The Story -The Sound Of Music

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The Sound Of Music

One of the most beloved movie musicals of all-time, The Sound Of Music had all the makings of a successful film -- memorable Rodgers and Hammerstein songs, lush background locations, a talented cast, an experienced production team, the preceding momentum of a popular stage musical, and most importantly, a wholesome, sentimental story with sympathetic heroes, historic villains and broad family appeal.  Yet the international blockbuster that resulted when all these elements finally came together in the spring of 1965 was altogether greater than the sum of its parts.

By the standards of an era when civil rights, the space program, the Great Society and the Vietnam conflict dominated American headlines, The Sound Of Music is old-fashioned and glossy, lacking the gritty realism and appeal for social consciousness that dominates other movies of the mid-1960s.  Nevertheless, audiences then and now can't get enough of it; because for all its breathtaking scenery and cheery optimism, the film's characters are individuals with credible personal and political struggles, both externally challenged and internally troubled, for whom the audience comes to care.  And caring, generations of viewers have been reminded of the importance of family and the universality of music; they have taken heart in the idea that "when the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window" and been inspired to "climb every mountain" in search of a dream.  In short, The Sound Of Music is the ultimate feel-good movie, and its popularity is likely to continue as long as humanity's need for an occasional shot in the arm of hope, happiness and harmony.

In 1930's Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The Captain's wife is dead, and he is often away, and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father keeps hiring, and have managed to run each of them off one by one. When Maria arrives, she is initially met with the same hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives -- including the Captain's.

Eventually he and Maria find themselves falling in love, even though Georg is already engaged to a Baroness and Maria is still a postulant. The romance makes them both start questioning the decisions they have made. Their personal conflicts soon become overshadowed, however, by world events. Austria is about to come under the control of Germany, and the Captain may soon find himself drafted into the German navy and forced to fight against his own country.

Maria had longed to be a nun since she was a young girl, yet when she became old enough discovered that it wasn't at all what she thought. Often in trouble and doing the wrong things, Maria is sent to the house of a retired naval captain, named Captain Von Trapp, to care for his children. Von Trapp was widowed several years before and was left to care for seven 'rowdy' children. The children have run off countless governesses. Maria soon learns that all these children need is a little love to change their attitudes. Maria teaches the children to sing, and through her, music is brought back into the hearts and home of the Von Trapp family. Unknowingly, Maria and Captain Von Trapp are falling helplessly in love, except there are two problems, the Captain is engaged, and Maria is a postulant!

Baron Von Trapp, a widower, runs his home near Salzburg like the ship he once commanded. That changes when Maria arrives from the convent to be the new governess of his seven children. Their romps through the hills inspire all to sing and to find joy in the smallest things -- like raindrops on window panes. With a renewed zest for life, the baron hosts a party to introduce his new fiance. Maria knows then she does not want to be a nun. She marries the baron. The happy ever after part is threatened when Austria's new German rulers want the baron back in military service.

Maria is a failure as a nun. The Mother Superior sends her off in answer to a letter from a retired naval captain for a governess for his seven children. She goes to their house and finds that she is the latest in a long line of governesses run off by the children. She teaches the children to sing and that becomes their bonding force, of course leading her to fall in love with their father and marries him. As this is happening Austria votes to be assumed by Germany on the eve of World war II.

Captain Baron von Trapp is a widowed ex-naval officer with seven children who serve only to remind him of his deceased wife. The Von Trapp home is thus turned into a gloomy place of order and discipline, until the arrival of a new governess: Frauline Marie who is from a nearby Salzburg abbey. Marie shows the Von Trapp children the miracle of the Sound of Music, and teaches them how to sing. Captain von Trapp's heart opens up to feelings he had forgotten and he and Marie fall in love. Marie and Georg von Trapp are married, only to have their world brought down around them by the 1938 Anschluss of Austria, where Nazi Germany takes control of the country and demands that Captain von Trapp assume a position in the German Navy.


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The Sound of Music (Three-Disc 45th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) (1965)
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