The Sound of Music

AFI Rank: #55
Year Released: 1965
Director: Robert Wise
Actors: Christopher Plummer, Julie Andrews

The Sound of Music earned spot #55 on the AFI top listing, a list only a few musicals got into. How did this movie get onto a list with Gone with the Wind and The African Queen?

Yes, the plot is a little simplistic. Evil nasty Nazis are threatening smiling beautiful children, and the family has to make a run for it. The children are not only photogenic but also have the voices of angels. Some of the lyrics are a little silly as well.

Still, these are minor complaints in a moving story based on a real life adventure. The captain really did fall in love with his governess, the children really did have musical talent, and the threat of the Germans drove them to flee. It's great to see this true world tale brought to the big screen with such beauty.

The scenes in Austria are just beautiful, from the elegant dances to the gorgeous landscapes. The movie really was filmed in Salzburg, Austria, and the exterior of the convent is the actual one the real Maria stayed in. You're getting an authentic world of the world these characters inhabited, although the house shown was not their real house.

Julie Andrews is phenomenal. From her pure voice to the glow in her cheeks as she falls in love, she is an ideal heroine.

Even more unusual, this movie actually passes the Bechdel test! The Mother Superior at the convent talks about how each of us has to follow our dreams, take on the challenges our life presents to us. Yes, in part it was about the captain, but it was about life in general, and she was talking about herself as much as Julie.

A great movie well worth watching and rewatching for the pure joy of the story.

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AFI Top 100 Film Listing
Male vs Female Actors in the AFI Top 100
The Bechdel Test in the AFI Top 100