Unabashedly sentimental and a box office smash, The Sound of Music (1965) became the last old-fashioned blockbuster musical before the seismic shifts of the late 1960s and 1970s. Faithfully adapting the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway hit while opening it up for the screen, director Robert Wise made the most of the story's Austrian settings by shooting in pristine color on location in and around Salzburg. Beginning with the helicopter shot of Julie Andrews's hill-top performance of the title song, Wise matches glorious Alpine landscapes and Salzburg sites with exuberant songs, while the romantic moments are set in the more intimate yet still picturesque Von Trapp garden house. The puppet show, an important moment in Maria's romance with Von Trapp, also becomes another beautifully executed set piece in itself. Andrews' acting is as laudable as her singing, and her presence charmed even those reviewers critical of The Sound of Music's sweetness; the audience adored it to the tune of record-breaking grosses. Nominated for ten Oscars, The Sound of Music won five, including Best Picture, Director, Sound, and Adapted Score. None of the 1960s musicals that followed it came close to matching its popularity.
by Lucia Bozzola review