You may not be 16 going on 17, but there’s a good chance you’ve hummed along to Edelweiss whilst watching the 1965 classic The Sound Of Music. The Oscar-winning film, based on a 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical about the von Trapp family, remains one of the highest grossing films of all time. On the film’s 50th birthday, we reminisce with some ‘SOM’ film factoids to warm the cockles of your musical hearts…
13 Things You Didn’t Know About The Sound Of Music
1. Director Robert Wise (of West Side Story fame) – who also initially declines to direct the movie, interviewed more than 200 children to cast the von Trapp children, including a very young Richard Dreyfuss, Kurt Russell and Mia Farrow.
2. Julie Andrews was offered the role of Maria smack bang in the middle of filming one of her other smash hits, Mary Poppins (1964)
3. Leisl, aka Charmian Carr, was actually 21 when she played the eldest von Trapp sibling, AND admits to having had a crush on her on-set father, Christopher Plummer who played Captain von Trapp.
4. And, unsurprisingly, Plummer admitted to having a crush on Julie Andrews after “falling in love with her” while watching My Fair Lady on Broadway.
5. The Sound of Music is the third-highest-grossing film of all time at the U.S. box office, just behind other classics like Gone With the Wind, at number one, and Star Wars at number two.
6. Although you would think being able to sing would have been a major prerequisite for casting this movie, at least two of the actors who played major characters didn’t actually sing a note in the movie. Plummer being one of them with a voice-dubbing by Bill Lee.
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7. Plummer once told Oprah Winfrey, that during filming he actually nicknamed the film “The Sound of Mucus” after being afraid the movie would “run overboard and become very mawkish and sentimental”.
8. While filming the boat scene, Kym Karath, who played the youngest (and cutest) von Trapp child, Gretl, swallowed so much water because she couldn’t swim that she actually vomitted on ‘Louisa’ aka Heather Menzies.
9. The real-life Baroness Maria von Trapp reportedly fell from a tree and broke her arm while coaching Mary Martin, who was cast as the original Maria.
10. Many of the real von Trapp children are still in touch with the actors who played them in the movie.
11. Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich) grew six inches in six months.
12. Kym Karath (Gretl) and Debbie Turner (Marta) both lost their front teeth while the film was being shot
13. Brigitta – Angela Cartwright – went on to score roles in two popular TV series, The Danny Thomas Show and Lost in Space.
What’s your favourite Sound of Music moment or song? Share your thoughts below…