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DVD Review: Sound of Music 40th Anniversary

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Most of you know what the movie is about, so we won’t rehash that. While the movie sometimes gets a ribbing for it’s too sweet of a story, things aren’t always rosy as the family encounters the Nazis. Anyway, Twentieth Century Fox “climbed every mountain, followed every rainbow” and created the two-disc 40th Anniversary Edition DVD of the Oscar-winning film South of Music. The cast reunites for the first time in 20 years to celebrate and share memories, old and new.

Julie Andrews hosts the DVD that contains new documentary material that includes a conversation with Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Andrews talks about the von Trapp family and how their story made it to Broadway and Hollywood. Johannes von Trapp, Plummer, Charmian Carr (Liesl), Wise and others join her. Travel to Salzburg with Carr to see the movie’s locales.

You can view the film in two ways — the fully-restored original theatrical feature and an interactive version with a sing-along feature so viewers can watch, listen, and sing-along. The sing-along has subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. The movie comes in widescreen format with surround sound capabilities.

Also included on DVD is a storyboard gallery, a comparison of the restored film, stills from behind-the-scenes, and trailers. Can you imagine Mia Farrow in the role of Maria? Her screen test brings the imagining to life.

The movie is loosely based on the von Trapp family — the documentaries talk about the real family and the differences from the movie. For one, Maria was the strict one, not the Captain. Maria also sold the rights to the story and the family got very little from the movie. Those interested in such facts get the details.

The movie opens with Andrews’ introduction and you can watch it while listening to commentary from the original laserdisc by producer and directory Robert Wise. One caveat — and this is common with most DVDs — the extras are not captioned, only the movie and sing-along. Disc two with most of the extras runs for 203 minutes.

Once having viewed the two discs, few walk away with unanswered questions as it’s a thorough piece of work. For those who have an earlier version of the DVD, the extras come with plenty of material not found on the previous releases. However, if you’re not into the facts, behind-the-scenes visits, and the people who made the movie; then you won’t miss much. Sound of Music is superb example of what should come on DVD with extras.

You can visit the official site here.

Meryl repeatedly hears “So long, farewell” in her head this time of the year as we say farewell to the old year.

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About Meryl K Evans

Meryl K. Evans, Content Maven, is the author of "Brilliant Outlook Pocketbook" and the co-author of "Adapting to Web Standards: CSS and Ajax for Big Sites." She has written and edited for a bunch of places online and off. A native Texan, she lives a heartbeat north of Dallas in Plano, Texas with her husband and three kiddos.
  • Ah the Sound of Mucus. I don’t have much stomach for this film after performing in it for dinner theatre one summer. But the scenery is absolutely gorgeous.

  • Lisa

    My favorite of all musicals, I was 5 the first time I saw it so spectacular even at that age.