The Sound of Music (Three-Disc 45th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)
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Experience the world's most beloved family film as never before with this 3-disc 45th Anniversary Edition of Rodgers & Hammerstein's® The Sound of Music, Winner of five 1965 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture!
In this true-life story, Julie Andrews lights up the screen as Maria, a spirited young woman who leaves the convent to bring love and music to the home of Captain von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) and his seven children.
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Wins: Picture, Director-Robert Wise, Film Editing, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture and Sound Mixing.
March Boy nominations: Leading Actor-Christopher Plummer, Costume Design, Set Design and Cinematography
Wins: Picture, Director-Robert Wise, Leading Actress-Julie Andrews, Film Editing, Score, Original Song--"Something Good" and Sound Mixing.
Despite all the put-downs The Sound of Music has received over the years (it was too long, boring, sickly irritatingly sweet, sentimental, saccharine, treacle, corny, etc.) I sincerely believe it is one of the finest musicals ever made. All the performances are pitch perfect, the main characters are full three-dimensional people, the screenplay has dialogue crackling with wit, humor and spark and every song has a simple, sweet, endearing melody.
Julie Andrews performance as Maria is actually an improvement on her Oscar winning role Mary Poppins because she got to play a more complex role; Maria has her strengths, weaknesses and insecurities (unlike the 'practically perfect in every way' Mary Poppins) and feels more grounded in reality and therefore is easier to care about and relate to. She doesn't make Maria into a stereotypical saint or a goody-goody. She is stubborn, strong-willed, outspoken and sometimes prone to kooky antics but what makes her endearing is how she helps the Captain understand the importance of building a meaningful relationship with his children while they're still young.
Christopher Plummer gives an excellent performance as the cold, sarcastic, stern father who slowly softens up and learns to appreciate the joys of family life again. I love the way the screenplay treats the relationship between him and Maria and even though you know it’s going to end in romance it develops so slowly and gradually that it feels real. And even when he's struggling with an attraction to her, I always got the feeling his love for her stemmed more from her character than her face.
Eleanor Parker plays Baroness Elsa with just the right amount of regalness and gentility. She could easily have been the villain of the piece--Maria's rival--but wisely underplays her inner tensions of jealousy and when Maria comes back after she tried to guilt trip her into leaving she understands Maria is more suited to the Captain than she is so she gracefully offers to break off her engagement. Robert Wise also wisely cut Elsa’s songs from the score to help emphasize that Maria fits in with the family better.
Peggy Wood gained a Supporting Actress nomination for her role as the Mother Abbess and while she does not quite exceed the greatness of Shelley Winters as the evil mother in A Patch of Blue (the winner that year) she plays her part with a strong sense of piety and devotion. All the child actors fit their roles like gloves, especially Charmian Carr as Liesel.
Robert Wise's direction is flawless. He brings out the best in every actor and stages every sequence perfectly. I especially admired how he quickly made the transition from whimsical and light-hearted throughout most of the movie to the intense and suspenseful last fifteen minutes in the Abbey, especially the cemetery sequence.
The cinematography contains soft pastel shades of earth and flesh tones--sepia, brown, gray, green, blue and white. The costumes and sets are detailed enough and never look cheap or cheesy.
Five stars? You better believe it.
Now for the Blu-ray oh my goodness. It is like being right there. It is full HD viewing pleasure. I already had the DVD which was really good but when you look at one then the other there is a BIG difference for sure. The sound is amazing also. This set is so worth the investment if this is a favorite of yours. I also have the Wizzard of Oz set my other favorite of all time.
Highly Recommend it is worth the few extra dollars if you want a beautiful keepsake.
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