It may be hard to believe, but 2015 marks 50 years since “The Sound of Music” opened on the big screen, introducing movie goers the world over to an enchanting cast of characters, based on the real-life von Trapp family. In honor of this special anniversary, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things you may, or may not know about this iconic film, and the family it’s based on.
1 March 2 marked the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the film “The Sound of Music.” The film was broadly based on the book The Story of the Trapp Family Singers,
written by Maria von Trapp, the family matriarch. Although the original traveling von Trapp family singing group stopped touring in 1955, today four great-grandchildren of the Captain and Maria von Trapp carry on the family tradition, performing around the world. (www.facebook.com/vontrapps)
2 A linen-backed original U.S. roadshow three-sheet poster for the premiere of “The Sound of Music,” which measures 41 inches by 84 inches, in Very Fine to Near Mint condition, with minimum retouching, sold for $7,380 during a 2011 auction at Profiles in History. The final price was more than 12 times the high estimate.
3 The von Trapp family ultimately settled in Stowe, Vt., buying a farm and later operating a music camp on their property. In 1950, the family opened the Trapp Family Lodge, which remains in operation today. (www.trappfamily.com)
4 In the film, Julie Andrews portrayed Maria and Christopher Plummer portrayed Captain von Trapp. However, Andrews originally considered passing on the role, concerned the character was too similar to the one she played in “Mary Poppins.” Prior to Plummer coming on board for the film, Richard Burton, Sean Connery and Bing Crosby had all turned down the role of Captain von Trapp.
5 The recognizable red-brown nubby textured jumper and white blouse, worn by Julie Andrews as Maria during her performance of “Do-Re-Mi” in the film, soared past its presale estimate of $40,000 to $60,000 to finish at $677,650 during a 2011 auction presented by Profiles in History.
Memorable clip of “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music”….
6 Countless merchandise associated with “The Sound of Music” has been produced over the years. One of the most unique and recent proposals is for a Sound of Music LEGO set. The idea, which is outlined on the Ideas page at Lego.com, features several mini-figures and the interior of the von Trapp home, along with the memorable gazebo. (ideas.lego.com/projects/62284)
7 In all, there were 10 von Trapp children. Some went on to do missionary work in New
Guinea, one became a doctor, two became teachers and still others worked and managed the Trapp Family Lodge.
8 The turquoise and green cotton leaf patterned dress and leather belt, with a 20th Century Fox label inside with “2-Double 909-24J” written on it, and worn by Andrews while she performed a reprise of the song “My Favorite Things” commanded $55,350 during a 2011 auction presented by Profiles in History (www.profilesinhistory.com). The presale estimate for the dress was $6,000 to $8,000.
9 Several items commemorating the 50th anniversary were recently released, including a five-disc Blu-ray/DVD; newly expanded soundtrack; and five books, just to name a few. Plus, on April 19 and April 22, a remastered version of the film will be shown at more than 500 theaters in the U.S.
10 The movie initially earned 10 awards, with five of those being Academy Awards — including Best Picture, Best Original Music Score and Best Actress.
Compiled by Antoinette Rahn
Sources: National Archives, Prologue Magazine, article by Joan Gearin; Profiles in History; Time.com, “The Sound of Music: 50 Years Later, the Hills Are Still Alive,” by Richard Corliss; Lego.com; RodgersandHammerstein.com; Variety.com.; IMDb.com
During the recent broadcast of the 2015 Academy Awards, pop music favorite Lady Gaga, performed a tribute to “The Sound of Music” and Julie Andrews. View it here: