We gave it an A-
Those Austrian Alps are still breathtaking and so is that copter shot of errant postulant Maria (a perfectly perky Julie Andrews) in a mammoth mountain meadow, communing with nature with the help of Rodgers and Hammerstein. A quarter century later, The Sound of Music, still the most successful movie musical of all time, remains a charmer. And this version, billed as a ”25th anniversary edition,” has been retransferred to video with impeccable sound and color and includes an anecdotal introduction by director Robert Wise.
The fascinating question is why The Sound of Music was (and still is) so phenomenally successful. It’s not entirely the silly songs like ”My Favorite Things” and ”Do-Re-Mi” or those droll singing nuns or the pictorial majesty of Salzburg or the fact that everyone’s just so darned nice. It has more to do with governess Maria turning the dysfunctional Von Trapp family into a healthy, happy, and tuneful bunch of kids and melting the icy heart of their martinet father (Christopher Plummer).
Oh, yes, some of it is treacly (Andrews and Plummer’s love duet and the teenage subplot). But add some horrible Nazis to threaten this fantasy of sweetness, song, and fresh air and audiences of all ages start biting their nails. The Sound of Music is the family most people never had but always wanted. Small wonder it’s a perennial. A-