For, Friday, April 17, 2015

While it’s true that “The Sound of Music” (1965, G) lives up (or down) to its saccharine reputation, there’s a reason it’s the most popular musical of all time — No. 3 on Box Office Mojo’s adjusted-for-inflation list of the biggest box-office hits ever (after “Gone With the Wind” and “Star Wars”).

There’s the wonderfully infectious score (assuming you haven’t tired of “The Sound of Music” and “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things,” which may have oversaturated our collective musical brainwaves), the gorgeous cinematography (filmed on location in Austria), a plethora of notable performances (led by Julie Andrews at her most effervescent, and a young and dashing Christopher Plummer), and straightforward old-Hollywood direction by one of the industry’s stalwarts, Robert Wise, who won Oscars for this film and “West Side Story,” and also helmed “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “I Want to Live,” “The Haunting” and “Star Trek —The Motion Picture,” among many others.

 For those who may have slept through it the first 48 times, the true story is based on Maria von Trapp’s memoir “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.”


Julie Andrews sings to the children in 'The Sound of Music.'

Andrews plays free-spirited, undisciplined Maria, studying to become a nun in Austria in 1938. She is assigned to be governess to the seven children of a retired naval officer, Capt. Georg von Trapp (Plummer), who has been raising them with strict military discipline. Naturally, they clash, but after some ups and downs, during which Maria has taken to teaching the children to sing together, they not only reconcile but eventually fall in love. Then the Nazis invade Austria.

It may be saccharine, but “The Sound of Music” remains a highly entertaining and moving picture, with laughs, tears and terror, and it all comes together perfectly.


            Christopher Plummer, 'The Sound of Music'

And now’s your chance to see it on the big screen as it plays in theaters all around the country to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

It will play on Sunday, April 19, and Wednesday, April 22, at 2 and 7 p.m., at several local Cinemark Theaters in partnership with Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events.