Right alongside whiskers on kittens and warm woolen mittens, The Sound of Music is one of my favorite things, and arguably the best musical of all time. What's not to love? You have Julie Andrews in her prime, Christopher Plummer at his most smoldering, children singing and dancing while wearing curtains, epic Austrian landscapes, automobile-sabotaging nuns, and so on.
Today marks 50 years since the film's release on March 2, 1965. The best way to celebrate is obviously to leave work right now with a "headache" and go watch it. Second best: learning some little known facts about The Sound of Music!
In the famous opening sequence that features Julie Andrews spinning in the hills, you can tell that there's a considerable downdraft from the helicopter. So considerable that it kept knocking Julie Andrews over. After over a dozen takes, she finally signaled to the director, Robert Wise, who was overseeing in a nearby tree. He signaled back a thumbs up. They had finally gotten the shot!
Christopher Plummer was not thrilled about being in the movie, referring to it as "The Sound of Mucus" and comparing working with Julie Andrews to "to being hit over the head with a big Valentine's Day card every day " (don't worry; they're still friends). He resorted to eating and drinking a lot during the shoot to drown his sorrows. This led to his costume needing to be refitted and him being drunk while shooting the "Edelweiss" music festival scene.
When approaching the von Trapp mansion and singing "I Have Confidence," Julie Andrews accidentally tripped. The director decided that it added an endearing, nervous quality to the song and put it in the movie.
Charmian Carr, who played telegram-obsessed eldest daughter Liesl, injured her ankle during the "16 Going on 17" sequence. Despite the best efforts of a makeup artist, the bandage could be seen in early versions of the movie. The bandage was digitally removed when the film was remastered for DVD. Another tidbit about Carr is that she was 21 when shooting the movie and had a huge crush on Christopher Plummer, who has said that he felt the same attraction but didn't act on it. He did however "teach her to drink."