Is the Sound of Music supposed to be a good movie?

My wife turning on The Sound of Music this weekend, and I realized that I had never actually seen it from beginning to end. I remember it being a special Saturday night movie ever year as a kid, but I had only seen bits and pieces. Now musicals aren’t my favorite genre, but I figured box-office smash plus Oscar winner meant I was at least in for a decent time.

Hmm… I wouldn’t call it a bad movie, but I would call it aggressively not-good. The plot just sort of… happens. Every moves forward because it needs to. The kids don’t like Maria, and then they do. The dad is a grump, and then he isn’t. The Captain doesn’t like Maria, and then they get married. And so on. None of the characters outside of maybe Maria and Max have really any defined personality. Outside of Liesl, all the kids just blend together.

As for the songs, which should really be the star of any musical: It felt like there were really only 4 or 5 songs, each one repeated 2 or 3 times. Do-Re-Mi goes on forever. Edelweiss is good though, as awkwardly lip-synced by Plummer.

Also, I realize it’s a product of it’s time, but the central question posed at the beginning with “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” is “How do you control a free-spirited woman?” And the answer is “Have her get married.” And notice how Julie Andrews has basically nothing to do after the wedding scene. The movie becomes all about Georg.

Anyway, am I crazy? Do people really love this movie?

Not one of my favorite things but there are definitely people who love (like in really, really, really love) this film. It definitely scores the hat trick for cute: Songs you can sing along with. Kids. Julie Andrews.

It’s a 60s style movie musical, not a character drama.

Apparently that actually does follow real life - Maria von Trapp is on record as saying she wasn’t in love with Georg von Trapp, but she really wanted to stay with the kids, which she had come to love. Getting married to their father allowed that. In which case it would hardly be the first marriage of convenience (however you wish to define “convenience”) to ever occur.

Even as a young child, when the nuns were singing about how to solve the problem of Maria I supposedly was shouting something along the lines of for goodness sake you can start by getting her out of a convent! Definitely not nun material.

Problem is that until fairly recently there just weren’t that many options for women.

Yes, some really really do love this movie.

And, to cut the treacle, Nazi bad guys.

I also never watched the film in order all the way through–just a piece here and a piece there. My mother spent her last 2 years and 3 months at an assisted living center and this movie was playing in the main TV room during 75% of my visits. They also showed other 60s musicals like West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, and** Hello Dolly** but Sound of Music was the most shown by far.

When 20th Century Fox set out to make TSOM, they put it in the mediocre pile, not expecting much from it. But by golly it’s box office was $286 million in 1965, the number on movie of that year.

So yeah, I’d say it was a good movie.

I always wondered how well it would have done if it had not been on the heels of Julie Andrews’ Oscar winning performance in Mary Poppins.

I can understand, in the movie, why the Captain would fall in love with Maria: She brought music and joy back to his household, and his life, where it was sorely absent. But I couldn’t understand why she fell in love with him. Yes, he was rich and handsome, but what was there about him, personally, that she saw?

The real-life story makes much more sense: I can definitely see her loving the children, and therefore marrying him, and then eventually growing to love him over the course of years. IIRC, when the real Maria saw the movie, her reaction was that it was a beautiful story, but that it wasn’t her story.

As an aside, my mom absolutely loves this movie, because she sees a lot of herself in Maria: She, too, was in a convent in her younger years, and fit in in that environment about as well as Maria did (which is to say, not at all): She was always the one climbing a tree and skinning her knee, and being late to everything, and so on.

Every time I think of “The Sound of Music” I take great pleasure in remembering that as they walk over the mountain at the end of the movie, they are walking into Nazi Germany.

It was a major success on Broadway, running over 1400 performances and making it the forth longest running musical in Broadway history at the time it closed. So I think it’s safe to say it was a popular musical. And all the musicals that had more performances when it closed (My Fair Lady, Oklahoma, and South Pacific) were made into successful movies. Andrews got the role because of Mary Poppins, but back then people went to movie versions of popular musicals as a matter of course and Rogers and Hammerstein were as popular as you can get.

The movie’s success probably surprised everyone. It was expected to do well enough (Broadway remakes were money in the bank), but not on the scale it did. It does have a first-class score, especially in the first act, but the story was extremely bland (which may have been the root of its popularity – there’s nothing unlikeable about it, but there’s nothing particularly dramatic or memorable other than their escape, which gets short shrift).

A few years ago, I stayed in a hostel in Salzburg where one of the selling points was that they showed the movie every night in the common room, and I can say definitively: There are people who really, really love this movie. Young people. From a whole bunch of different countries. A lot of whom seem to have been visiting Salzburg mostly because they loved this movie.

Personally, I thought it was OK but nothing special, but movie musicals (with the exception of Cabaret, where all of the singing actually makes sense) aren’t really my thing.

I love movie musicals, but not especially this one. The one I was obsessed with for years was West Side Story.

I thought it was Switzerland? :dubious: :confused:

Georg was a decorated WWI hero. That might have had something to do with why Maria fell in love with him. He’d commanded an Austro-Hungarian U-boat out of Triese, thus answering the perennial question of how a landlocked country (Austria in 1938) could have a navy.

I first saw the movie in Tblisi in July 1975. It was an old print that had been dubbed at Mosfilm studios and was in terrible shape. It had been spliced back together so many times, the kids jumped magically back and forth on the fountain. (The songs were in English with Russian subtitles.)

A month or so after I got back to the US, I was at the house of a friend who owned a copy of the ***MAD Magazine ***with “The $ound of Money” in it. I laughed so hard reading it that I literally fell out of the easy chair I was sitting in.

I once made the mistake of bursting into song with “How Do You Make a Movie 'Bout Religion?” at a church function. The vicar was NOT amused! :mad:

My guess is, she saw him as a good guy with a bad exterior. (Or a bad guy who was good on the inside.) All kinds of “good woman loves bad man” tropes in cinema for decades or centuries.

Next time you see the movie, try spotting the crate of Jaffa oranges from Israel (founded in 1948) at the market. :wink:

GEORG: I’ve been ordered to report for duty with the German navy in Bremerhaven. But I just can’t!

MARIA: Poor dear! It’s against your principles!

GEORG: No, it’s not that. You see, I’m** not really** a captain. I just have this “thing” for sailor suits!


Not the mountains they were walking over!

Of course the movie is considerably fictionalized:

The Master Speaks (twice).

So you remember that the movie was broadcast on television annually, that it won the Academy Award for Best Picture (and four others) and that it made a lot of money at the box office, but you’re not sure that people like it?