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on 9 November 2010
The picture quality of this blu ray disc The Sound of Music is very disappointing. After reading all the positive hype,compared with the super picture quality of Zulu of which i would rate 9 out of 10,i would rate The Sound of Music blu ray 2 out of 10.I have a top of the range Sony blu ray home cinema system,and this is by far one of the poorest transfers from the original master that i have ever watched.The background noise in the opening scenes in the mountains are abysmal.Be warned.
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on 25 January 2015
When will Amazon stop associating customer reviews with products they were not written for?

This (I use the term very loosely of course, because I am certain this review will appear in relation to every 'Sound of Music' video product sold through Amazon) product, the 'Sound of Music: 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook Blu-ray', is a good example of the ridiculousness of Amazon's policy. At the time of writing, it is approximately six weeks before the 'Sound of Music: 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook Blu-ray' is due to be released for sale, yet there are currently 506 customer reviews for it. Not one of those 506 reviews will have been written for it, and as a result, many will contain incorrect and misleading information.

How many times has a specific product been bought because an Amazon customer review referred to some feature or other, only for it to be discovered on receipt that that particular feature was specific to a different version of the product for which the review had been written, not the version purchased?

Please note that my star rating is not for the 'Sound of Music: 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook Blu-ray', but for Amazon's product review association policy. Amazon appear to do so many things well, why can't they get this right?
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on 26 September 2010
For me, one, if not the greatest musical ever made. The music is beautuful, the story is wonderful, the scenery breathtaking. At the moment, living in Austria, I have had the privilege to visit most places where the film was shot (apart from the studio shots) and it is exactly like the film. Must mention the wonderful acting by Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer and all the supporting cast. A film for the whole family, which you will enjoy forever. I`m anxiously waiting for the Blu-ray version in order to see on my screen what I see looking out my window.
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on 9 March 2015
£17.75 for a fifty year old film which has made its profits over and over again, and with little added to it according to the reviews, is nothing short of theft!
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VINE VOICEon 13 February 2011
I really don't like musicals and of all the musicals I really dislike this sits at the top of the pile.
Life being what it is though it's one of my wife's favourite films and so when the VHS boxed set with cassette and booklet came out we got it and the sparkly DVD version was released we got that too and so it was inevitable that we would wind up owning the Blu Ray version too.
I have read nothing but glowing reviews of the transfer & couldn't help having a look to see what all the fuss was about.
The introductory scenes featuring aerial views of the Austrian countryside are a little grainy and washed out but back in the mid 60's this was par the course and there's only so much can be done to improve it. Once things become Earthbound however the picture takes on far greater depth and although it cannot compete with modern digital realism there is a naturalness and depth that was definitely missing before. Colour is not so much vibrant as realistic and the depth of detail is quite amazing considering this is nearer to 50 years old than 40.
Blacks are what really shine here, really showcased early on in the abbey, with good solid depth and not just dark grey as can happen often on older films.
What I enjoy most on Blu Ray is the sound. I know the picture is what most people rave about but for me the best BD soundtracks can blow you away. So what of this one? Well for me this is where this edition really shines. It's in 7.1 DTS-HD & it really has been superbly mixed. If you have 4 speakers to the rear then most soundtracks will either pair them up to work like 2 pairs,(5.1), or use 2 as surrounds and then pair up the other 2 in mono to add depth,(6.1),. Here, using full 7.1, all 4 rear speakers are utilised seperately and to superb effect. Detail isn't sent flying around the room like it is in the other 2 7.1 films I own, ( 'Toy Story 3' & 'Hellboy II'), nonetheless the mix is opened up nicely so that when in the abbey the voices echo convincingly and at the Von Trapp home the sound of all the children running onto the landing is detailed and realistic.
Of course if you love the film then what matters most is the music and I hate to admit it but this really will blow your socks off. Singing is wonderfully detailed and just how well Julie Andrews articulates and how wide her range is are both shown to full effect. The orchestration is excellent, the sub is used throughout the musical scenes to really add low end grunt to the music but always stops short of drowning everything out in wallowing bass. In fact the balancing act of low frequency depth and articulation is handled very well.
The various instruments are easily picked out and the soundstage is deep and wide. The skill of Rogers & Hammerstein is laid bare in a soundtrack that could be used as a reference for anyone wanting to show off their surround gear.
This is a soundtrack to convince people to dump their 'packaged with the telly' surround gear & splash out on some separates. If you're using a 5.1 speaker system and you love this film then see if your amp can do 7.1 and go for that extra pair of speakers to the rear. You'll hear this like you've never heard it before!
I still can't stand the film, read some of the excellent reviews on here to get just why others love it so much, but I have to say that this edition is an outstanding example of just what Blu Ray can do when the studio puts an effort into it's releases. A much improved picture and a soundtrack that has been brought to life.
A reference standard release that can only be fully recommended.
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on 4 February 2011
As for value for money this DVD set cannot be faulted with an incredible 3 discs with two of them in the Blu ray transfer.

The second disc reproduced in Blu Ray is a short but sweet travel guide in and around Salzberb showing the main sites where the film was made.
It was a real shame that such little information or detail was provided but interestingly those familiar with the Alistair Mclean film "Where Eagles Dare" will recognise the very same castle of the Eagles being used in the background to the opening shot where Julie is enjoying the solitude of the Alpine meadowland.

The castle is right on the Austrian German border around 22miles outside Salzberg.
The Von Trapp family home as seen in the film is now an accademy of music donated by the Von Trapp family back in the 1950s.

One other aspect i found entertaining was that in the finishing credits where the family can be seen traversing the high Alpine pass to so called safety in Switzerland was actually a traverse into extreme danger.

They are not actually walking into Switzerland but Nazi Germany and according to the background information if they had continued for a while longer they would have been ever so close to Hitlers private residence "The Wolfslair" in Bergesgarden.

Now to the main reason of this review the film itself.

Compared to other well known Blu Ray transfers Zulu especially i was slightly disappointed in the overall picture quality.

Do not get me wrong it is still far superior to any Dvd offering of the film we have been used to but strangely enough something happens during the sequence where Baronesse Shrader meets Maria and the children for the first time ( where they overturn the boat etc).

Up until then the picture quality was superb but not remarkable, but suddenly the picture quality reveals the background detail that before was missing our subdued.

The scene where the Mother Abess sees Maria after she has run away from Gaiorg and the children and informs her she must return to face her problems is quite stunning full of incredible detail and crystal clear sound.

Remember both Zulu and The Sound of Music were made roughly at the same time in 1964-65 but the Blu Ray transfer of Zulu is amongst the finest ive seen with incredible detail from start to finish with prabably the last half hour of this Blu ray version of The Sound of Music of equal merit.

For a Blu Ray disc to be memorable the entire background of the film must be in vivid clarity (as in Zulu) which in the Sound of Music its not.

The Blu Ray transfer has certainly improved the overall picture to something special far better than what we have been used to but it is not stunningly perfect which is a shame when you consider the superior cinematography used to produce the original film.

Due to significant budget restraints in the early 1960s Cy Enfield and Stanley Baker had to make do with far from ideal film material but the Blu Ray transfer using the original film transcripts of Zulu are simply remarkable.

Rogers and Hammerstein were under no constraints so why then is the Blu Ray transfer of the Sound of Music a slight disappointment.

Now if the entire film was as crystal clear as from when Maria meets the Baronesse for the first time then this disc would be perfection.From that scene onwards for some reason the film quality goes off the scale with the background detail so precise that you almost want to pause the film to see what is going on in the backgound.

For the picture quality i give the film 8 out of 10 but where the film really impresses is its sound quality.

To really appreciate the magnificent sound that we have been offered here you need a decent Theatre Surround system that can utilise the DTS transfer to its maximum capabilities.

Its not the usual 5-1 surround we are given but an incredible 7-1.

The clarity of sound is simply remarkable with the birdsong and thunderstorm in the "You are 16 Going on 17" sequence quite vivid.It is so good that my current Surround Sound system which is around five years old cannot do the sound real justice and after all the with the film being a musical it really excells in this department.

The sound is so good that currently i do not think that current audio technology will better it.

If the ovearll film quality could have been nudged up a spec or two further then this 45th Anniversary Sound of Music Tripple DVd set would have been vertually perfect.

The final disc in the trilogy is the standard Dvd version of the film we have been used to before this Blu Ray became available so you can play both films and see the remarkable difference.

Now if i had not seen the almost faultless Blu Ray transfer of Zulu which is of equal age to the Sound of Music but shot on a slightly inferior film due to budget restraints then i would consider this Sound of Music Blu ray transfer to be the best ive seen.

The film quality is superb as it is to be expected but maybe i am being too critical.

Those mountains and lake in the boat scene felt slightly subdued lacking the background clarity that is on offer with Zulu but overall this Blu Ray version especially the sound will remain for some time to come the finest rendition of this film.

That price of three discs for under £10 makes it a must have purchase but unlike Zulu i was expecting better picture quality OR WAS I EXPECTING TOO MUCH?.
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on 12 March 2015
I have just got my copy of the 50th Anniversary Edition on blu ray, and very sad to report that the second blu ray disc of extras that was in the 45th Anniversary set has been ditched in this release. So the only extras disc is the new Julie Andrews Returns To Salzburg documentary.
So what are you missing out on if you buy this edition?
Blu-ray Disc 2:
o Musical Stages: Creating The Sound of Music, an All-New Interactive “Backlot Tour” with In-Depth Featurettes on the Songs, the Stage Show & Movie, the Film and Sound Restoration and the Real-Life von Trapp Family
o A City of Song — Virtual Map of Filming Locations in Salzburg, Austria
o Vintage Rodgers & Hammerstein and The Sound of Music Programs
o Screen Tests, Rare Treasures, Interviews, Photo Galleries & More!

I am really glad I have held onto my old set, I only really wanted to see the new documentary. I do not understand why the USA gets a full 5 disc set including the movie, original bonus disc, Julies returns disc, dvd version and an exclusive CD soundtrack with exclusive tracks only to that CD in the set. Apparently it has recordings from live shows from around the world.
All we get is the original movie disc and the new documentary!
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on 4 November 2015
A round of applause for Robert Wise. What a career this guy had, starting out with RKO in the 1930s and finishing in the year 2000. Along the way he directed this landmark musical, another landmark musical (West Side Story), one of the great mid-century horror movies (Scorsese favourite The Haunting), allegorical sci-fi (The Day the Earth Stood Still), hard sci-fi (The Andromeda Strain), and epic sci-fi (Star Trek: The Motion Picture). Oh yeah, and he edited Citizen Kane to boot.

The year is 1938. Maria (Julie Andrews) is sent from the abbey to become the governess at the Von Trapp mansion. The Captain (Christopher Plummer, full of the charm and menace that Michael Fassbender might these days display) is struggling to cope with his seven kids, following the death of their mother. The Captain commands the children with military precision. Maria, however, immediately puts aside adult things and reminds the family of the joy of play. Meanwhile, the shadow of Nazism is crawling across the land, its vile purity threatening to destroy their... well, nice purity.

You know all the songs from Rogers’ & Hammerstein’s musical, even if you’ve avoided the film for the past six decades. It’s as comfortingly dated and surprisingly dark as ever. By “dark” I’m not talking about anything gothic or brooding – but nor is Maria a mere manic pixie girl. She is life, she is love, but as the nuns point out early on, she’s a complex character, full of contradictions. She wishes to love but also she seeks love. Andrews’ performance is very external but also very subtle: when she’s pushed out of the household by the cruel Baroness (Eleanor Parker), the sense of bereftness isn’t in a song, it’s in Maria’s eyes.

The Sound of Music is a film about, amongst other things, light and darkness and the power of positivity. And it dares to make a grey area of what positive forces actually are. Love, for example, isn’t presented as some divine power that transcends all boundaries: indeed, it is love that almost forces Maria away for good; and it is Liesl’s (Charmian Carr) love that almost destroys her family. Faith, too, is not enough – indeed, the one time we see her praying Maria is irreverent.

But what is never in doubt is the power of goodness; of good intentions. This is the compact between the Von Trapps and their new mother, and regardless of the machinations of state, they’ll always have each other. The Captain makes an impassioned appeal to the people of Austria to feel that togetherness – but, as the Von Trapps march lonely over the mountains, we’re left with a slightly sad feeling that what’s being annihilated through the Holocaust is the possibility of a love universal.

A perfect musical? As close as. The sinisterly saintly children will at times test even the cutest of viewers. Edelweiss, for all its repeated relevance, is a bit of a dud. And the tempestuous Climb Ev’ry Mountain is inertly staged. But I’m nitpicking. This is pure cinema: vast, dramatic, humorous, complex, and beautifully staged and choreographed. And it sounds just swell. You can glimpse the highlights in the trailer but there’s no substitute for watching Andrews stride into the hills and blast the clouds away. It’s enough to make you feel alive.
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on 27 October 2011
Of course with this film being a regular stalwart of Christmas telly, I avoided it for decades until a few years back. I must confess I've always had a bit of a soft spot for musicals, and after at last gritting my teeth to watch it, I was pleasantly surprised. I can't say however that I'm still a great big fan of it. On DVD I watched it once, although that doesn't mean it isn't good or even excellent. Just that once is probably enough for this kind of filmic experience... However, with the advent of Blu-Ray, I thought I'd give it a go again in Hi-Def. However, what a great disappointment it was. And one word describe's THAT great disappointment. GRAIN..!!! When the 'Hill's Are Alive,' I expected a marvellously clear blue sky. Instead of which the sky is just full of speckles! Therefore, shame on those who executed such a shoddy transfer of an acknowledged classic. You would've thought that touting the 45th Anniversary, a greater care and consideration would've been given to actually delivering a Hi-Def pristine clear picture worthy of such a movie. But alas no... It says on the cover a Blu-Ray copy for you to try. Well considering this attempt, those with SD might well be forgiven into thinking that all HD does is just too highlight the speckles and grain of a picture, when in truth this is exactly what it shouldn't do! THerefore 5 stars for the movie. But only 1 star I'm afraid for the witless and careless transfer!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 December 2016
I’ve had the dvd for years but only played it once. Virtually unplayable on a projection screen. Now this 50th Anniversary blu ray is made for my 10ft projection screen. Perfect picture: rich, vivid colours and excellent sharpness. Only the soundtrack lets it down a little. No real centre speaker dialogue and even full volume could do with more umph, except for the very loud wedding scene.

But enough of the technicalities of this three hour musical (Intermission Entracte at 1h 42m for 3m). The stars are Rodgers and Hammerstein. With Ernest Lehman’s screenplay well balanced between drama and humour. Robert Wise’s direction keeps the whole thing moving. Superb ideas for the seeing of the songs. The songs, the poetry and the melodies.

I’ve often imagined Messrs Lennon and McCartney having seen an early stage production and each vowing to write a song with a one word, three syllable title as good as my favourite song in the movie: Edelweiss. McCartney would get there with Yesterday whilst John Lennon would leave The Beatles for Imagine to really echo the love and the politics of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s rallying call. Who knows, maybe You Are Sixteen Going on Seventeen became She Was Just Seventeen?

But I digress. I wonder how many ladies out there who love this film see it as the coming together of two Individuals? Two rebellious souls in there own way. How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? The problem of Maria. How many understand the movie as a rendition of the message that you should always try to find the life you were born to live? A nineteen sixties movie. Free will for the creative spirit. Escaping the cruelties of fascism. Being dictated to.

I had a massive tingle around my shoulders as the title song crept in. They were happier times than now. Before Our Favourite Things became the latest gadget. We lost each other in the struggle to get on.
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