The Sound of Music is a stage musical with music and lyrics by the famous collaboration of Rodgers and Hammerstein which premiered in 1959; in fact, it was their final work before Oscar Hammerstein II died the next year. The "book" of the musical was written by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, based on an autobiography called The Trapp Family Singers, written by Maria Von Trapp, which tells the story of her life as a novice from a convent who is sent to tutor the seven children of an Austrian widower. Maria married the father and and the family singing group she started allows the family an opportunity to escape from the Nazi invasion of Austria. In 1965, it was made into a movie with Julie Andrews and directed by Robert Wise.

Sources:
http://www.rnh.com/show_detail.asp?id=SM
http://www.imagi-nation.com/moonstruck/albm30.html

Classic movie musical, released in 1965. Directed by Robert Wise and written by Ernest Lehman, based on the book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse and the Broadway musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. Ted D. McCord was the film's cinematographer, and Rodgers and Irwin Kostal provided a few extra songs. The stars included Julie Andrews as Maria, Christopher Plummer as Captain von Trapp, Eleanor Parker as Baroness Elsa Schraeder, Richard Haydn as Max Detweiler, Peggy Wood as Mother Abbess, Charmian Carr as Liesl von Trapp, Heather Menzies as Louisa von Trapp, Nicholas Hammond as Friedrich von Trapp, Duane Chase as Kurt von Trapp, Angela Cartwright as Brigitta von Trapp, Debbie Turner as Marta von Trapp, and Kym Karath as Gretl von Trapp.

This film won numerous Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Score, and Best Sound. It was also nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Actress (for Andrews), and Best Supporting Actress (for Wood).

You know how the plot goes by now, right? Maria's an absolutely lousy nun, but her Mother Superior gets her a good job as a governess for the children of a retired naval commander. Captain von Trapp is a tyrant with his own children, expecting strict military discipline, but Maria teaches them to sing and enjoy their childhoods. She and Captain von Trapp end up falling in love and getting married, and the whole family flees Austria as the Germans begin to take over during World War II.

Of course, this movie is probably best known for all the wonderful songs, including "The Sound of Music," "Do-Re-Mi," "My Favorite Things," "I Have Confidence," "Maria," "Sixteen Going on Seventeen," "Edelweiss," "So Long, Farewell," "Something Good," and "Climb Every Mountain."

William Wyler was originally set to be the director, and he had a much more action-oriented story in mind, with more focus on the war. Yul Brynner, Sean Connery, and Richard Burton were all considered for the role of Captain von Trapp, and Richard Dreyfuss, Kurt Russell, the four oldest of the Osmond Brothers (Alan, Jay, Merrill, and Wayne), and Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson) all auditioned for roles as the von Trapp children.

Oh, and keep an eye open during the scene where Julie Andrews is singing "I Have Confidence". She'll walk underneath a stone archway just as two women in peasant clothing walk past behind her. The oldest of those women is the real Maria von Trapp in an all-too-brief cameo.

Some research from the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)

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