It doesn’t seem possible that the Sound of Music was filmed 50 years ago. But according to this author, it nearly didn’t get filmed at all.
There were problems of every kind, and Mr. Santopietro goes through each one, explaining the difficulties faced by all who were tasked with making this Broadway hit into a blockbuster movie.
Julie Andrews, playing Maria von Trapp, was at the peak of her career. Her character was part of almost every scene, so her singing, dancing and acting skills were such that she carried the movie along seemingly effortlessly. Her rare 4-octave voice was perfect, and she hit it just right every time she lip synched to her prerecorded songs.
The movie doesn’t really follow the true lives of Maria, the Captain and the seven children. The basic premise is there: Maria starts out by being a novice at the age of 19 at the strictest convent in the world, and she did love the mountains and would hike throughout them for hours at a time. The Captain used a whistle to locate his children and dressed them in sailor suits. Maria starts her relationship with the family first as a nanny and then later marrying her employer. The children sang with Maria’s help, and music became almost second-nature to them. After defying the Nazis, it became necessary to leave their homeland of Austria.
The rest of the movie is fiction, some based on truth but changed to accommodate the film.
The real von Trapp family is interesting enough even without The Sound of Music. But learning how some very talented people were able to take just a bit of their history and turn it into something meaningful to people all over the world is fascinating.
We learn how each spot on the production team was chosen and how each actor was chosen. The children were especially important to cast correctly.
The author tells the von Trapp story and the Sound of Music story at the same time, going back and forth between the two. He follows the von Trapps and all the actors through the 50 years since the film debuted.
I found the book to be rather long. I know the author was trying to include everything, but I was getting a little weary by the time I finished it.
This book is perfect for someone wanting to know how a movie is made and equally perfect for a fan of The Sound of Music.
This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.