Based on the true story of the Von Trapp Family singers. When a postulant at an Austrian abbey becomes a governess to the seven children of a widowed naval captain, she brings new life through music into the home.
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Re-watched recently in a campy NYE afternoon sing-a-long at TIFF, hoping the glee of indulging in a sanctioned guilty pleasure would override the saccharine silliness, only to find myself taken in by a genuine (if over-the-top) cinematic achievement. Solid 3-star Hollywood heavyweight with a 4th for the gorgeous production. Well, and the nostalgia. Condolences to anyone too cool to be charmed by Bil Baird's puppetry.
Wise's ingenious take on the stage musical book is understandably a beloved classic, but its overblown runtime, repetitious musical numbers, underdeveloped characters and animated performances hardly make it the musical masterpiece it's considered to be.
At a time of great social change, Julie Andrews' enigmatic nanny arrives at the home of a emotionally stunted patriot to pull his children into shape, thawing his heart in the process. A year later, she made The Sound of Music :-D
The sentimentality was so aggressive that it was 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 some craft, and I'll concede that I may have missed my chance to enjoy the film by never being a 9-year-old girl.
Crowd pleaser that despite its inherent hokiness has somehow withstood the passing of time and still captures new fans annually. A great song score by Rodgers/Hammerstein holds most of the film's charm. Well that and a wonderful show by Julie Andrews who is really the only performer of note here (Plummer looks as disinterested in being in it as he does to talk about it now). Winner of 5 academy awards that year.
A devilishly effective musical. Sure it's sweet, but it evokes the threat of Nazism more effectively than many more po-faced efforts and remains a handsome example of solid road show film making, structured with great skill and performed with panache.