On March 2, 1965, "The Sound of Music" was released in the United States and the love affair between moviegoers and the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical was on. Rarely has a film captured the love and imagination of the moviegoing public in the way that "The Sound of Music" did as it blended history, music, Austrian location filming, heartfelt emotion and the yodeling of Julie Andrews into a monster hit. Now, Tom Santopietro has written the ultimate "Sound of Music" fan book with all the inside dope from behind the scenes stories of the filming in Austria and Hollywood to new interviews with Johannes von Trapp and others. Santopietro looks back at the real life story of Maria von Trapp, goes on to chronicle the sensational success of the Broadway musical, and recounts the story of the near cancellation of the film when the "Cleopatra" bankrupted 20th Century Fox. We all know that Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer played Maria and Captain Von Trapp, but who else had been considered? Tom Santopietro knows and will tell all while providing a historian's critical analysis of the careers of director Robert Wise and screenwriter Ernest Lehman, a look at the critical controversy which greeted the movie, the film's relationship to the turbulent 1960s and the super stardom which engulfed Julie Andrews. Tom Santopietro's "The Story of 'The Sound of Music'" is book for everyone who cherishes this American classic.
Almost 60 years after Julie Andrews famously swirled across an Alpine meadow, The Sound of Music remains one of the top-selling films and music soundtracks of all time. While Santopietro (The Godfather Effect) doesn't explain the film's enduring popularity, his mundane fan's notes go very far in providing a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film and its reception. He uncovers the life of the real Maria, who felt her happiness shatter when she learned from her Mother Superior that her marriage to Captain Von Trapp represented the will of God. Santopietro chronicles the initial faltering financial commitment of 20th Century Fox, and the torturous search for a director, a cinematographer, the actors and actresses, and other staff. For the role of Maria, for example, stars with plenty of movie experience were initially considered over Julie Andrews, who was still a completely unknown quantity on film. Although the Von Trapp family, and Austria, initially distanced themselves from the film because they thought it inaccurately portrayed their family and the times, they later accepted The Sound of Music because of what it means to people. Santopietro points out that the movie still appeals to so many because it tells us that our dreams are worthwhile, our fears can be overcome, and love conquers all.