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SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)

What to know: The hills are alive - with this 50th anniversary edition of this classic film.
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
Recommended age 5-18
174 minutes
Video and DVD
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
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The 50th Anniversary Edition of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music is a must-have for every family. This 5-disc DVD set includes the movie in HD and standard definition, a new 60 minute documentary called The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg and lots of other special features.

The Sound of Music is the best family film of all time because it brings everyone together with its great, true-life story of the Von Trapp family. The songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein are all wonderful and unforgettable. Each song is a masterpiece. Some might think Frozen is an amazing movie musical, but Rodger and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music is a million times better! The quality of the song writing just cannot be compared with anything else.

The Sound of Music stars Julie Andrews as Maria, a young Austrian woman who is training to be a nun at a monastery. Christopher Plummer stars as Captain Von Trapp, a wealthy Austrian naval captain who hires Maria as governess to his seven children. It was directed by Robert Wise. It won five Academy Awards including Best Picture.

The documentary, The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg, which is included in this 50th anniversary DVD edition, is informative and revealing. We go behind-the-scenes to visit the original locations in the film: the monastery, the Cathedral, the Von Trapp estate (which is really a classical music school) and a 100-year-old marionette theater which was the inspiration for the puppet scene in the film. It is wonderful to see Julie Andrews so excited about coming back and visiting the film's locations after 50 years.

For those who love the songs, the 50th Anniversary DVD Edition also includes the original soundtrack from the film. And there are lots of other bonus material, such as Music Machine Sing-Along; Audio Commentaries with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and Director Robert Wise; A City of Song--Virtual Map of Filming Locations in Salzburg, Austria; Vintage Rodgers and Hammerstein and The Sound of Music programs; and more.

The Sound of Music is appropriate for all ages. The documentary, The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg is appropriate for those ages 10 to 18. I rate this new DVD set 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Clayton Pickard, KIDS FIRST! Critics, age 15

I remember the year this film came out (1965). It was all the rage and everyone ran around singing the wonderful songs. Julie Andrews became a household name that held her fast in our hearts. This film today, still enchants. Based on the real live story of the Von Trapp family and their escape from Nazi Germany, it is a classic in many ways.

The bonus features on this 50th anniversary meditation will be a plus for filmophiles who will enjoy the audio commentary by Ms. Andrews, Mr.. Plummer and director Mr. Wise. The restoration of the real-life Von Trapp family, the screen tests, sing along track - all well thought out and presented. Thank you Fox for your thoughtfulness in presenting this special edition.

In 1930s Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the widower, Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The Captain is often away and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father hires and have managed to run each of them off. When Maria arrives, she is met with the same hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives -- including the Captain's. Eventually he and Maria find themselves falling in love, even though Georg is already engaged to a Baroness and Maria is still a postulant. The romance makes them both start questioning the decisions they have made. Their personal conflicts soon become history in this multiple award-winning film celebrating its 50th anniversary this year (2015).

Starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker. Directed by Robert Wise. From the stage musical with music and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers.

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