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The Sound of Music- 50th Anniversary


noah80
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Some thoughts about the film from director Robert Wise in 1992:

 

 

But nowhere in this book ("The Sound of Music" by Julia Hirsch) will you find any mention of the one important element for which none of us connected with The Sound of Music could take credit—timing. It isn't mentioned because it was the X factor, the one thing that no one could depend on and on which no one even wanted to make a guess.

 

The Sound of Music was released in the spring of 1965. The date was not picked arbitrarily, nor was it selected on the basis of some arcane chart. It was released then because, after all the work and the previews, that is simply when it was deemed ready to be shown to the public.

 

And that, of course, was when the question of timing first came to the fore. 1965 was a volatile year in the United States and throughout the world. Newspapers carried headlines of the war in Viet Nam, a cultural revolution was beginning to spread throughout the country, and people needed old-fashioned ideals to hold on to. The moviegoing public was ready, possibly even eager, for a film like this. Besides an outstanding score and an excellent cast, it had a heartwarming story, good humor, someone to love and someone to hate, and seven adorable children.

 

There was no question, from the very first week of its release, that the movie was going to be successful although even those of us closest to the project never dreamed exactly how popular it would be. And ever since then experts have been dissecting all the elements that Julia Hirsch describes here in an effort to learn if there is a formula for success.

 

I have often been told that if the film had been released two years earlier, or two years later, the public taste would have been different and we would not have been so successful. I am not prepared to argue the point, though I am pleased to note the film's ongoing popularity—even with young audiences—suggests at least a certain timelessness. I am just pleased and proud that we were able to create an entertaining movie that touched so many lives.

 

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I do think that timing had a lot to do with it, along with some luck.

 

However, what I think was a major factor in it being such a hit was the fact the Hollywood was changing and and movies where taking on darker and more mature themes. The studios pretty much wrote off that segment of the  public which grew up on, and loved, big, bright, clean, musicals that the whole family could enjoy. So when SOM came out they were ready and willing to see it, often more than once.

 

While there is still a segment of the public that enjoys that kind of film today, most of them have gotten out of the  habit of going to the movies and instead watch them at home. The fact that something like 40 million people tuned in to the live production of SOUND OF MUSIC on NBC a year or so ago proved that. In an other era, they'd would have all been lined up at the boxoffice of their local Bijou.

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And that, of course, was when the question of timing first came to the fore. 1965 was a volatile year in the United States and throughout the world. Newspapers carried headlines of the war in Viet Nam, a cultural revolution was beginning to spread throughout the country, and people needed old-fashioned ideals to hold on to. The moviegoing public was ready, possibly even eager, for a film like this. Besides an outstanding score and an excellent cast, it had a heartwarming story, good humor, someone to love and someone to hate, and seven adorable children.

 

I can't even begin to imagine a year when a movie loaded with focus group tested characteristics like that wouldn't have become a huge hit.  I doubt if you'd even need seven adorable children.  A set of pink-cheeked quintuplets carried around on a sled pulled by Lassie would probably suffice.

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I can't even begin to imagine a year when a movie loaded with focus group tested characteristics like that wouldn't have become a huge hit.  I doubt if you'd even need seven adorable children.  A set of pink-cheeked quintuplets carried around on a sled pulled by Lassie would probably suffice.

cat_zpsprhsrbya.jpg

 

How about a cat and adorable Hayley Mills?  Another very popular and successful film in 1965.

 

Happy 50th anniversary to That Darn Cat!

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