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Trivia / The Sound of Music

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  • Ability over Appearance: Though not impossible, Audra McDonald's Colorblind Casting is unlikely, to say the least. But the fact that she is Audra McDonald — a six-time Tony winner and certified Broadway legend — completely wipes away anything so purely trivial as her skin color.
  • Adored by the Network: ABC frequently airs the movie at Christmastime or Easter, with NBC also airing their version in December. The musical has nothing to do with either holidaynote , but its family-friendly qualities make it easily viewable at the gatherings that typically take place at both times. After ABC's parent company bought 21st Century Fox, they chose The Sound of Music as one of the first Fox movies available to stream or download on Disney+.
  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • All-Star Cast: Averted, at least at the time of filming, for the film version; Peggy Wood, who had starred in I Remember Mama, was probably the best-known actor of the main cast. Eleanor Parker and Richard Hadyn were also names recognizable to die-hard Hollywood fans, but were far from the mainstream. Julie Andrews was known by Broadway fans but practically nobody else (Mary Poppins had yet to be released), and Christopher Plummer was primarily a theatre actor at the time.
  • Bad Export for You: The initial German release of the movie had to remove the entire third act of the movie (which involved Those Wacky Nazis coming into the forefront of the plot). This was due to Nazi Germany still being a very sensitive topic in the 60's, and the local distrbutor not wanting to cause any further controversy. Later releases have the third act intact, but the movie has remained rather unpopular to this day in Germany.
  • Blooper:
    • A bandage can be seen on Liesel's ankle on certain prints, TV broadcasts, and home video releases, as she dances with Rolfe in the gazebo. This is because Charmian Carr injured her ankle while filming, and performed the rest of the dance with a bandage on. For the 2000 Five Star Collection DVD, Fox digitally removed the bandage, which also remained absent from every other DVD released that decade. However, it re-appeared on the 2010 45th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray and DVDnote .
    • For a couple of shots during "The Lonely Goatherd" Marta can be seen with the children controlling the puppets, rather than in her position at the bottom of the stage controlling the backdrops.
    • When Liesel enters Maria's window, she's supposed to have climbed from the ground floor, but you can see her enter from the right side.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • Smiles and Tears (Spain).
    • The Melody of Happiness (France).
    • The Rebellious Novice (Argentina and Brazil).
    • In Croatia, the movie is known under the same title as in Austria and Germany- My Song - My Dream (Moje pjesme, moji snovi).
    • Music in the Heart (Portugal).
  • Creator Backlash: Christopher Plummer was reportedly not particularly proud of his role. He felt Captain Von Trapp was a giant bore, and the the film was "awful and sentimental and gooey", once referring to it as "The Sound of Mucus". In recent years, his stance on the film itself has softened a little, but he still feels annoyed that he's frequently associated with this film, as he has an impressive body of work.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Liesl sings a whole song about how she's "sixteen, going on seventeen," but Charmian Carr was 21 at the time. When Liesl states that she's too old for a governess, she certainly looks it.
    • Maria is supposed to be 22, but she's played by the 30-year-old Julie Andrews.
    • Maria is supposed to be 22, but was played by 45-year-old Mary Martin in the original Broadway cast!
  • Deleted Scene: Pictures and script pages exist for an appearance by Rolf in the Salzburg montage. Liesl tries to invite him to their picnic, but he responds, "Picnics are for children", then insults her Curtain Clothing. Rolf also meets Maria, who refers to herself as, "Liesl's friend", as opposed to her governess.
  • DVD Commentary: Robert Wise provides a commentary in which he stops talking during musical numbers to play what the song sounds like sans vocals.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Nicholas Hammond is a natural brunet and had to undergo several painful bleachings to become blond.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • Christopher Plummer disliked working on the film and isolated himself from the child actors, playing into the stern relationship the Captain has with his children. However, he has mellowed significantly; he and Charmian Carr got on wonderfully well, Julie Andrews counts him among her closest friends and he has come out and said that the first time he sat down to watch the film, he realized it was the greatest cinematic adaptation of a stage musical ever produced.
    • The scene where the Captain embraces music again and sings with his children was the last to be shot. Since the actors were sad about parting, their tears are real.
  • He Also Did: Nicholas Hammond is best known for playing Friedrich and Spider-Man.
  • Hostility on the Set:
    • Christopher Plummer admitted that he found Julie Andrews insufferable and annoying during filming, referring to her as Ms. Disney to other cast and crew. He famously said that working with her was like being hit on the head with a Valentine's card. Later he admitted to being immature in his feelings and that Julie Andrews was a great actress who behaved like a true professional. The two are now good friends.
    • Robert Wise didn't get along with the real Maria von Trapp when she came to the set, calling her bossy.
  • I Am Not Spock: Julie Andrews went to great lengths to avoid this. The late Charmian Carr, on the other hand, embraced it, and she even wrote a memoir of the film/autobiography called Forever Liesl that's a great favorite among film fans. Nicholas Hammond did avoid it, mostly by going to Australia and becoming quite a popular actor there. (He also played Spider-Man.)
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The film went out of print in 2014, possibly even earlier than that. Past releases garnered rather hefty prices in the Amazon Marketplace. Fox put the movie back in print in 2015, in honor of its 50th anniversary.
  • Milestone Celebration: Every five years since at least 1990, 20th Century Fox celebrates the movie's anniversary with such commemorations as cast and crew reunions, limited theatrical re-releases, and/or a Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition.
  • Non-Singing Voice:
    • Peggy Wood's vocals had to be dubbed for "Climb Every Mountain".
    • Christopher Plummer recorded his own vocals, but later decided he wasn't good enough to sing alongside Julie Andrews. Thus he's dubbed by Bill Lee. His rendition of "Edelweiss" has since been released, and whilst it isn't to the standards of Lee, it is more than passable.
    • Kurt's high note during the first "So Long, Farewell" is done by Darlene Carr, little sister of the late Charmian Carr.
    • Four additional singers were used to produce a harmonised effect for whenever the children sing. However all seven actors do sing every number. The only time the additional voices aren't used is when they're singing for the Baroness.
  • Old Shame: Averted now, but in the past Christopher Plummer had very sour feelings towards this movie, during its production and after. He accused the film of Tastes Like Diabetes, disliked working with Andrews (see Hostility on the Set), and greatly despised how much of a pop culture icon the movie had turned into. Apparently, he despised working on the movie so much that he would drink away his sorrows quite often, giving him a weight gain issue and requiring him to alter his costumes to accommodate on a common basis. However, in 2011, he apparently was at a gathering with children on Easter and had no way out of seeing the movie with them, and then conceded that he greatly enjoyed watching it and it wasn't anywhere near as bad as he remembered. Almost seems like a case of Life Imitates Art!
  • Playing Gertrude:
    • Christopher Plummer was 35 at the time of filming (22-ish years younger than his character was in Real Life at the time the story is set), with his oldest daughter played by a 21-year-old actress (playing 16...going on 17).
    • Rolf is a year older than Liesel at least. Daniel Truhitte was ten months younger than Charmian Carr.
  • Production Posse:
    • The movie shares one director (Robert Wise), a screenwriter (Ernest Lehman), an associate producer (Saul Chaplin), and a musical director (Irwin Kostal) with the West Side Story adaptation, released four years before TSoM hit the big screen. Before either of those, Lehman wrote the screenplays for the film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, and two other movies Wise directed — Executive Suite and Somebody Up There Likes Me.
    • TSoM also shares a lead actress (Julie Andrews), musical director (Irwin Kostal), and two choreographers (Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood) with Mary Poppins. Bonus points for Kostal serving as the musical director for the TV special Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall.
    • Wise, Chapman, and Andrews would later collaborate again for Star!
  • Quote Source:
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • Reverend Mother is facing out the window when "Climb Every Mountain" starts because Peggy Wood was having trouble syncing her mouth with the pre-recorded track. She was able to sync it fine once she got into the song, but continued to have trouble with the first lines. As such she faces away from the camera to give her time to get it. The director felt that Reverend Mother facing away from Maria added to the emotion of the song.
    • The second half of "Something Good" was shot in silhouette because Julie Andrews could not stop bursting into hysterical giggles during the scene, due to a lighting device that made fart noises and silhouette was the only way to hide it.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich) had the world's biggest crush on Julie Andrews, as he had seen her three years prior in her last night onstage in London as Eliza Doolittle. This is rather obvious in the film, especially in "The Lonely Goatherd" where Friedrich can be seen gazing lovingly at Maria.
    • Charmian Carr (Liesl) had "a huge crush" on Christopher Plummer, and the feeling was apparently mutual, though things never progressed beyond flirtation. Although she admitted on The Oprah Winfrey Show's Sound of Music Reunion that he did indeed teach her how to drink.
  • Romance on the Set:
    • Minor example. Charmian Carr (Liesel) admitted to having a crush on Christopher Plummer. He said the feeling was mutual, but it didn't progress past mere flirtation.
    • According to Plummer, Eleanor Parker fell in love with an eventually married the cameraman Raymond Hirsh. He was her fourth husband and they stayed together for nearly forty years, until his death in 2001.
    • Nicholas Hammond has admitted to having a huge crush on Julie Andrews during production, dating back several years; he had seen her play Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady three years earlier on her last night in the London production. This is especially evident if one looks at "The Lonely Goatherd". In a couple of shots, Friedrich can be seen gazing dreamily at Maria.
  • Scully Box: At the beginning of filming, Heather Menzies-Urich (Louisa) was about three inches taller than Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich). He had to wear heel lifts to make him look taller. By the end of the shoot, Nicolas Hammond had grown six inches (5'3" to 5'9"). He often filmed in no shoes and Charmian Carr had to stand on a box to make her taller. All of the Von Trapp children grew a lot during filming, so heel lifts and various camera tricks were used to keep their heights steady.
  • Star-Making Role: This role, alongside Mary Poppins, made Julie Andrews a household name.
  • Throw It In!: Julie Andrews tripping at the end of "I Have Confidence" wasn't scripted, but was so perfectly in line with her character, it was left in.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The play started out as a Jukebox Musical with songs from the Trapp Family Singers' concerts, and one new number from Rodgers and Hammerstein. However, R&H agreed to write an entirely original soundtrack.
    • The film originally planned to just use newsreel footage of 1930s Austria after the Anschluss, the filmmakers being hesitant to ask if they could hang up Nazi flags as set dressing. However city officials opted to just hang the flags, rather than show the newsreel footage which would depict them welcoming the Nazis to the city.
    • Grace Kelly was the first choice to play the Baroness. However she had retired from acting after she became the Princess of Monaco.
    • Fred Astaire, Noël Coward and Burgess Meredith were considered for Max Detweiler.
    • Now-famous actors who auditioned to play the Von Trapp children - Veronica Cartwright, Richard Dreyfuss, Mia Farrow, Liza Minnelli and Kurt Russell.
    • Before the musical was produced, Paramount originally owned the rights to the Von Trapps' story - and planned to cast Audrey Hepburn as Maria. When Hepburn declined, Paramount dropped the plans. Anne Bancroft was also considered.
    • Yul Brynner, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Bing Crosby, Walter Matthau, David Niven and Maximilian Schell were considered for Captain von Trapp.
    • William Wyler was the original director of the film, and wanted to make the tone Darker and Edgier - featuring more of the Nazis in the story. 20th Century Fox were constantly clashing with him, and he ultimately dropped out.
    • Billy Wilder was asked to direct. He joked that he would have focused on the Nazis. Gene Kelly was also offered the job.
    • The Baroness would have had a song too but Word of God is that they didn't want her to seem too sympathetic, so they left it out.
    • Jeanette MacDonald strongly considered coming out of retirement to play the Reverend Mother. However her health was bad and she felt she wouldn't be able for it. She died a month before the film's release.
  • Working Title: The Singing Heart and Love Story, the latter of which became rejected to avoid confusion with other stories and songs with the same name.


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