|The Sound of Music |
Five Star Collection
Actors: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn, Peggy Wood
Director: Robert Wise
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Musicals & Performing Arts, Military & War
When Julie Andrews sang "The hills are alive with the sound of music" from an Austrian mountaintop in 1965, the most beloved movie musical was born. To be sure, the adaptation of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's ... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Aimee M. (AimeeM)
Reviewed on 2/5/2008...
This movie is one everyone should see at least once.
The music is catchy, the story sweet, and the acting wonderful. Although it is a bit on the long side, it is a great movie for those cold winter days.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
The happiest sound in its best version yet!
tomovieboy | Thousand Oaks, CA USA | 09/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Reviled by some, beloved by many, consistently referred to as the most popular movie musical ever made, THE SOUND OF MUSIC more than fulfills the promise of its beautiful visuals and expert song numbers on home video via DVD. This edition tops the 1995 laserdisc by allowing the sparkling, exemplary design of its 70mm. Todd-AO frame to be exhibited with increased sharpness and resolution. The 4.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack is powerful and clean, but since this film was originally mixed for six-track magnetic stereo, it's curious why the effort wasn't made by Fox to split the surrounds! Nonethless, the film sounds terrific. The extra features make this package a bargain at the price. Full length commentary by director Bob Wise, with the musical numbers presented sans vocals, is a great touch. And the two documentaries are beautifully presented; full of facts and bits of arcane information that any fan will truly enjoy. A great movie, and a great DVD rendition. More like this, PLEASE!"
Fox slips up yet again... Not the way to treat this Beloved
dooby | 11/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For some reason The Sound Of Music has never had any luck in home video release. It has never achieved the picture quality commensurate with its status. The 40th Anniversary Edition seemed like the opportunity for it to finally shine. Alas no. Yes it is a marked improvement over the previous DVD which image-wise was deplorable. But it is far below what we know is possible in film restoration today.
What's good about the new SoM transfer? Well for starters they've removed the much criticised electronic edge enhancement which infuriated so many people in the previous DVD. This is artificial sharpening which looks good on small screens but produces halos around objects when seen on larger displays. The result is a slightly softer image but definitely an improvement over the old DVD. And they've made some effort at restoration. The picture looks visibly brighter. The color timing which was way off in the previous DVD has been partially corrected - but not totally. Skin tones which looked overly red previously, now appear closer to normal. However this color correction is haphazard. Some scenes have skin tones looking very natural, others still have that ruddy, sun-burnt look. The night scenes especially have skin tones taking on an ugly muddy-red appearance. In short, the color timing for the new DVD is inconsistent. Ironically, one drawback of the present color-correction is an overly-accurate representation of the original colors in some scenes - in the Edelweiss reprise at the Salzburg Folk Festival, Angela Cartwright's face (Brigitta) takes on a faint greenish-yellow hue under the stagelight. In the previous DVD this had been corrected to give everyone a uniform pink glow but not in the present DVD. It may be a truer reflection of stagelighting but it is not at all pretty to look at. So in terms of color-correction, in trying to please everyone, the technicians ended up pleasing no one. Black levels however are spot on. Level of detail is also fairly good, especially shadow detail in the darker scenes, definitely better than in the previous DVD but again below what we've come to expect of DVD transfers on the cusp of the Hi-Def era. This is especially so considering that SoM was shot, not on 35mm film like other movies, but on 70mm which should, if properly handled, enable us to see detail that would eclipse the very latest Hollywood productions, almost all of which are shot in 35mm today. Sadly it does not.
Sound-wise, the THX Certified 4.1 Surround Sound of the previous DVD has been replaced by a 5.0 Surround. Note the loss of the .1 LFE (subwoofer). This won't make much difference as SoM does not make much use of the LFE channel but those using less expensive sound systems may end up losing the lower-most frequencies as the front speakers of these systems often cannot reproduce the lowest frequencies that will now be passed on to them. One also wonders why they did not use all 6 channels of the original Todd-AO soundtrack for this DVD. To find out in the Extras that they actually remixed the original 6 track audio into a new DTS soundtrack which we are not given here is only to add insult to injury. Apparently Fox is reserving the DTS soundtrack for its upcoming High-Definition version of SoM due out next year.
The selling point of this 40th Anniversary Edition must be the Extras of which there are tonnes. What I appreciate most in the current set of Rodgers & Hammerstein Anniversary releases is the inclusion of a separate songs-only chapter list. I hope this becomes a feature for all future musicals. An interesting curiosity in this DVD is the ability to hear and sing along with the film in both French and Spanish with the appropriate lyrics appearing beneath much like in a karaoke-singalong. Although the French soundtrack was already present previously, this is the first time I've heard the songs sung in Spanish. There are hours of documentaries. I especially liked Charmian Carr's new documentary "On Location with The Sound of Music," and the children's reunion, "From Liesl to Gretl: A 40th Anniversary Reunion," where the now grown-up children reminisce about their time on the set and point out all the little bloopers they made onscreen. It's heartening to learn that they've all turned out very well indeed. Unfortunately with all the new Extras, some of the features from the previous DVD had to be dumped. By far the saddest loss was the exclusion of Charmian Carr's delightful 1967 documentary "Salzburg Sight and Sound".
The Sound Of Music underwent a complete restoration in 2002 for its inclusion in the Academy Film Archive (A.M.P.A.S.). That 65mm restored print was first exhibited in early 2003. From the Film-to-Video restoration comparison included among the Extras, it would seem that this is the restoration used in the DVD. However it also shows how much more muted the colors on the film elements were even after restoration. It is only after the video transfer and color correction that the colors come to resemble what is seen here. The telecine color-timer was obviously over-enthusiastic with the color correction, pumping the colors up beyond what is natural.
For those contemplating getting the 40th Anniversary Edition, do note that Fox has announced that The Sound Of Music will be re-released next year on its new Blu-Ray High-Definition DVD. That's where the new restoration will re-emerge, hopefully with a more accurate telecine transfer and the newly remixed DTS soundtrack. If you can, it may be wiser to wait for the next incarnation of this beloved classic and hope that Fox finally gets things right."
Sensational Sound of Music on DVD
firstname.lastname@example.org | Los Angeles, CA USA | 09/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although this picture has had numerous home video releases over the years from tape to laserdisc, this new DVD version is easily the best to date, offering a crisp, clear, pristine wide screen transfer that looks like it was filmed only hours ago, along with an excellent surround sound mix that is far superior to any previous release, 70mm six track theatrical prints included. The supplemental disc offers documentaries and enough extras to satisfy any Sound of Music junkie. The feature disc offers an audio commentary by director Robert Wise that is quite interesting and informative, but repeats much of the same information included in the documentary. Parts of it seem a bit rushed, perhaps because he doesn't speak over any of the musical sequences, which are presented without vocals to highlight the orchestral arrangements and allow one the opportunity to sing along. Wise points out where songs that were deleted or moved would have gone as compared to the original stage show, and one can see how such changes made the film adaptation superior. He also explains the technical aspects of shooting on location and how location shots were seamlessly matched with footage shot back in L.A. on stages. There were also a couple of scenes that were shot but later cut--it makes you wish they had included these outtakes on the supplemental disc of extras. There are some gaps in the commentary where only the movie plays--leaving you a bit hungry for more interesting anecdotes from Mr. Wise, but after over 35 years I guess his memory is as good as can be expected. The French audio track is fun--How strange to hear the familiar songs in French--not an easy task to translate a song like Do Re Mi which seems it wouldn't make sense in any language other than English. They did an excellent dubbing job--the voices are quite similar to the original actors' voices, and the woman dubbing for Julie Andrews holds her own. The 35 minute audio spot by screenwriter Ernest Lehman is extremely interesting, giving you a taste of what went on behind the scenes in the development of the production, from William Wyler's indifference to the film he agreed to direct despite hating the Broadway show, and prospective director Gene Kelly kicking Mr. Lehman out of his house and telling him to "shove" his screenplay. Actor Dan Truhitte also provides an "audio telegram" detailing his experience winning the part of Rolf and some personal anecdotes. But all we hear is his voice--a still picture of his present-day self would have been a nice touch. We also get some sound bytes of old radio interviews that are typical PR fluff but still an interesting time capsule. The video of theatrical trailers and TV spots is interesting but repetitive. They are almost all the same, with only subtle changes. For those interested in the location there is even a brief but detailed written history of Salzburg. All in all, this has to rate as one of the best and most complete DVDs ever released (despite those missing outtakes!) Fox did a terrific job, and should be commended for NOT offering the inferior pan and scan version of the picture usually shown on TV. This is one of those wide screen masterpieces that lose a lot when the original aspect ratio is altered. A must for all film collectors and Sound of Music fanatics alike."