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… —IMDb
One of the most successful directors of the 1960s, when he became an efficient maker of epic-length pictures, Robert Wise is one of Hollywood’s few popularly recognized filmmakers. He joined RKO in the 1930s as a cutter and eventually became one of the studio’s top editors, working in this capacity on classics such as The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), Citizen Kane (1941), and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). He became a director with help from producer Val Lewton, who assigned Wise to finish Curse of the Cat People (1944), a B-movie that had fallen behind schedule, and the resulting picture proved extremely haunting and enduring. Wise later directed The Body Snatcher (1945) for Lewton, but after the producer left RKO, he found himself locked into B-movies. His 1948 psychological Western Blood on The Moon, starring Robert Mitchum, and the acclaimed boxing drama The Set-Up (1949) were the only two important pictures that Wise got to do during his last four years at the studio. Wise… read more
The sentimentality was so aggressive that it's like being tied down while adorable Austrian children savagely yodeled in my ear—basically, the worst parts of stage musicals, without the virtues that the best movie musicals use to turn aggressive sentimentality into poetry. Still, there's a lot of craft, and I'll concede that I may have missed my chance to enjoy the film by never being a 9-year-old girl. 3 stars.
I saw it in the spirit of a recent talk about film about the fascist potential of film canons. And, precisely in the beginning, one could see inthis quite uninspired editing of landscape, then in the small mistakes Maria does in the children's tutoring, a sortof rebellionagainst order, against canons, translated into film. And of course, love wins. Don't agreewith the famous Zizek theory. Loved the choreography!