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The Sound of Music (1965)

The musical that starts at the very beginning, "a very good place to start".

The musical that starts at the very beginning, “a very good place to start”.

When Lady Gaga recently appeared to perform songs from The Sound of Music at the Oscars for its 50th anniversary, I was one of many in the room who was shocked. I don’t listen to Gaga, but I still felt that this was sacrilege (to be fair, she did do a great job). I still have no desire to ever see the Carrie Underwood version.

Fifty years later, it is safe to say that hills are still very much alive. The Sound of Music will be forever one of the most beloved movie musicals ever made. We all know the story of Maria (the irreplaceable Julie Andrews), who goes to watch the seven children of Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer, who famously hated making the film). I won’t go any further, not because I am afraid of spoiling it (I know few people who have not seen this film, although I heard the late Roger Ebert never did), but because we all know what happens.

Parents, this is one of those films that is not only ok for all ages, but ESSENTIAL viewing for all ages. This is the perfect first movie musical to show a child. It can help them get into singing (thanks to “Do-Re-Mi”), get them to face fears with a smile (courtesy of “My Favorite Things”), and even get them introduced to one of the best villains used in all film, the Nazis.

One thing people do tend to forget is that this is based on a true story (there were 10 children instead of 7, and the father was not as strict as he is in the first half of the film). The real Maria (who can be seen briefly in the number “I have Confidence”) once said something that I thought of while watching it again (especially during the family’s rendition of “Edelweiss”, one of my personal favorite songs of any genre). “If the whole world sang together, there would be no war”.

Overall: Five Stars *****

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