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THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

icon-dots A CELEBRATION OF 20TH CENTURY FOX
Discussion before

When 20th Century Fox paid over $1 million dollars for the rights to the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein stage hit in 1960, nobody realized the film version would one day save the studio. By the time the film went into production, however, Fox was reeling from the box-office losses incurred by Cleopatra (1963). They almost canceled the project, but Ernest Lehman’s script adaptation convinced Darryl F. Zanuck and his son Richard to go ahead and give it a bigger budget than planned. Their other big gamble was casting Julie Andrews before the release of Mary Poppins (1964) made her a film star. Her simple, sincere performance and immaculate singing helped make the tale of a governess who falls in love—first with the children she’s caring for and then for their father (Christopher Plummer)—an international sensation. Within a year of its release, it had surpassed Gone With the Wind (1939) to become the top box office hit to that point. At the Oscars, it walked away with five awards, including Best Picture and Director (Robert Wise). The film has remained a favorite since then, inspiring tours of its Austrian locations and sold out sing-along screenings. (d. Robert Wise, 172m, 70mm)

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