with an excellent surround sound mix that is far superior to any previous release, 70mm six track theatrical prints included. The supplemental disc offers documentaries and enough extras to satisfy any Sound of Music junkie.
The feature disc offers an audio commentary by director Robert Wise that is quite interesting and informative, but repeats much of the same information included in the documentary. Parts of it seem a bit rushed, perhaps because he doesn't speak over any of the musical sequences, which are presented without vocals to highlight the orchestral arrangements and allow one the opportunity to sing along. Wise points out where songs that were deleted or moved would have gone as compared to the original stage show, and one can see how such changes made the film adaptation superior. He also explains the technical aspects of shooting on location and how location shots were seamlessly matched with footage shot back in L.A. on stages. There were also a couple of scenes that were shot but later cut--it makes you wish they had included these outtakes on the supplemental disc of extras. There are some gaps in the commentary where only the movie plays--leaving you a bit hungry for more interesting anecdotes from Mr. Wise, but after over 35 years I guess his memory is as good as can be expected.
The French audio track is fun--How strange to hear the familiar songs in French--not an easy task to translate a song like Do Re Mi which seems it wouldn't make sense in any language other than English. They did an excellent dubbing job--the voices are quite similar to the original actors' voices, and the woman dubbing for Julie Andrews holds her own.
The 35 minute audio spot by screenwriter Ernest Lehman is extremely interesting, giving you a taste of what went on behind the scenes in the development of the production, from William Wyler's indifference to the film he agreed to direct despite hating the Broadway show, and prospective director Gene Kelly kicking Mr. Lehman out of his house and telling him to "shove" his screenplay.
Actor Dan Truhitte also provides an "audio telegram" detailing his experience winning the part of Rolf and some personal anecdotes. But all we hear is his voice--a still picture of his present-day self would have been a nice touch.
We also get some sound bytes of old radio interviews that are typical PR fluff but still an interesting time capsule. The video of theatrical trailers and TV spots is interesting but repetitive. They are almost all the same, with only subtle changes. For those interested in the location there is even a brief but detailed written history of Salzburg.
All in all, this has to rate as one of the best and most complete DVDs ever released (despite those missing outtakes!) Fox did a terrific job, and should be commended for NOT offering the inferior pan and scan version of the picture usually shown on TV. This is one of those wide screen masterpieces that lose a lot when the original aspect ratio is altered. A must for all film collectors and Sound of Music fanatics alike.