The Sound of Music Movie Poster

Trivia for The Sound of Music

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  • Twentieth Century Fox bought the movie rights to the musical in 1960, along with the rights to two German movies about the family. The project was jeopardized by the poor box-office showing of a compilation of the German movies, as well as Fox's extreme financial difficulties and dangerous warnings of bankruptcy resulting from Cleopatra (1963).
  • Came second in the U.K.'s Ultimate Film, in which movies were placed in order of how many seats they sold at cinemas.
  • The Von Trapp street address is "53". When Maria first comes to the villa and is looking through the gate, the address sign is on the stone pillar to the left.
  • In the capacity of producer and director, Robert Wise won two Oscars, but was unavailable to claim the statuettes due to his location shoot in Hong Kong on The Sand Pebbles (1966).
  • Though this movie is virtually unknown in Austria, due to the international popularity, you can visit the places where filming took place with a special tour. Furthermore, in many hotels in Salzburg, this movie is played non-stop on television for the tourists.
  • William Wyler wanted Audrey Hepburn to play Maria von Trapp.
  • (Cameo) Maria von Trapp: Portraying the elder of the two women in Austrian peasant garb who are in the background as Maria (Dame Julie Andrews) walks through a brick archway during "I Have Confidence".
  • Doris Day was apparently offered the role of Maria Von Trapp, but turned it down.
  • When setting up for filming of the wedding scene, there was nobody at the altar to wed them when they reached the top of the stairs to the sanctuary. Someone had forgotten to summon the actor playing the bishop. According to Dame Julie Andrews, the real Archbishop of Salzburg (at the time Andreas Rohracher), is seen in the movie.
  • At the musical competition at the end of this movie, Fraulein Schweiger, the third place winner, bowed sixteen times.
  • Along with The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966), this is one of the few Twentieth Century Fox movies in which no music at all is heard when the Twentieth Century Fox logo appears on-screen.
  • The song "Edelweiss" was written for the musical and is little known in Austria. The song was the last that Oscar Hammerstein II wrote before his death on August 23, 1960.
  • "Sixteen Going On Seventeen" was shot in the gazebo, one of the last to be done. On the first take, Charmian Carr (Liesl) slipped while leaping across a bench, and fell through a pane of glass. Although she was not badly injured, her ankle was hurt and the scene was later shot with her leg wrapped and make-up covering the bandages.
  • Kym Karath (Gretl) couldn't swim, so the original idea was to get Dame Julie Andrews to catch her when the boat tips up and they all fall in the water. However, during the second take, the boat toppled over so that Andrews fell to one side and Karath fell to the other. Heather Menzies-Urich (Louisa) had to save her instead. Andrews stated that she felt guilty about this for years.
  • This is one of only four productions to win the Best Musical (or Best Play, as applicable) Tony (1960) and the Best Picture Oscar (1965). The others being My Fair Lady (1957/1964), A Man For All Seasons (1962/1966), and Amadeus (1981/1984).
  • The songs "I Have Confidence" and "Something Good" were written especially for this movie by Richard Rodgers, the latter song replacing "An Ordinary Couple" from the stage version. The two numbers became so popular and so integrated into the musical that most subsequent stage productions, including the 1998 Broadway revival, have felt the need to add them on (and delete "An Ordinary Couple" in the process).
  • Maria never used the Captain's first name, "Georg", in this movie. Instead, she called him Captain, Sir, and Darling.
  • Christopher Plummer opted out of the Harry Palmer role in The Ipcress File (1965) in favor of the Captain Von Trapp part, a decision he later regretted.
  • The gazebo changes size (becomes larger) when we go inside it. This is intentional. There was a real gazebo on the property where they filmed the scenes at the back of the house, but it was too small for the dance numbers, so they built an interior for the gazebo in Hollywood that was significantly larger.
  • The organ passages in the underscore were performed by jazz organist Buddy Cole, who suffered a fatal heart attack just one day after his final recording sessions were completed.
  • Voted number eighteen in Channel 4's (U.K.) "Greatest Family Films".
  • The original Broadway production of "The Sound of Music" opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City, New York on November 16, 1959. It ran for one thousand four hundred forty-three performances and won (in a tie) the 1960 Tony Award for the Best Musical.
  • Dame Julie Andrews nearly turned down the role of Maria von Trapp, fearing the character was too similar to her role in Mary Poppins (1964).
  • Richard Burton, Sir Sean Connery, Bing Crosby, and Maximilian Schell were considered for Captain Von Trapp.
  • Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich) has brown hair, and had to undergo several painful hair bleachings before and during filming to make his hair blond.
  • Right after her talk with Maria, the Baroness is at the party talking to Max. The song the orchestra is playing is a song from the play version that was not used in the movie called "How Can Love Survive". This song was sung by the Baroness and Max. However, the tempo and rhythm of the song were altered quite dramatically, when played as a piece of orchestral music at the party in this movie, hence the melody isn't immediately recognisable. The melody was stripped of the dramatic intensity and urgency that characterized it in the stage version, and was made to sound like a schmaltzy waltz.
  • The singing of Peggy Wood (Mother Abbess) was dubbed, as she declared that she was too old to handle the vocals.
  • Charmian Carr sang "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" for this movie when she was nearly twenty-two. Also, although Liesl and Rolf sing about how she is sixteen and he is seventeen, Daniel Truhitte (Rolf) is ten months younger than Charmian Carr.
  • Debbie Turner (Marta) had many loose teeth during filming. When they fell out, they were replaced with false teeth.
  • In real life, Georg Von Trapp was not stern. The Von Trapp children were upset and disturbed by the portrayal of their father in this movie. Maria von Trapp requested that producer and director Robert Wise soften the character of her husband, but Wise refused.
  • In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the number forty Greatest Movie of All Time.
  • While the Von Trapp family hiked over the Alps to Switzerland in this movie, in reality, they walked to the local train station and boarded the next train to Italy. From Italy, they fled to London and ultimately the U.S. Salzburg is in fact only a few miles away from the Austrian-German border, and is much too far from either the Swiss or the Italian border for a family to escape by walking. Had the Von Trapps hiked over the mountains, they would have ended up in Germany, near Adolf Hitler's mountain retreat.
  • Originally to be directed by William Wyler, who actually scouted locations and toyed with the script. He had a different movie in mind, for example: tanks crashing through walls, et cetera.
  • At the beginning of filming, Heather Menzies-Urich (Louisa) was about three inches taller than Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich). He had to wear heel lifts to make him look taller. By the end of the shoot, Nicolas Hammond had grown six inches (5'3" to 5'9"). He often filmed in no shoes and Charmian Carr had to stand on a box to make her taller. All of the Von Trapp children grew a lot during filming, so heel lifts and various camera tricks were used to keep their heights steady.
  • Four other children were brought in to augment the singing of the seven Von Trapp children - to produce a better, fuller, more polished sound. Amongst the four "extra singers" was the younger sister of Charmian Carr (Liesl), Darleen Carr.
  • The librettists, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, originally intended to use songs that the real Von Trapp family had sung. However, Mary Martin, who was to be in the play, asked Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II to write a song for her character. Due to concerns that their original song would not mix well with the folk music, Rodgers and Hammerstein suggested writing a whole new score, the music we know today.
  • Christopher Plummer intensely disliked working on this movie. He's been known to refer to it as "The Sound of Mucus" or "S&M" and likened working with Dame Julie Andrews to "being hit over the head with a big Valentine's Day card, every day." Nontheless, he and Andrews have remained close friends ever since. Andrews claimed that Plummer's cynicism probably helped his performance and this movie, keeping it from being too sentimental.
  • The Reverend Mother's line, "I will lift mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help!" is the first line of the Psalm 121, since the family was heading right into the hills, in hopes that God would send help from those hills to protect the Von Trapp family.
  • Charmian Carr (Liesl) slipped and injured her ankle while filming "Sixteen Going On Seventeen". In early editions of this movie, the bandage covering that ankle is visible. When this movie was remastered for DVD, the images of this bandage were digitally removed. On the commentary of the 40th Anniversary Edition DVD in 2005, Charmian said that because of this, some people do not believe her when she says she danced on an injured ankle.
  • When Maria is running through the courtyard to the Von Trapp house in "I Have Confidence", she trips. This was an accident. However, producer and director Robert Wise liked this so much that he kept it in the movie. He felt it added to the nervousness of the song and of the character.
  • The gazebo used for the "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" and "Something Good" scenes can still be visited in the Salzburg area, on "Sound of Music" tours. However, the public had to be excluded from the interior because movie fans who were considerably older than "sixteen going on seventeen" were injuring themselves while trying to dance along the seats. The gazebo in Austria was only used for exterior shots. The actual dance by Charmian Carr and Daniel Truhitte was filmed on a replica of the gazebo's interior on a soundstage at Twentieth Century Fox in Los Angeles, California, as were the shots of Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.
  • Christopher Plummer learned to play the guitar for his part, but the guitar (like his vocals) were re-dubbed.
  • The first musical number in this movie was the final sequence shot in Europe before the cast and crew returned to Los Angeles, California. It was filmed in late June and early July of 1964. Despite the warm and sunny appearance, Dame Julie Andrews notes that she was freezing running up that mountain over and over again. Producer and director Robert Wise has said that he had to climb one of the trees nearby to be able to overview the helicopter shoot without getting in the picture.
  • Christopher Plummer was not fond of the song "Edelweiss", which he considered trite, and wrote a letter to screenwriter Ernest Lehman suggesting a new song should be written to replace it, but he was rebuffed.
  • According to the British tabloid The Sun, this movie was selected by BBC executives as one to be broadcast after a nuclear strike, to improve the morale of survivors. The BBC did not confirm or deny the story, saying, "This is a security issue so we cannot comment."
  • The first scene filmed was the scene in Maria's bedroom where Frau Schmidt brings the dress material, and later Liesl sneaks in through the window. One of the last scenes filmed was the "You are Sixteen" number, which appears in this movie right before the scene in Maria's room. The two scenes were shot about four months apart.
  • According to producer and director Robert Wise, the grass on the hill of the opening song was supposed to be much longer than it was. The filmmakers had made an arrangement with the farmer who owned the land to leave the grass long, but when they arrived for filming, it had been cut. Wise commented that the scene turned out very well after all.
  • In Austria, this movie is known as "Meine Lieder - Meine Träume" ("My Songs - My Dreams"). It's not very well-known there though, and the ending of this movie was cut when it was first released in Austrian cinemas in the 1960s.
  • The Ländler dance that Maria and the Captain shared was not performed the traditional way it is done in Austria.
  • In 1962, Dame Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett appeared in a special, Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall (1962), and at the time, "The Sound of Music" was still running on Broadway. In a sketch on this television special, Julie and Carol did a spoof of the "The Sound of Music" in much the same way Burnett later spoofed movies on her own variety show The Carol Burnett Show (1967). At the time, Andrews had no idea she would later star in the movie version.
  • Although Christopher Plummer's own vocals were recorded, it was subsequently decided that he should be dubbed.
  • Titles of this movie in foreign countries translate to English as "Smiles and Tears" (Spain), "The Melody of Happiness" (France), and "The Rebellious Novice" (Argentina and Brazil). In Croatia, the movie is known under the same title as in Austria and Germany- "My Song - My Dream" ("Moje pjesme, moji snovi").
  • Amongst kids who auditioned to play one of the Von Trapp children were Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Veronica Cartwright, and the four eldest Osmond Brothers (Alan Osmond, Jay Osmond, Merrill Osmond, and Wayne Osmond). Dreyfuss couldn't dance.
  • Marni Nixon had become well-known in Hollywood circles as a ghost singer for the leads in several movie adaptations of hit Broadway musicals. She provided the vocals for Deborah Kerr in The King and I (1956), Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961), and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964). This movie provided a rare on-screen performance by Marni Nixon, who played Sister Sophia. Dame Julie Andrews had previously appeared on Broadway in My Fair Lady (1964), but was passed over for the movie. The producers were wary of how Andrews would react to Nixon, because she dubbed Audrey Hepburn's vocals in a role made famous by Andrews. When Andrews first met Nixon, she exclaimed, "Marni, I'm a fan of you!", and the producers were relieved.
  • Jeanette MacDonald was originally considered for the role of the Mother Abbess, and she was interested, but, in the end, her increasingly worsening health prevented her taking the part. She died a month before this movie was released. Had she been able to accept, it would have been her first movie in sixteen years.
  • This movie dropped three songs from the original show: "How Can Love Survive" and "No Way to Stop It", which screenwriter Ernest Lehman felt were unnecessary, and "An Ordinary Couple", which was replaced by "Something Good". Ernest Lehman was of the notion that audiences would find the Baroness sympathetic if she sang, and hence her songs ("How Can Love Survive" and "No Way to Stop It") were cut, even though the songs don't necessarily evoke sympathy. "How Can Love Survive" is a duet between Elsa and Max, where the two characters reflect on how wealthy the Baroness and the Captain are, and how difficult it is to keep romance alive amidst opulence. "No Way to Stop It" is a trio, where Elsa and Max try to convince the Captain not to oppose the Nazis, but to carry on living life as usual.
  • The soundtrack album of this movie (RCA Victor: 1965) is one of the best-selling soundtracks of all-time (around eleven million copies sold worldwide) and has never been out of print. A Grammy nominee for Album of the Year, which remained at number one on the Billboard Charts for five weeks, the earliest issues of the album came with an illustrated booklet discussing the making of this movie and the lives and careers of composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.
  • The actors and actresses had to be continually hosed down while filming the scene after they had fallen out of the boat, in order to remain dripping wet.
  • Two years before the musical made its Broadway debut, Paramount Pictures bought the rights to the Von Trapp Singers story, intending to cast Audrey Hepburn as Maria. When Hepburn declined, Paramount dropped plans for a movie. If Hepburn had gotten the role, this would have been the second time she would have beaten Dame Julie Andrews for the lead in an Oscar-winning musical, after beating her in My Fair Lady (1964).
  • Danny Lockin, the blond actor best known for his supporting role of Barnaby Tucker alongside Michael Crawford as Cornelius Hackl in Hello, Dolly! (1969), screentested for the role of Rolfe. The test survives today, along with those of many other notable actors and actresses who were not cast in this movie, including Mia Farrow. These tests can be seen in the engrossing Hollywood Screen Tests: Take 2 (1999).
  • When Maria and the Captain are at the gazebo, Dame Julie Andrews couldn't stop laughing due to the powerful overhead carbon arc Klieg lights that were making, in her words, a "raspberry" sound every time she leaned in to kiss Plummer. After more than twenty takes, the scene was altered to silhouette the two and to hide Andrews' giggles.
  • During filming of the opening shot of Maria taken from a helicopter, Dame Julie Andrews relates that although she tried digging her heels into the ground and bracing herself, on every take she was knocked over by the powerful helicopter downdraft. After more than a dozen takes, she attempted to hand-signal to Robert Wise to have the helicopter make a wider pass, but the response she got was a "thumbs-up". He was finally satisfied with the shot.
  • When the Best Picture Oscar went to this movie on April 18, 1966, it was the first time the Academy Awards had ever been broadcast in color.
  • Mary Martin was the wife of Richard Halliday, producer of the original Broadway show. Martin, who originated the role of Maria on Broadway, eventually received nearly $8 million from this movie. In contrast, Dame Julie Andrews earned just $225,000 for her performance.
  • Duane Chase's (Kurt's) high note in the "So Long, Farewell" number was actually sung by Darleen Carr (younger sister of Charmian Carr), as that note was beyond Chase's range.
  • When this movie was released in South Korea, it did so much business that some theaters were showing it four or five times a day. One theater owner in Seoul tried to figure out a way to be able to show it even more often, in order to bring in more customers. So he cut out all of the musical numbers.
  • Six burly Austrians were hired to pull the heavy car by two ropes while the actors and actresses pushed from behind when the Von Trapps are escaping their home in Salzburg.
  • The costume that Duane Chase (Kurt) wears at the party is called a "Tracht", an authentic Austrian costume. The jacket he wears is called a "Loden".
  • Kym Karath (Gretl) swallowed too much water upon falling out of the rowboat, and threw up on Heather Menzies-Urich (Louisa).
  • The front and back of the Von Trapp estate were filmed at two different locations in Salzburg, Austria.
  • Producer and director Robert Wise considered Yul Brynner for the role of Captain Von Trapp. Brynner had also portrayed the King of Siam in the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II stage musical and its movie adaptation of The King and I (1956).
  • Liza Minnelli, Patty Duke, Mia Farrow, Kim Darby, Lesley Ann Warren, Tisha Sterling, and Sharon Tate all auditioned/screentested for the role of Liesl.
  • When negotiations over his movie The Sand Pebbles (1966) kept breaking down, Robert Wise started looking around for another project to do while he waited for things to get sorted. This movie basically fell into his lap after William Wyler dropped out of the project. Wyler wanted the movie to be more serious and make more of the Nazis in the story. Twentieth Century Fox didn't care for his approach.
  • Dame Julie Andrews was always Robert Wise's first choice to play Maria, even though no one had really seen how she worked on-screen. Mary Poppins (1964) hadn't been released at that stage.
  • In the original play, the Captain and Baroness separate due to ideological differences: the Baroness refuses to stand up against the Nazis, and the Captain refuses to compromise with the Nazis.
  • Christopher Plummer admitted that he ate and drank heavily during filming to drown out his unhappiness with making this movie, and found plenty of opportunities to do both in Austria. His costume eventually had to be refitted for his extra weight.
  • Prior to March 14, 1938, Austria drove on the left-hand side of the road. This is why cars registered in Austria up until the Anschluss had right-hand drive.
  • Christopher Plummer wasn't overly impressed with this movie. He has called it "The Sound of Mucus" and says that the song "Edelweiss" was "schmaltzy".
  • Charmian Carr, who played Liesl, and was twenty-two at the time, wrote in her autobiography that she was attracted to the thirty-five-year-old Christopher Plummer, who played her father. Plummer admitted that the feeling was mutual, but insists that it didn't get beyond mere flirtation.
  • Portia Nelson was the only member of the original Broadway cast to reprise her role in the movie version.
  • Dame Julie Andrews sang "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" to the children in the cast to entertain them between shooting. Since Mary Poppins (1964) hadn't yet been released, they just thought she'd made up the song for them.
  • Captain Von Trapp's car is a Mercedes-Benz W142, manufactured between 1936 and 1942.
  • The Baroness' (Eleanor Parker's) goodbye to Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) is very similar to her goodbye scene in Scaramouche (1952).
  • The movie is based on Maria von Trapp's 1949 memoir, "The Story of the Von Trapp Family Singers". She also published another book, "Maria", in 1972 and said that while she was able to attend the opening of the musical on Broadway, she did not have the same luck with this movie premiere in 1965. She was able to convince Twentieth Century Fox to let her see a preview of the movie and expected an invitation to the premiere but "when I didn't hear anything about it and no invitation arrived, I really humbled myself to go and ask the producer whether I would be allowed to come. He said he was very sorry, indeed, but there were no seats left" (p. 216).
  • Christopher Plummer admits on the DVD commentary that he was drunk during the shooting of the music festival sequence.
  • Peggy Wood (Mother Abbess) not only had a hard time vocally with her "Climb Every Mountain" vocal (which had to be dubbed), but she had an even harder time being able to lip-sync to the pre-recorded track. The introduction is lengthy and when the vocal comes in, Peggy couldn't master the lip synchronization perfectly. Once into the song she did fine, but perfectly catching that first word was difficult and it kept getting flubbed. After several takes and seeing how it was distressing her with every try, producer and director Robert Wise had her face away from the camera so her face and mouth couldn't be seen. Her vocal started while she was turned away so she could synchronize her lip movement out of camera sight. Then when she turned towards the camera, she was in perfect sync. In fact, the overall effect of her looking through the window as if communing with a higher spirit worked even better than the original blocking, and it added to the mystical emotion of the song and scene.
  • The United States Library of Congress selected this movie for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2001.
  • Robert Wise was the original choice to direct this movie, but he turned it down, feeling it was too saccharine. Darryl F. Zanuck and his son Richard D. Zanuck then approached Stanley Donen, Vincent Donahue, Gene Kelly, and George Roy Hill, who all turned it down.
  • After multiple directors had turned down this movie, William Wyler finally agreed to take it on. Wyler at the time was suffering from a loss of hearing and was highly skeptical about making a movie about music, thinking he was the wrong man for the job. He was slightly appeased in his decision after seeing the Broadway production.
  • As part of his research for this movie, William Wyler met with the real Maria von Trapp and the Mayor of Salzburg. Wyler was concerned that the local residents would be alarmed at seeing their buildings draped with Nazi flags and seeing stormtroopers in the streets only twenty-five years after the real thing had taken place. The Mayor assured him that the residents had managed to live through the Anschluss the first time and would survive it again. Other city officials were much more resistant to the idea of decorating Salzburg with Nazi colors. They soon changed their minds when the filmmakers said they would use newsreel footage instead. This footage was actually highly incriminating as it showed the Salzburgers openly welcoming the Nazis, something that the proposed scenes for this movie would not do.
  • During pre-production, it was clear to many that William Wyler's heart was not really in it. He was approached midway through pre-production by producers Jud Kinberg and John Kohn who had purchased the movie rights to the John Fowles novel "The Collector" before it had been published. They already had a commitment from Terence Stamp and a first draft screenplay by Stanley Mann. Wyler fell overboard for the script, feeling a much greater affinity with the material than he did with this movie. Consequently, he asked Darryl F. Zanuck and Richard D. Zanuck to release him from his contract. They agreed. Fortunately, Robert Wise had been experiencing delays with the production of The Sand Pebbles (1966) and was now at liberty to make the movie.
  • The famous marionette puppet sequence for "The Lonely Goatherd" was produced and performed by the leading puppeteers of the day, Bil Baird and Cora Baird.
  • This movie was heavily censored in Germany with virtually all of the Nazi overtones excised. Eventually, this material was restored to the German release, but this movie never really scored any traction with audiences there. Consequently, this movie is largely unknown in Germany and Austria, where the movies The Trapp Family (1956) and The Trapp Family in America (1958) were much more successful.
  • This is credited as the movie that saved Twentieth Century Fox after the debacle of Cleopatra (1963).
  • First shown in the U.S. on ABC television stations, on Sunday, February 29, 1976, to register its ratings, in North America's fifty United States, Canada, and almost all other parts on the continent.
  • Every year, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California hosts an annual Sound of Music sing-a-long where the song lyrics are shown underneath the screen. The actors and actresses who played the Von Trapp children and the real Von Trapp children often make appearances at what has consistently been a sold-out event.
  • Richard Rodgers composed two new songs for this movie - "I Have Confidence in Me" and "Something Good".
  • Robert Wise didn't get along with the real Maria Von Trapp when she came to the set, calling her "bossy".
  • Mia Farrow screentested for the part of Liesl.
  • Amongst the other actresses considered for the part of Maria were Shirley Jones, Anne Bancroft, and Leslie Caron.
  • Amongst some of the other actors considered for the part of Captain Von Trapp were Bing Crosby, Peter Finch, and Walter Matthau.
  • Robert Wise turned down this movie three times before agreeing to direct it.
  • Location shooting in Salzburg lasted three months.
  • This movie employed 4,500 extras.
  • This movie's status as the most successful movie musical was surpassed thirteen years later by Grease (1978) in actual box office collected, but this movie remained the most successful movie musical when adjusted for inflation.
  • This movie's success encouraged Twentieth Century Fox to invest in a string of costly musicals. None of them, Doctor Dolittle (1967), Star! (1968), nor Hello, Dolly! (1969) turned out to be hits.
  • The idea for the hugely successful Sing-A-Long-Sound-of-Music first came about when one of the organizers of the 1998 London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival heard that staff at a retirement home in the Scottish town of Inverness were handing out lyric sheets to their residents during video showings of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) so that they could sing along. London-based drag performer Ivan Cartwright was the original host at the film festival, and still regularly hosts the Sing-A-Long at the Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square.
  • Keith Michell was heavily in the running for the role of Captain Von Trapp, though producer and director Robert Wise was holding out for another actor better known for his theatre work - Christopher Plummer.
  • While filming in Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg, the women in the cast and crew wore skirts, not trousers, so as not to offend the resident nuns.
  • Twentieth Century Fox paid over $1 million for the rights to the movie - a huge amount of money at the time, and a very high price for a studio still reeling from the massive costs of Cleopatra (1963).
  • Grace Kelly was considered for the part of the Baroness. However, she had retired from acting when she married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco and was not open to offers to return to her former profession.
  • Fred Astaire was considered for the role of Max.
  • The original plan was to shoot in Salzburg for six weeks. However, because of continuing rain, they ended up staying in the city for eleven.
  • Seth MacFarlane is a huge fan of this movie and often includes spoofs of it in his television show Family Guy (1999).
  • Much of this movie was filmed at Leopoldskron, an estate outside Salzburg that was once owned by theatrical impresario, Max Reinhardt. Like the Von Trapps, Reinhardt fled Austria for the United States with the coming of the Nazis.
  • When this movie was first released on home video, it stayed on the charts for over 250 weeks, almost five years.
  • The production was surprised to discover that Salzburg had the world's seventh highest average rainfall. Many alternative locations had to be sourced as exterior filming was often impossible.
  • Dame Julie Andrews had to learn how to play the guitar especially for this movie.
  • Very little background information on the real Captain Von Trapp was known or available to Christopher Plummer, so he took to the Salzburg mountains with an interpreter. There, they met with Georg's nephew and asked him what the real man was like. The nephew told them that he was the most boring man he'd ever met.
  • Christopher Plummer's biggest challenge with this movie was simply being in it and resisting the temptation to send it up. Robert Wise kept him in check, telling him to play it straight.
  • After the Von Trapps fled Austria, their home was taken over by Heinrich Himmler, one of the key players of the Nazi party. Adolf Hitler personally visited Himmler there several times.
  • Robert Wise went to great pains to ensure that one of this movie's iconic songs - "Climb Every Mountain" - was played very differently from the stage show. In the theatre, the Mother Superior comes centerstage and belts out the number. In the London production he saw of the show, Wise found this treatment cringeworthy and sought to create a more resonant, quieter version of the tune. To that end, he had Peggy Wood virtually silhouetted throughout her rendition of the song.
  • The day after the Von Trapp family left Austria (by train to Italy, not trekking over the mountains to Switzerland as this movie depicts), Adolf Hitler ordered the borders of Austria to be shut.
  • Maria's wedding gown train was fourteen feet long.
  • Other actresses considered for the part of Liesl were Geraldine Chaplin, Patty Duke, and Sharon Tate.
  • In the background of the picnic in the mountain pasture when Maria and the children start singing "Do Re Mi", you can dimly make out a castle on top of a hill. This castle featured more prominently in the Richard Burton-Clint Eastwood thriller Where Eagles Dare (1968).
  • CASTLE THUNDER: Heard throughout the scene with Maria and Frau Schmidt's second meeting in Maria's room and during "My Favorite Things".
  • This movie recruited some of the same people that worked on West Side Story (1961): producer and director Robert Wise, screenwriter Ernest Lehman, associate producer Saul Chaplin, singer and actress Marni Nixon, music adapter and conductor Irwin Kostal, and production designer Boris Leven.
  • One of two musical movies produced and directed by Robert Wise and written by Ernest Lehman that featured a main protagonist named Maria: Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961), and Dame Julie Andrews in this movie.
  • The interior set of the Von Trapp villa's entry hall (featuring the split staircase) was re-used in the Doris Day movie Do Not Disturb (1965). The set was re-dressed for use as the hotel ballroom featured in the latter portion of the Doris Day movie.
  • The Baroness Elsa Schraeder, whom Captain Von Trapp plans to marry, was based on Princess Yvonne from Maria Von Trapp's book. As with the Baroness in the this movie, Princess Yvonne had planned to ship the Von Trapp children off to boarding school after she and the Captain were married.
  • First movie of Christopher Plummer and Dame Julie Andrews together.
  • In 2015, this movie celebrated its 50th anniversary. At the 2015 Academy Awards, pop singer Lady Gaga sang a medley of this movie's songs, namely "The Sound of Music", "Edelweiss", "My Favorite Things", and "Climb Every Mountain". Dame Julie Andrews then came out and embraced Lady Gaga. It is believed that Lady Gaga did not know Andrews was there.
  • Spyros Skouras and the board of Twentieth Century Fox were not going to approve this movie. When they heard that Swifty Lazar was offering the studio a $250,000 profit to obtain the rights, they did an about-face and approved its inclusion on the schedule of upcoming projects. When Darryl F. Zanuck took the studio back from Skouras, he reviewed the idea of the movie adaptation of the musical. He and his son Richard D. Zanuck then hired Ernest Lehman to write the screenplay. Immensely astonished with Lehman's script, the two Zanucks immediately saw true potential in this movie than they ever had from the original stage musical. The project was then green-lit for production.
  • Robert Wise went on to direct Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) , while Christopher Plummer appeared in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). The role of Captain Von Trapp was originally played by Theodore Bikel, who appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987).
  • When this movie was first released, Twentieth Century Fox held a grand opening on Hollywood Boulevard at Grauman's Chinese Threatre with many of the child actors and actresses present and signing autographs. A local kid's band, The Serenaders, played at the opening.
  • The real Maria Von Trapp claimed that this movie toned down her behavior during her stay at Nonnberg Abbey. When asked in an interview if she was really that bad, she joked "I was worse."
  • Nicholas Hammond claimed that he had a huge crush on Charmian Carr during production. In a couple of shots, Friederich can be seen gazing dreamily at Liesl.
  • Nicholas Hammond and Kym Karath appeared on The Brady Bunch (1969).
  • Even though it was only briefly sung by Dame Julie Andrews, she stated that "Edelweiss" is her favorite song from this movie.
  • Robert Wise and Marc Breaux, on their initial Salzburg location survey of the city's streets and squares, walking, discussing, planning the cutting of shots for each tracking dance sequence involving Maria and the Von Trapp children. Marc and Dee Dee, busy with creating the motivation for the dance sequences were followed on the sidewalk by Wise, while Marc planned each choreographed sequence out in the city street traffic lanes. The congested city traffic didn't stop Marc from sailing out into the traffic patterns planning each dance routine. After principle photography in Salzburg had finished, the weather was overcast, the country side shrouded in fog and mist, and heavy daily rain, prevented the opening hill top shot-set-up. The company remained in their hotels waiting for the final sequence filming. Twentieth Century Fox management gave the company departure travel orders. The last day, as Robert Wise tells it, the sky opened with a bright glorious sunny morning. The entire company raced to the hill top, with the helicopter loaded with camera and crew, setting up the opening sequence of aerial shots, finally coming upon Dame Julie Andrews spinning around on a hill top before breaking into the title song. To get the timing right, Breaux was hidden in nearby bushes. He watched the helicopter coming over the mountains and at the right moment, he had a bullhorn and yelled to Andrews, "OK, Julie! Turn!"
  • Christopher Plummer: "Eleanor had great fun because she fell in love with the cameraman and they had a marvelous time together. He was an awfully nice guy and she deserved a nice guy. She was the most delicious woman, and, my god, what a beauty, so I loved them both and they were such lovebirds always holding hands everywhere. I think their story is much more romantic than The Sound of Music." (People Magazine, 2015)
  • People were expected to display the swastika in their windows (something Captain Von Trapp refused to do) and anyone who didn't was accused of being against Hitler. He had people taken away who were suspected of Communism or being an enemy.
  • Two of the Von Trapp children are called "Liesl" and "Kurt". In The Book Thief (2013), two of the characters are called "Liesel" and "Kurt", and that was set during World War II as well.
  • Included amongst the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
  • Production designer Boris Leven's design for the living room at the Benedict ranch home "Reata" in Giant (1956) was used again as the grand entry hall for the Von Trapp family home. Both used the same split staircase, proportions, scale, and mezzanine hallways. However, the color scheme, details, and decorations were different for each movie. Each were also independently constructed in different studios.
  • Robert Wise initially considered Victor Borge, Noël Coward, and Hal Holbrook for Max Detweiler.
  • When Maria returns to the Abbey, a girl wanting to become a nun is being shown in wearing a green dress. When Maria returns to the Von Trapp home, she is wearing the same dress that the girl was wearing.
  • Final theatrical movie of Peggy Wood (Mother Abbess).
  • One of three movies to be the first released on VHS tape in 1977, along with Patton (1970) and MASH (1970).
  • The two most popular and acclaimed movies of 1965 were this movie and Doctor Zhivago (1965). Each was initially met with a lukewarm response from critics, then eventually rescued by its muscular studio marketing campaign and strong word of mouth. Each movie featured its respective elements that are beneficial to the enduring legacy of each movie: a sensational soundtrack, spectacular production values, and the encompassing message of the triumph of the human spirit over evil and corruption. Ironically enough, the two movies went on to receive ten Academy Award nominations, respectively, and each movie took home five Academy Awards.
  • Robert Wise cast Eleanor Parker because he wanted a name actress in this movie. Dame Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer were unknown to movie audiences at the time.
  • Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta, and Gretl were not the Von Trapp children's real names. The children's real names (from oldest to youngest) are Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, and Martina.
  • While the name "Liesl" is not a name of the real Von Trapp children, daughter Maria (portrayed as "Louisa") had a favorite childhood doll named "Liesl".
  • During the party sequence, Captain Von Trapp is wearing a white "Knight's Cross" medal. The real Captain was awarded the Order for becoming "the Dread of the Adriatic", specifically after sinking thirteen ships as a submarine commander during World War I.
  • Charmian Carr was only thirteen years younger than Christopher Plummer, who played her father. The relative closeness in age made the actress and actor attracted to each other, though they said nothing happened beyond innocent flirting.
  • While the Von Trapp family was relatively pleased with the final movie, they requested that Captain Von Trapp be made less strict and cold, since they said he was never this way. Robert Wise insisted the character stay this way, saying this was a fictionalized version of the family, and that it showed how the Captain transformed when Maria entered his life.
  • This movie shows that the family relocates to Switzerland. In real life, the family moved briefly to Italy before relocating to the United States.
  • This movie shows Captain Von Trapp and Maria falling in love immediately. In real life, Maria wanted to return to Nonnberg Abbey, as becoming a nun was always what she desired. She was very upset that she wasn't able to return, unlike in this movie, where it seemed that she wants to leave. The real Maria Von Trapp said in interviews that she fell in love with the children, and saw marrying the Captain as the best way to become a permanent part of their lives. She said at first, she merely liked her new husband, and only learned to love him over the years.
  • This movie is not by definition a holiday movie, but the song "My Favorite Things" gets frequent radio airplay during the holiday season due to lyrics that talk about gifts, presents, snow, and winter.
  • Of the seven actors and actresses that played the Von Trapp children, five were from the United States, one from Canada, and one from England.
  • Christopher Plummer admitted that he found Dame Julie Andrews insufferable and annoying during filming, referring to her as Ms. Disney to other cast and crew. Later, he admitted to being immature in his feelings and that Andrews was a great actress who behaved like a true professional. The two are now good friends.
  • Charmian Carr, who sadly died on September 17, 2016, was a grandmother and had written two books about her experience of making this movie. She also became a successful interior designer, once creating a mock sweet shop for Michael Jackson. She was working part-time for a doctor when she auditioned for this movie and Robert Wise got her to change her name from Farnon to Carr.
  • This movie shares a similarity with Robert Wise's previous movie musical, West Side Story (1961). Each movie starts off with a panoramic helicopter shot where the music starts softly and becomes louder as local architecture is seen until it climaxes with the camera closing in on major characters who take up the beginning of the initial song.
  • Robert Wise had seen Christopher Plummer on Broadway and wanted him for the role, but Plummer turned down the offer several times. Wise flew to London to meet with Plummer and explained his concept of this movie. Plummer accepted after being assured that he could work with Ernest Lehman to improve the character. Plummer later described himself as having become quite arrogant at the time, "spoiled by too many great theater roles."
  • In reality, the Anschluss (annexation by/union with Germany in 1938) was widely welcomed in Austria.
  • Included amongst the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
  • When Herr Zeller (Ben Wright) is welcomed to the party by Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) in the hallway, he then looks with disdain at the Austrian flag, hanging from the balcony. He then speaks with another guest, who is wearing glasses, and who is obviously a Nazi sympathizer, as Herr Zeller comments to him that Captain Von Trapp is the only one in the district not flying the flag of the Third Reich. Perhaps a coincidence, but the man in the glasses bears a striking resemblance to Dr. Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the Austrian Judas, who helped betray his country to the Nazis, and who was hanged seven years later at Nuremberg.
  • Christopher Plummer's singing was dubbed by Bill Lee of the singing group The Mellomen.
  • Charmian Carr's high notes were dubbed by her sister Darleen.
  • Robert Wise was so hard at work on the production of The Sand Pebbles (1966) in Hong Kong, China that he couldn't attend the 38th Annual Academy Awards ceremony where this movie was up for ten awards, including Best Picture. This movie won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Director. Dame Julie Andrews accepted the Best Director Oscar on Wise's behalf, while associate producer Saul Chaplin accepted his Best Picture Oscar. When the cast and crew of The Sand Pebbles (1966) heard the announcement of this movie's victory at the Academy Awards, they took a short time off of filming to throw a celebration for Wise.
  • In this and Dame Julie Andrews' previous movie, Mary Poppins (1964) (which, like this movie, are considered Andrews' most well-known movies), she played a nanny who helps the father of the children she's looking after have a better relationship with his children.
  • Features Peggy Wood's only Oscar nominated performance.
  • The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year not to be nominated in any of the writing categories.
  • Peggy Wood was the only Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar nominee that year that was from a Best Picture nominated movie.
  • During the scene where Maria mistakes Franz the butler as Captain Von Trapp, this occurred in real life, as well, according to the real Maria Von Trapp.
  • One of eleven American musicals to win Best Picture. The others being The Broadway Melody (1929), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), Going My Way (1944), An American in Paris (1951), Gigi (1958), West Side Story (1961), My Fair Lady (1964), Oliver! (1968), Amadeus (1984), and Chicago (2002).
  • Robert Wise, who went on to direct Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), cast two future Star Trek actors in the male lead role of both of his iconic musicals: Richard Beymer and Christopher Plummer. Plummer's role was originally played on stage by another Star Trek actor, Theodore Bikel.
  • Christopher Plummer accidentally said the word "Captain" to Dame Julie Andrews during the argument scene. Despite the error, producer and director Robert Wise thought it was that amusing, and liked it so much, he kept it in the movie.
  • In real life, Georg Von Trapp's second daughter was named Maria. She was the last surviving member of his immediate family, dying on February 18, 2014 at the age of ninety-nine.
  • There were ten Von Trapps in real life, not seven like there was in the movie and Broadway production. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II changed it to seven for their show because they wanted each child to represent one of the notes on the scale in the "Do-Re-Mi" number.
  • In the original "Do- Re- Mi" number on Broadway, Maria tells the children they will give one word to each note in the "When you Know the notes to sing" Bridge coda. When Maria sings "Anything" at the end, Brigitta calls her out and says, "You said it would be one word per note, but 'Anything' is one word for three notes." And then Maria says, "Well sometimes you do that." That was all in the original script and the Broadway production, but Robert Wise took it out of the movie, fearing it would slow down the momentum of the number.
  • Pauline Kael slammed this movie. She famously called this movie "the sugar-coated lie that people seem to want to eat." Worse, she goes on to say, "We have been turned into emotional and aesthetic imbeciles when we hear ourselves humming the sickly, goody-goody songs." Supposedly, she was fired for writing this review.
  • This is technically a remake of The Trapp Family (1956), which was a West German comedy-drama movie directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner.
  • Christopher Plummer and Dame Julie Andrews were offered lead roles in "The Sound of Music" (Captain Von Trapp and Maria, respectively). Both turned the roles down, insisting there was "too much sugar" in the show. Andrews even appeared in a television special with Carol Burnett, Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall (1962), where they spoofed "The Sound of Music" in a skit called "The Pratt Singers". Christopher Plummer routinely made fun of this movie behind the scenes, nicknaming it "S and M" and "The Sound of Mucus". In spite of this resistance, producer and director Robert Wise got them both on board. Their contributions to this movie made it much more realistic. The Captain became less of a stereotype, and Andrews worked with Wise to make the whole show less fake and schmaltzy, and she tried to give Maria more realistic dimensions. (She even said to Wise and the producers at one point, "How are we going to get the sugar out of this show?") The result was that the movie is very different from the 1959 Mary Martin Broadway show. The movie still got skewered by the critics for being "saccharine and phony". (Robert Wise even wondered "What did we do wrong? " in the midst of all this.) But their changes are generally considered to be a huge improvement. This movie is considered to be better than its Broadway source material, and they helped make this one of the most successful movies of all time. If you factor in inflation and the price of tickets from 1965 versus today, this is still one of the most successful movies of all time, box-office wise (second only to Gone with the Wind (1939)), and it is still the most successful movie musical of all time. It even won the Oscar for Best Picture in spite of the critics' pillorying. So Andrews and Plummer succeeded in making it less sugary and more accessible to the masses. Ironically, just as Andrews and Plummer turned down the roles for being too saccharine, so did Robert Wise turn down the director's job when they offered it to him because he thought the story was too saccharine; as well as a host of other A-list Hollywood directors like Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, for the same reason. Wise had to be approached a couple of times for this. It seems nobody wanted to do this movie because everyone thought it was too saccharine. This is ironic since it turned out to be one of the most successful movies ever made.
  • Friedrich was supposed to be a blond, but Nicholas Hammond is a brunette, so Robert Wise ordered that the young actor be bleached. The process was intense for Hammond and his hair wound up falling out in patches during the bleaching. This left bald spots on his head here and there, which is why he is wearing a Tyrolean Traditional Alpine hat for most of the "Do-Re-Mi" number.
  • After viewing The Trapp Family (1956), a West German movie about the Von Trapp family, and The Trapp Family in America (1958), stage director Vincent J. Donehue thought that the project would be perfect for his friend Mary Martin; Broadway producers Leland Hayward and Richard Halliday (Martin's husband) agreed. The producers originally envisioned a non-musical play that would be written by Lindsay and Crouse and that would feature songs from the repertoire of the Trapp Family Singers. Then they decided to add an original song or two, perhaps by Rodgers and Hammerstein. But it was soon agreed that the project should feature all new songs and be a musical rather than a play. They approached Rodgers and Hammerstein, and the rest is history. "The Sound of Music" was definitely Mary Martin's baby. The reason they did not cast her in the movie was by the time Robert Wise starting casting in 1964, she was forty-seven, too old to play the part. She also was not a box-office draw.
  • Mary Martin was the original Broadway Maria; Theodore Bikel was the original Broadway Captain Von Trapp. Martin was mostly known at this point, when she was cast, as the original Peter Pan on Broadway; for which she won the Tony; she was also the original Nellie in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific". She is most well-known now as being Larry Hagman's mother. Bikel is a well-known character actor in Hollywood; known for such parts as The African Queen (1951), Moulin Rouge (1952), The Enemy Below (1957), I Want to Live! (1958), My Fair Lady (1964), and The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966). Neither one was asked back for the movie.
  • This is Rodgers and Hammerstein's last musical. Oscar Hammerstein had already been diagnosed with cancer when he and Richard Rodgers began working on a new musical based on Maria von Trapp's memoirs.
  • Ronald Reagan was a confirmed fan of this movie.
  • Ronald Reagan was a huge fan of this movie.
  • The real Maria's name was not Maria Rainer, like in this movie. It was Maria Augusta Kutschera. She can be seen in the background on the streets of Saltzberg in the "I Have Confidence" number when Dame Julie Andrews is marching her way to the Von Trapp's schloss.
  • Maria did not actually teach the children how to sing. Not all by herself anyway. They were actually coached in four-part harmonies mostly by Father Franz Wasner, a young Priest who came to the Von Trapp villa in 1935. The real Maria Augusta Kutschera complained that Father Wasner was left out of the story. But Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II and the scriptwriters explained that they had to conflate certain parts of the story for time constraints. Even if she did not teach the kids, it was her idea for them to all sing together. She was the inspiration for the Family Von Trapp Singers. So the scriptwriters and Rodgers and Hammerstein represented that by having her become the teacher.
  • William Wyler originally signed on to be the director, and started casting. He was the one who hired Dame Julie Andrews, not Robert Wise. Wyler dropped out of the project eventually because he felt his heart wasn't really in it. Wise picked up where Wyler left off.
  • Dame Julie Andrews was screenwriter Ernest Lehman's first choice. But Twentieth Century Fox were less enthused and suggested Doris Day, Leslie Caron, Grace Kelly, and Anne Bancroft to play opposite Bing Crosby.
  • Alternate studio suggestions for Captain Von Trapp included Sir Rex Harrison, Maximilian Schell, Yul Brynner (who lobbied heavily for the role), Richard Burton, and, most bizarre of all, Sir Sean Connery. If Sir Rex Harrison had been cast, this would have been the second time he would have been cast opposite Dame Julie Andrews in a big musical, since the two co-starred in the Broadway hit "My Fair Lady" just a few years before that. Mia Farrow, Sharon Tate, and Teri Garr all auditioned for the part of Liesl.
  • Originally, Kym Karath was supposed to be carried by Christopher Plummer across the Alps at the end. But Kym gained more weight than expected on the Austrian cuisine during production, and by the end of the shoot, this became impossible.
  • Maria Von Trapp was not invited to the Hollywood premiere of this movie. Strangely enough, the woman who made it all possible, the movie, the Broadway musical, and everything else, Maria Von Trapp, was not invited to the opening night. As reported by "The Telegraph", Maria wondered why she hadn't received an invitation and took it up with the producers, but was simply told that there were no seats left. This might have been because she clashed with Wise and producers during the productions. The reports were that the characteristically feisty Maria was starting to boss Wise around, and make intrusive suggestions about the production and the story, and she was eventually kicked off the set.
  • Although one of the most successful musicals (and movies) ever made, this show was never known for its authenticity. One of the liberties taken in the storytelling process was the notion was that Captain Von Trapp was the tough parent, and Maria was this free spirit who made the whole family more open, loving, and humanistic. In fact, by most accounts by living family members, Maria was the sterner of the two parents, not Georg.
  • Speaking at a 2010 Von Trapp reunion on The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986), Kym Karath (Gretl) recalled almost drowning during the second take of the overturning rowboat scene: "I went under, I swallowed a lot of water, which I then vomited all over Heather (Menzies-Urich)", she said.
  • Joan Gearin is a noted historian and archivist who studied the real story of the Von Trapps. She uncovered testimony about one of the Von Trapp children, also named Maria, who talked about her relationship with her mother, the famous Maria Von Trapp. Maria, Jr. described Maria, Sr. as being kind of manic: she said though she was a caring and loving person, Maria, Sr. wasn't always as sweet as the fictional Maria. She tended to erupt in angry outbursts consisting of yelling, throwing things, and slamming doors. Her feelings would immediately be relieved and good humor restored, while other family members, particularly her husband, found it less easy to recover. In her 2003 interview, the younger Maria confirmed that her stepmother "had a terrible temper. And from one moment to the next, you didn't know what hit her. We were not used to this. But we took it like a thunderstorm that would pass, because the next minute, she could be very nice."
  • The real Maria was sent to the Von Trapp family to tutor one of the kids who was recovering from Scarlet Fever. She was not sent by the convent to be a governess. The child's name was coincidentally, Maria. This was changed for the Broadway production in part because the audience would be confused if there were two Marias.
  • Heather Menzies (Louisa) admitted to having a crush on Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich). Hammond had a crush on Charmaine Carr (Liesl). Carr had a crush on Christopher Plummer (Captain Von Trapp). Plummer, who at first hated Dame Julie Andrews, wound up having a crush on her, too.
  • The Von Trapps never saw much of the huge profits this movie made. Maria sold the movie rights to German producers and inadvertently signed away her rights in the process. The resulting movies, The Trapp Family (1956), and a sequel, The Trapp Family in America (1958), were quite successful. The American rights were bought from the German producers. The family had very little input in either the play or the movie. As a courtesy, the producers of the play listened to some of Maria's suggestions, but no substantive contributions were accepted. How did the Von Trapps feel about "The Sound of Music"? While Maria was grateful that there wasn't any extreme revision of the story she wrote in "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers,, and that she was represented fairly accurately (although Mary Martin and Dame Julie Andrews "were too gentle-like girls out of Bryn Mawr", she told the Washington Post in 1978), she wasn't pleased with the portrayal of her husband. The children's reactions were variations on a theme: irritation about being represented as people who only sang lightweight music, the simplification of the story, and the alterations to Georg Von Trapp's personality. As Johannes Von Trapp said in a 1998 New York Times interview, "it's not what my family was about. (We were) about good taste, culture, all of these wonderful upper-class standards that people make fun of in movies like 'Titanic'. We're about environmental sensitivity, artistic sensitivity. 'Sound of Music' simplifies everything. I think perhaps reality is at the same time less glamorous, but more interesting than the myth."
  • As this movie depicted, Captain Georg Von Trapp had seven children with his first wife, Agathe Whitehead. They were Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, and Martina. In the stage and movie adaptations, their names were changed to Friedrich, Liesl, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta, and Gretl. That means the only real people that were in the movie were Maria and Georg. The kids existed, but they had different names. (One of the names of the children was Martina, which is pretty similar to "Marta" in show). Max Detwiller was an amalgam of people, mostly Father Wasner, who helped manage and train the young singers. The Baroness most certainly was a real person.
  • Although in the movie and Broadway production the children do not know how to sing, in real life, the Von Trapp children were already musically inclined before Maria came to their home.
  • If Maria Von Trapp had not existed, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II might have invented her, so snugly did she fit their mold of the resilient innocent in a foreign land (South Pacific) with a brood of children to teach (The King and I). Born in 1905 and soon orphaned, the real Maria entered a convent as a postulant and was assigned to tutor the family of Captain Von Trapp, a widower more than twice her age. (A naïf who was barely older than the eldest of her charges - she was twenty-one going on seventeen - Maria must have grown up fast. A year later, she married the forty-seven-year-old Captain.) Shifting the chronology to 1938, when Germany annexed Austria, the show's and the movie's creators found in Maria a true musical heroine. Music defined her soul. Its therapeutic power gives her joy and meaning. It also gives life, almost literally, to the family she joins and mends.
  • This movie can be seen as the beginning of a trend in movies called "nunsploitation", movies that came out mostly in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, usually about nuns in a convent, facing some sort of crisis of faith.
  • Maria Von Trapp was one of the Von Trapp Singers. She was the stepdaughter of Maria Von Trapp, Sr., on whose memoir The Sound of Music was based, and the daughter of Captain Georg Von Trapp, the patriarch of the family. She was the one who got Scarlet fever, and then Maria, Sr. was sent by the Nonnberg Convent in Salzburg to tutor her during this period, which is how Maria, Sr. met Georg and all of the other Von Trapps in the first place. (Maria, Sr. was sent to tutor Maria, Jr. She was not sent to be the family governess, like it said in this movie). Maria, Jr. was also the last surviving member of the original Von Trapp Singers, and she died on February 18, 2014.
  • Although she enjoyed this movie and Broadway production; the real Maria Von Trapp said in her autobiography that Mary Martin and Dame Julie Andrews (the Broadway and Hollywood Maria, respectively), "were too gentle-like girls out of Bryn Mawr". Maria describes herself as a wild child during her days at Nonnberg Abbey. When an interviewer asked her if she was "a flibbertigibbet a will-o'-the wisp and a clown", Maria said no, she was much worse.
  • The real Maria Von Trapp appeared on a television special where she taught Dame Julie Andrews how to yodel. The episode can be seen on YouTube.
  • Carrie Underwood, Florence Henderson, Steven Moyer, Mary Martin, Dame Julie Andrews, Shirley Jones, Christina Aguilera, and Marie Osmond were all in Broadway productions of "The Sound of Music".
  • The Broadway production of "The Sound of Music" was a hit and won the Tony for Best Musical. This movie was also a hit and won five Oscars. But while the Broadway production was a minor hit, this movie was the biggest hit of all time, up to that point.
  • Frequently compared with "The King and I", another iconic historically based landmark 1950s Rodgers and Hammerstein musical about a fiesty nanny going up against a fiery warlord in a foreign land. How she teaches his kids and becomes a mother figure to them, how she breaks him down with her persistence, and how they eventually fall in love. Also frequently compared to Mary Poppins (1964), another European fairytail about a nanny who brings happiness and magic to the kids in the story, both movie musicals from the mid sixties starring Dame Julie Andrews.
  • The Trapp Family Austrian Relief, Inc. is an organization co-created by Maria and Georg Von Trapp after the war which has helped thousands of Austrians and war victims since its founding.
  • If you factor in inflation, this is still one of the most popular movies of all time; closely trailing behind Gone with the Wind (1939). This wistful bittersweet look back on the downfall of Austria before World War II; this sweet, sad reflection of a lost Old World society and its last golden days that succumbed to and was destroyed by a war; is reminiscent of Margaret Mitchell's reflection on Atlanta before the Civil War in Gone with the Wind (1939).
  • Although most of the lyrics and music in this show are superb; most critics agree that "LA, a note to follow SO" is pretty weak. It's very generic. The whole song could have been that way; "DO the first note in the scale, RE a note to follow DO, MI a note to follow RE", et cetera. Author Douglas Adams noted in his article "Unfinished Business of the Century" that, while each line of the song takes the name of a note from the solfège scale, and gives its meaning, "La, a note to follow So..." does not fit that pattern and should be considered a placeholder. Adams humorously imagined that Oscar Hammerstein II just wrote "a note to follow So" and thought he would have another look at it later, but could not come up with anything better.
  • "Call it corn, but blockbuster Rodgers and Hammerstein musical about the Von Trapp family has entertained practically more people than any other movie in history. Lovely scenery, beautiful music help offset coy aspects of script. ***1/2" Leonard Maltin, from the Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide.
  • Pauline Kael famously slammed this movie. She also slammed Robert Wise's West Side Story (1961). Pauline Kael's review scorched the Earth: The movie was "frenzied hokum", the dialogue was "painfully old-fashioned and mawkish", the dancing was "simpering, sickly romantic ballet", and the "machine-tooled" Natalie Wood was "so perfectly banal she destroys all thoughts of love."
  • Dame Julie Andrews performed "Lonely Goatherd" and most of her other hits from this movie on The Muppet Show (1976).
  • Space and science fiction was all the rage in the 1960s when they were producing this movie. Most of the cast followed up this blockbuster musical with some sort of science fiction outing, riding that trend. Angela Cartwright, Heather Menzies, and Nicholas Hammond went on to have regular recurring roles on science fiction television series after this movie wrapped. Angela starred for three years as Penny Robinson on the cult classic Lost in Space (1965). Angela's on-screen sister from this movie, Kym Karath, made a cameo on Lost in Space (1965) playing a space Princess in season one, episode twenty-seven, "Lost Civilization". Heather Menzies played Jessica 6 on Logan's Run (1977). Nicholas Hammond's big role after this movie was Peter Parker/Spider-Man on CBS' hit series The Amazing Spider-Man (1977), and it is the role for which he is probably most identified. Christopher Plummer also appeared in two science fiction movies after this movie wrapped. He appeared in Starcrash (1978), and he played General Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). Eleanor Parker, who played the Baroness in this movie, played the recurring role of Margitta Kingsley on the science fiction spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964). Dame Julie Andrews did several science fiction outings after this movie. She appeared in Aquaman (2018), the Despicable Me film franchise, the Shrek film franchise, Enchanted (2007), and Tooth Fairy (2010).
  • Bosley Crowthers, like fellow east coast movie critics Pauline Kael and Joan Diddion, hated this movie, and slammed it in "The New York Times". He said "the whole thing is being staged by (Robert) Wise in a cosy-cum-corny fashion that even theater people know is old hat." He said the movie producers knew the Broadway show was bad, but it made money; and that was enough to turn it into a movie musical. Basically dismissing the project as a cash grab, critic Crowthers states: "The fact that 'The Sound of Music' ran for three and a half years on Broadway, despite the perceptible weakness of its quaintly old-fashioned book, was plainly sufficient assurance for producer and director Robert Wise to assume that what made it popular in the theater would make it equally popular on the screen." Crowthers praised Oscar winner Dame Julie Andrews' performance in this movie, and that's about it. He said she is a talented singer and actress, and sells the corny material; and is able to make it palatable through her boundless energy and skill: "Miss Andrews is nothing if not undaunted. It is she who provides the most apparent and fetching innovation in the film. Miss Andrews, with her air of radiant vigor, her appearance of plain Jain-wholesomeness, and her ability to make her dialogue as vivid and appealing as she makes her songs, brings a nice sort of Mary Poppins logic and authority to this role, which is always in peril of collapsing under its weight of romantic nonsense and sentiment." While Crowthers loved Dame Julie Andrews, he pretty much hated everyone else in this movie. While he critiqued the kids with a soft glove, "the septet of blond and beaming youngsters who have to act like so many Shirley Temples and Freddie Bartholomews when they were young do as well as could be expected with their assortedly artificial roles". He thoroughly trashed Christopher Plummer, Peggy Wood, and Eleanor Parker: "The adults are fairly horrendous, especially Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp. Looking as handsome and phony as a store-window Alpine guide, Mr. Plummer acts the hard-jawed, stiff-backed fellow with equal artificiality. And when he puts his expressions and his gestures to somebody else's singing of the wistful "Eidelweiss", it is just a bit too painfully mawkish for the simple sentiments of that nice song." Considering how this show was eviscerated this way by Crowthers, Kael, Diddion, and other critics, it's amazing the general public pretty much ignored all of this and made this the highest grossing movie of all time in 1965.
  • "Of course I know Julie Andrews. She's the last of the really great broads." (Paul Newman)
  • Critics complained that Rodgers and Hammerstein were ripping "The Sound of Music" off of "The King and I", in that they took the true story of the Von Trapps and were just adding, copying, and embellishing plot points from "The King and I", their last big musical about a nanny and a brood of children, to make "The Sound of Music" more dramatic and cinematic. The real Von Trapps complained as the movie was being filmed that Georg was being portrayed as an unfeeling monster at the beginning of the story, and the real man was not like that. This was a plot point probably borrowed from "The King and I", where we have the tough, scary, and belligerent Yul Brynner going up against free spirit Gertrude Lawrence. Also borrowed from "The King and I" was the subplot about Maria going up against the Baroness, that never happened in real life, and was probably borrowed from "The King and I"'s depiction of Anna sparring with the King's other wives and court members for dramatic purpose. The subplot with Leisl and Rolfe's star-crossed romance was also borrowed from "The King and I", and Tuptim's forbidden romance, (as well as being influenced by Romeo and Juliet). There were many musical numbers and scenes that "The Sound of Music" seemed to copy from"The King and I" as well. The introduction scene with the Von Trapp children and Maria is like the March of the Siamese children scene. "Shall We Dance" is like the waltz at the Von Trapps veterans cotillion. "Climb Every Mountain" is like "A Man Who Needs Your Love". "The Lonely Goatherd" is like "Uncle Tom's Cabin". "My Favorite Things" is like "Whistle a Happy Tune", and "Do-Re-Mi" is very similar to "Getting to Know You". Not coincidentally, Yul Brynner was approached to play Captain Von Trapp in the early steps of the casting process of this movie. Also, Marni Nixon was in both movies. She dubbed Deborah Kerr in The King and I (1956), and she played Sister Margaretta in this movie.
  • Christopher Plummer turned down the role of Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File (1965) in favor of this movie.
  • According to a recent interview on Good Morning Australia (1993) with the Cartwright sisters (Veronica and Angela); Veronica Cartwright, who was not in this movie, but watched Robert Wise and the crew film this scene from the sidelines; said the producers gave the kids (in the cast) brandy after they fell in the lake during the canoe scene; because they kept having to re-film it over and over again; and they were trying to warm the kids up. "I don't think we were supposed to know that", laughed the interviewer. Angela also said there were leaches in the pond.
  • There is an urban myth that the kids in this movie were all dubbed during the musical scenes. Angela Cartwright has said in interviews this is patently false, and that part of the reason they were chosen was because of their singing ability, and they all did their own singing, although the singing was augmented by a professional children's chorus, she admits. The times when the kid actors and actresses soloed though, they were singing all by themselves; and that was their real voices.
  • This movie was accused of re-writing history, as in reality, the union with Germany in March 1938 was very widely supported in Austria.
  • Christopher Plummer has said in interviews that Eleanor Parker (Baroness Von Schrader) fell in love with one of the cameramen during the shoot, and the two were married in a whirlwind romance, " which was much more romantic and exciting than the story we were doing in Sound of Music."
  • Dame Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer starred in On Golden Pond (2001).
  • Nicholas Hammond and Duane Chase who play Fredrich and Kurt are the same age and were both born in 1950
  • Duane Chase left show business after high school and nowadays he works as a computer software analyst/designer for oil and mining companies.
  • Nicholas Hammond was Spider-Man/Peter Parker on The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)
  • The mansion seen in the film belonged to Hedy Lamarr.
  • The scene where Maria uses the curtains to make play clothes for the kids was ripped off of Gone With the Wind; when Scarlett uses the drapes at Terra to make a dress.
  • Sound Of Music will be forever linked with Cabaret; since both are iconic musicals based on the true story of the Anchluss in the 1930s. Both are also based on real people and real stories; Maria Von Trapp; Georg Von Trapp; the Von Trapp Children are all real people; so are Christopher Isherwood and Sally Bowles.
  • Julie Andrews performed the song "My Favorite Things" from this show on live television, on "The Garry Moore Show" Christmas show in 1961, four years before she performed it in this movie, released in 1965. It can be watched on YouTube.
  • The song "Edelweiss" from this musical is used as the theme song for the cable television series "The Man in the High Castle", about an alternate history where the Nazis conquered the United States.
  • Hohenerfen Castle in Wefen, Austria seen in the film was also used in 'Where Eagles Dare'
  • "LA! That's French for 'The' and 'Though'" would be a good substitution for the line "LA! A note to follow so!".

Spoilers

  • In the closing shot, when the family is climbing over the hills to safety, it is not really Kym Karath as Gretl on the shoulders of Captain Von Trapp. In the DVD version, it is revealed that while in Austria, Kym Karath gained a lot of weight. This was one of the last shots filmed, and so she was evidently a bit too heavy to be carried on Christopher Plummer's back. Plummer requested a stunt double and that is who's seen being carried on his back.
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