09 February 2007

Five things I now know...

...after re-watching and web-stalking "The Sound of Music"

(1) Edelweiss is not a traditional Austrian song, or even popular there. The song was written for the musical. This is crushing news, as if learning that "America the Beautiful" was really done as a 1870's French rock song.

(2) The musical is loosely based on the real Von Trapp Family Singers. There was a real Maria von Trapp?! Yes, there was. And she wrote a whole damn book about it -- plus had two movies done about her story previous to this film. This website gives the real backstory of the von Trapps.

(3) Who can forget the stunning blue eyes of Charmian Carr as Liesl? I'd read somewhere that her eyes really are that blue but re-watching the movie, that hue seems unearthly.

Charmian pretty much stepped away from films after the Sound of Music -- she too has written a book about her experiences. She became a close friend and interior designer to Michael Jackson -- designing for him a "mannequin room." Yeah, don't ask.

(4) "During the Cold War, in the event of a nuclear strike on the United Kingdom, the BBC planned to broadcast The Sound of Music on radio as part of an emergency timetable of programmes designed to 'reassure' the public in the aftermath of the attack."

I wonder what the United States has/had planned, "It's A Wonderful Life?" Or that other American classic, "The Day the Earth Caught Fire?"

(5) The entire musical has about five songs played on loop. I thought I just happened to remember all the classics because they were the classics; overlooking the other songs from the film. But no, I remember those five songs because they were driven into my head from repeated exposure. Not that I minded this, but I didn't realize how many times "Do-Re-Mi" or "My Favorite Things" was played throughout the movie. No wonder the thing ran three hours.

Apparently, a cinema in Hong Kong had thought the movie was too long and cut out all the musical numbers. Just "The Sound" was enough for the Chinese.
It's a gift, to be able to watch these seminal films with fresh eyes -- not a gift I was given however. Not many people I know have never seen Star Wars, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, etc. as a kid. I like sharing these movies with them to see their responses. Is the experience still magical? Or merely good?