The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical drama film produced and directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.
The film is an adaptation of the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music, composed by Richard Rodgers with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. The film’s screenplay was written by Ernest Lehman, adapted from the stage musical’s book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.
Based on the memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria von Trapp, the film is about a young Austrian woman studying to become a nun in Salzburg in 1938 who is sent to the villa of a retired naval officer and widower to be governess to his seven children.
After bringing love and music into the lives of the family through kindness and patience, she marries the officer and together with the children they find a way to survive the loss of their homeland through courage and faith.
The original Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical score was enhanced by two new songs by Richard Rodgers.
Arranger and conductor Irwin Kostal prerecorded the songs with a large orchestra and singers on a stage prior to the start of filming, and later adapted instrumental underscore passages based on the songs.
Choreographers Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood, who had worked with Andrews on Mary Poppins, worked out all new choreography sequences that incorporated many of the Salzburg locations and settings. The Sound of Music was filmed from March 26 through September 1, 1964, with external scenes shot on location in Salzburg, Austria, and the surrounding region, and interior scenes filmed at the 20th Century Fox studios in California.
The movie was photographed in 70 mm Todd-AO by Ted McCord and produced with DeLuxe Color processing and six-track sound recording.
The film was released on March 2, 1965 in the United States, initially as a limited roadshow theatrical release. The critical response to the film was widely mixed, with Bosley Crowther of The New York Times calling it “romantic nonsense and sentiment”, and Philip K. Scheuer of the Los Angeles Times describing it as “three hours of visual and vocal brilliance”.
The film was a major commercial success, becoming the number one box office movie after four weeks, and the highest-grossing film of 1965.
By November 1966, The Sound of Music became the highest-grossing film of all-time—surpassing Gone with the Wind—and held that distinction for five years. The film was just as popular throughout the world, breaking previous box-office records in twenty-nine countries.
Following an initial theatrical release that lasted four and a half years, and two successful re-releases, the film sold 283.3 million admissions worldwide and earned a total worldwide gross of $286,214,076. Adjusted for inflation, the film earned $2.366 billion at 2014 prices—the fifth highest grossing film of all time.
The Sound of Music received five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
The film also received two Golden Globe Awards, for Best Motion Picture and Best Actress, the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Musical.
In 1998, the American Film Institute (AFI) listed The Sound of Music as the fifty-fifth greatest American movie of all time, and the fourth greatest movie musical.
In 2001, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
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