The Sound of Musings

21 Mar

Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the movie, The Sound of Music. I’m 45 years old. This means that one of my favorite movies of all time is older than I am. I am not alone in this love of The Sound of Music. There are many people who regard it as their favorite. People who know the lines, the songs, and even the exact movement of every character as they sang the songs or delivered their lines.

It’s like it’s a cult and they’re devoted fans.

I’m not that fanatical about it, but the movie’s endurance is rather interesting, I think. It means that of all the fancy, high-tech, special-effects-laden films that have been made over the last 50 years, this musical with the singing nuns and dancing children out performs them all. And it has Julie Andrews. Can’t forget about her.

When I was quite young, in the days before Blue Rays and DVD’s and even VHS tapes – not to mention re-releases of movies for the big screen – the only chance we had to watch something like The Sound of Music was at Thanksgiving or other holidays when they’d air them on TV. I loved those opportunities, and so did my older sisters. We’d scan the TV guide (the kind inserted into the newspaper, not the kind you could buy) to see what time it was coming on and we’d arrange our schedules so that nothing interfered with our watching. Because, after all, there were no DVRs, either, to mean that we could watch a televised show later on. It was then…or never.

And then one day I was invited to a friend’s birthday party. I was 10, I believe, so it was 1980. This friend lived on a commune, inhabited by a group of individuals who believed in a lot of things that my parents did not believe in, but for some reason my mom allowed me to attend the party. My parents considered them to be a cult…though probably they did not refer to themselves that way. Anyway, this…group…must have had a lot of money because, for the first time in my life, I saw a VCR and there, on the top of the stack of movies they owned, was The Sound of Music.

“You mean you can watch The Sound of Music at any time you want?” I squealed, amazed and impressed and excited beyond belief.

“Sure,” my friend shrugged. “Big deal.”

We were about to put it on but her mom said that the party games took precedence. I remember nothing about the games, just the disappointment I felt at being denied The Sound of Music. I do, however, remember that there wasn’t any birthday cake. Apparently sugar was against their religion.

But that’s neither here nor there. What is applicable is that, ironically, The Sound of Music has become, like the commune my friend was a part of, a cult classic, with a following of obsessive fans, and 50 years of sustainability under its belt.

Which, as far as I know, is a lot longer than the cult my friend was a part of. She – and the entire commune full of people – moved away not long afterwards and I’ve never heard of them again.

Funny thing, that. Quality lasts, I guess. And The Sound of Music has “lastability”. Danger, humor, love, music, children, nuns, Nazis…and Julie Andrews. Now there’s a description of a cult I could be a part of.

I guess it’s time that I learned the exact movements of every character so that I can apply to be a member. Care to join me? I even own it on Blue Ray, so we won’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to start learning…

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10 Responses to “The Sound of Musings”

  1. imbarelykeepingup March 21, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite, but this movie is certainly among my top ten.

  2. Ruth March 22, 2015 at 7:04 am #

    I love watching it now with my grandchildren and listening to them sing My Favorite Things. Great post

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

      Yes, it’s super fun seeing the next generation enjoy it just as much!

  3. Jackie March 23, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    We recently bought the 50th anniversary edition on Blu-ray, I’m looking forward to watching it soon.

  4. hotlyspiced March 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

    I hope you now have your very own copy of the movie. Isn’t it a great story! I recently watched a documentary on what happened to the actual family. It was all a bit sad, really xx

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 24, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

      I have heard that it’s a sad story about them all but I haven’t heard it. Might have to look up that documentary. Yes, I own two copies, actually, as my sister gave me one once and I already had one! Good no matter what country or decade!

  5. Gwen Stephens March 25, 2015 at 5:59 am #

    You and I are the same age, Gretchen, so I could relate. The Wizard of Oz was another favorite, and all the Charlie Brown holiday specials. Knowing these were coming on TV was an event. Like you said, make room in your schedule, or wait ’til next year. Hard for our kids to imagine growing up without “on demand” TV, isn’t it?

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 27, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

      It is indeed hard! So much they can’t really relate to that we took for granted. And yes, Oz and Charlie Brown…all so good! I think they have been, somewhat, diminished without the anticipation…

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