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The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Special Edition)

4.8 out of 5 stars 4,421 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Julie Andrews in the heartwarming true story that has become a cinematic treasure. Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music." Julie Andrews is Maria, the spirited, young woman who leaves the convent and becomes a governess to the seven unruly charm and songs soon win the hearts of the children and their father but when Nazi, Germany unites with Austria, Maria is forced to attempt a daring escape with her new family.

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When Julie Andrews sang "The hills are alive with the sound of music" from an Austrian mountaintop in 1965, the most beloved movie musical was born. To be sure, the adaptation of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Broadway hit has never been as universally acclaimed as, say, Singin' in the Rain. Critics argue that the songs are saccharine (even the songwriters regretted the line "To sing through the night like a lark who is learning to pray") and that the characters and plot lack the complexity that could make them more interesting. It's not hard to know whom to root for when your choice is between cute kids and Nazis.


Read our interview with
Charmian Carr, who played
Liesl von Trapp in The
Sound of Music
.
It doesn't matter. Audiences fell in love with the struggling novice Maria (Andrews), the dashing Captain von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), and, yes, the cute kids, all based on a real-life World War II Austrian family. Such songs as "My Favorite Things," "Do Re Mi," "Climb Every Mountain," and the title tune became part of the 20th century Zeitgeist. In addition, The Sound of Music officially became a cult hit when audiences in London began giving it the Rocky Horror Picture Show treatment, attending showings dressed as their favorite characters and delivering choreographed comments and gestures along with the movie. So why resist, especially when the 40th Anniversary Edition is the best DVD yet.

The DVDs
As if the direct involvement of Julie Andrews weren't enough, the 40th Anniversary Edition of The Sound of Music is a must-have for fans because of the fond sense of nostalgia that will touch all but the worst cynic's heart. Andrews introduces both discs and contributes a commentary track on the film. It's a joy to hear her speak about the film (for example, she explains how she solved her dislike for the lyrics of "I Have Confidence"), and also heard are remarks by Christopher Plummer (who at one point refers to his being 48, which if true would mean his comments were made in about 1975), Charmian Carr (Liesl), choreographer Dee Dee Wood, and Johannes Von Trapp (the real-life Maria Von Trapp's youngest son, who admits that his father did have a whistle but claims that he was not as stern as portrayed in the film). Even with all those people involved, there are still significant gaps of silence, however. Retained from the previous two-disc editions is the commentary track by director Robert Wise, which during the musical numbers becomes an isolated score with no vocals. Also new are sing-along subtitles in English, Spanish, and French, which allow you to have your own sing-along at home. In addition, the film's remastering shows off a truer and much warmer sense of color.

On the second disc, Andrews participates in a new 63-minute documentary "My Favorite Things: Julie Andrews Remembers." But it's really a general making-of documentary with contributions from a number of principals, including director Robert Wise, who died in mid-2005 (not surprisingly, some stories are repeated from the commentary track and from the 87-minute documentary on the previous DVD). Andrews also shares a warm 19-minute sit-down with Christopher Plummer. Carr, who over the years has become the film's biggest advocate, narrates a new 22-minute documentary, "On Location with The Sound of Music," in which she revisits the places in Salzburg where the movie was filmed, and even joins one of the "Sound of Music tours" that have become a booming industry. And acknowledging another big industry, there's a 12-minute featurette on the sing-along phenomenon, focusing specifically on the audience, costumed and otherwise, that attended a sold-out Hollywood Bowl sing-along in 2005. Making special appearances at the event are four von Trapp great-grandchildren and all seven of the actors who played the children. Thankfully, those actors also appear in a 33-minute documentary "From Liesl to Gretl: A 40th Anniversary Reunion," in which they explain what they do now (many are still in show business) and share stories about the film, who was afraid of Christopher Plummer, and what they feel is their responsibility to the film's passionate fans. What's touching is how the group still considers themselves a family so many years later. Other material includes an A&E documentary on the von Trapps, Mia Farrow's screen test for the Liesl role, and a restoration comparison.

What's Missing?
If you already own the previous two-disc editions, you'll want this 40th Anniversary Edition as well, but you might not want to toss those versions. Probably the most significant omission from this edition is the original 14-minute documentary Charmian Carr made in 1967, "Salzburg Sight and Sound." Carr's new documentary includes only a couple clips from the vintage piece. It's not a great work of art, but it's a notable loss and would have made a good contrast with the new documentary. In addition, the new making-of documentary is about 24 minutes shorter than the old one. Also missing are the audio-only features--the interviews, the radio programs, the Ernest Lehman spotlight--and the historical still gallery examining the history of Salzburg and the film. Granted, this material probably got the least play of any of the old features, but completists might want to hold onto their old discs for it. It would have also been nice to have screen tests other than Farrow's. Tests for all the children and for Christopher Plummer (including singing in his own voice before he was dubbed for the film) were included on Hollywood Screen Tests and Rodgers and Hammerstein: The Sound of Movies. Again, they're not critical but it would have been nice to have them all in one place. So maybe the 40th Anniversary Edition isn't the complete package on The Sound of Music, but it's the most satisfying edition yet, with enough new material to please even the veteran SoM DVD watcher. --David Horiuchi


Stills from The Sound of Music (Click for larger image)













Special Features

  • Introduction by Julie Andrews on both discs
  • Separate chapter list for songs only with Play All feature
  • English, French, and Spanish sing-a-long subtitles
  • A Few of My Favorite Things: A retrospective documentary
  • Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer: A Reminiscence
  • Charmian Carr on location with The Sound of Music
  • From Liesl to Gretl: A 40th Anniversary Reunion
  • When You Know the Notes to Sing: A Sing-Along Phenomenon
  • Biography: The Von Trapp Family--Harmony and Discord
  • Restoration comparison
  • Storyboard gallery
  • Behind-the-scenes stills
  • Lobby cards and one-sheets
  • Screen test: Mia Farrow
  • Trailers and TV spots: Theatrical teaser, Theatrical trailer, 1st Anniversary trailer, Academy Award trailer, 1973 reissue trailer, testimonial trailer, TV trailer

Product details

  • Actors: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn, Peggy Wood
  • Directors: Robert Wise
  • Writers: Ernest Lehman, George Hurdalek, Howard Lindsay, Maria von Trapp, Russel Crouse
  • Producers: Peter Levathes, Richard D. Zanuck
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: November 15, 2005
  • Run Time: 174 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,421 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AP04OM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,976 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

  • Learn more about "The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Special Edition)" on IMDb

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