on 7 April 2006
This DVD is exactly what it says it is. It's the full version of Sound of Music on a single DVD. There are precious few of the usual DVD baggage extras that you will find on the 2 Disc version.
If you are buying this because you love the songs/music then there are 2 special features that you will love.
1. There is an option to just play the songs and that is exactly what it says it is. The DVD runs throught all the songs in the order that they are one the film, or you can just select your favourites from the list.
2. The sing along option, which is just like the one above, but with (for want of a better phrase) subtitles so you can sing along.
If you don't select the sing along mode in the main menu of the DVD then it simply plays the film for you!
This is the edition that you want if you love the music and don't want to watch tedious "The making of..." documentaries on disc 2 that you would probably never watch.
My wife and daughter love it!!!
The Sound of Music needs no introduction but this 40th anniversary DVD might do. If you are like me and you probably own quite a few DVDs and videos of the Sound of Music, the obvious question will be `why should I buy this new version?' Well this new version has been digitally remastered for starters and has 2 discs packed with special features. The 1st disc is introduced by Julie Andrews and contains the movie which can be viewed with or without sing-along subtitles, then it has as special features which include feature commentary by the director Robert Wise, feature commentary by Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Charmian Carr, Dee Dee Wood and Johannes von Trapp and songs only chapter list i.e if you want to listen to any of the songs you can just click on that song from the chapter list and voila it plays without having to forward or rewind the movie to find the song. The second disc is even more awesome. Once again introduced by Julie Andrews, introducing all the special features which includes: My favourite things -Julie Andrews remembers in which she recalls her fond memories of the making of the sound of music; there is the 40TH anniversary reunion of the 7 Von Trapp children from the movie( from Liesl to Gretel), they discuss their favourite memories and what they are all doing now; there is the moving and beautiful reminiscence by Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, also included in the special features is a 50 minute biography of the real Von Trapp family, a featurette of Charmian Carr returning to Salzburg for the 40th anniversary, a documentary on the making of the sound of music with Julie Andrews and lots more.
Last but not the least a booklet of all the songs and the lyrics for the sing-along are included in the DVD. This is a great DVD to own for all lovers and fans of the Sound of Music.
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?
As far as I am concerned there are two reasons to pick up "The Sound of Music (40th Anniversary Edition)" DVD is you already have the movie on DVD. First, the movie has been digitally restored and if you look at the examples of the restoration on Disc 2 where they the right half of the frame has been cleaned up you can see that they really got the red out (seriously; the old version does not look so much washed out as it does rather reddish to me). Consequently, the movie looks a lot better. The change is not as thrilling as when I got to first see it in the letterbox format at home on the laser disc version and realized that on pan and scan we were missing literally half the picture (my kids still remember the shot where they could finally see the massive fountain on the left half of the scren), but if you really love this movie then you want a copy of the new print because the difference is so noticeable.
Second, if the first reason is not strong enough, they have loaded up on extras for this DVD. You have a commentary track by the late director Robert Wise and another with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Charmian Carr, choreographer Dee Dee Wood, and Johannes Von Trapp (the 10th and last of the Von Trapp kinder). If you think listening to songs on the DVD is better than listening on the CD (I often find that to be the case), then you can play only the songs or play the songs with sing-a-long subtitles in three languages. I especially liked the retrospective documentary "A Few of My Favorite Things" because it talks about the way the Broadway musical was turned into a Hollywood film by shifting songs and setting them up differently (see below). The reminiscence by Andrews and Plummer is worthwhile as well and the "Biography" episode "The Von Trapp Family: Harmony and Discord" will certainly open your eyes to the "true" story behind it all.
Watching the film again and learning about how the film was created from all of the DVD extras got me thinking about why this is the most popular movie musical of all time. The first thing that works is that Robert Wise frontloads this movie big time. We begin with the wonderful descent of the camera from the clouds until it finds Maria on top of the mountain, where she bursts into the title song and makes it clear that the beautiful vistas of Austria are integral to this film (it did for Salzburg, Austria what "The Lord of the Rings" did for New Zealand). After the overture during the title credits we have the "Preludium (Dixit Dominus)," during which Wise presents us with some stunningly beautiful shots of nuns at prayer, establishing weight to the religious elements of the film. Then when we get to "Maria" the Mother Superior and the rest of the nuns strike absolutely the right tone for singing a cute song while dressed in habits. There is not a moment in this film where Peggy Wood's Mother Superior does not seem like an absolutely real person. By the time Maria runs past them and does the big double take at having been caught, the film's first big joke, Wise has already established an extremely serious tone for a movie musical.
What impresses me about this film is that if you take out the songs I think it still works as a drama and the only reason Julie Andrews did not win an Oscar for the best thing she ever did on film was that she had won the year before for playing the title role in the Dick Van Dyke film "Mary Poppins" (you have to be Katharine Hepburn not to overcome this sort of liability). The only musical number that is in danger of going too far is the new "I Have Confidence," but that is because Andrews plays it as bluster on Maria's part (e.g., the stumble on the last run). Once we get past the opening of the movie where Wise so beautifully sets the stage for the film, the person who deserves a lot of the credit is screenwriter Ernest Lehman. Pay attention to how he sets up the songs so that the seque from dialogue to singing is more naturalistic ("My Favorite Things" is a prime example of this in the film). Lehman's script also turned the Captain into a more of a fully developed human being than the martinet of the Broadway version.
Of course, if you have seen the show performed on stage you know that some of the songs have been put in different contexts. For example, "My Favorite Things" was originally sung by Maria and the Mother Superior on stage and now becomes the song Maria sings with the kids to establish a report with them instead of "Do Re Mi." That, of course, becomes the show piece of the film as Maria and the children tour Salzburg and the countryside singing, which gets us back to the wonderful scenery that Wise highlights from the opening moment of the film. There are few Broadway musicals that have been transformed rather than ending up being merely translated when they are brought to the screen. Some take advantage of more locations (e.g., "Camelot," "Evita"), but all things considered no musical has been upgraded on the big screen as much as "The Sound of Music," which is why it remains on the top of the mountain forty years down the road.
on 10 November 2010
The film looks just beautiful,this Blu-ray edition is simply the best the film has ever looked on disc. For the Blu-ray the makers went back to the original negative, which was too damaged to use previously, using new restoration techniques. The detail in the picture is just amazing, it's a whole new experience. The sound restoration is remarkable, it's deep and rich and full. Fox have really gone to town with the extras not only do we get all the extras from previous editions but a host of new and rare items to make an astonishing collection. This is one of the best Blu-ray editions yet of any film.
The Sound of Music has always been a superlative film. Every aspect of the film works. The locations, the music, the script the direction and the acting all came together at just the right time to create this film. The jewel in the crown is Julie Andrews, one of the greatest musical performances ever.
A magnificent film presented in a breathtaking edition.
on 9 August 2004
I grew up with this film, so it was inevitable that I would buy it on DVD, and it doesn't dissapoint. The picture quality is superb, the sound even better, and you can always make your own kareoke version by putting the subtitles on!
I never knew that there was an intermission in the film - with all the advert breaks on the tv version I suppose you wouldn't have to, but the DVD includes this, and extended scenes of the Austrian scenery, making you believe that you are truly there, with the VonTrap family as they fight off repression from the Nazi's.
If like me you watched this film as a child, I suggest you get the DVD, not only will it bring back memories of singing in front of the tele regardless of who was there, but it will also recreate the magic that is somewhat lacking from films today. A classic of all time.
on 26 May 2009
Exactly what it says on the box. My daughter loves this movie (I suspect only for the singing and dancing), that's why it's fantastic when you can play just the songs one after the other. As she is 3 there are alot of questions when there is only dialogue. Highly recommended.
on 23 January 2011
I must admit I'm not a huge Sound of Music fan, but my wife and children absolutely love it. She got this as a Christmas present and despite having watched it quite a few times on DVD, they couldn't believe quite how much extra the bluray added to the experience.
There is very little to be said about the film - a great feel-good love triumphs all romp, with the Nazis as the bad guys and Maria's angst between her calling as a nun and her love for the Von Trapp children and their father. One of the best loved and most watched films ever.
Picture Quality - this is right up there with anything else that bluray can offer. The scenery is stunning, the colours are vibrant, you can almost smell the alpine air! One part of the film centres on Maria wearing a dowdy dress - that even the poor people didn't want. We really appreciated that much more because of the detail shown up in High Definition. The film is presented in 2.20:1 format, so you still get some black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, but that is how it should be, and certainly didn't detract from the experience for us.
Audio Quality - well a film about music, with such a well recognised sound track, absolutely has to get the sound right - and it does. Again there were things audible here that never were on DVD, watch out particularly for the nuns singing in the Abbey. The dialogue is a big issue for me. I don't like muffled speech and having to change the volume, but there were no worries here because we didn't have to. The top track is a 7:1 DTS soundtrack that has really treated the source material with respect.
Extras - This film comes with a feast of extras, as befits its iconic status. We haven't looked at all of them - in fact it would take quite a while to do them justice, but the ones we have looked at were all very well done and very well presented. You could quite easily lose yourself for several hours here.
So in summary a very easy decision - no doubt at all that it deserves 5 stars.
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.
on 6 August 2006
Maria and the Von Trapp children still sound good after all these years. There can hardly be a person on the planet who either owns a television or lives within 20 miles of a cinema and who doesn't know the story of The Sound of Music. Although I haven't been a fan of musicals until quite recently, I did watch and enjoy this film when I was a child, several decades ago. It's great fun and I can quite understand its popularity. Watching it again was lovely and very nostalgic. The restoration people have made a fine job so that the picture and sound quality are excellent. The special features are a considerable bonus and there's a long list of them as you can see from Amazon's 'Product Details' section above. The item on disc 2 that I found especially interesting was the 'Biography' programme about the real Von Trapp family. The real Maria was an astonishing character and far more complicated than the film version. It seems that she had an absolutely hellish childhood and the horror of it furnished her with a couple of darker facets to her personality than might be guessed from a familiarity with the film version of Maria - which all just adds to the fascination of the Von Trapp story.
If you haven't seen the film or haven't watched it for some years, give yourself a treat: watch it and get soppy, sentimental and uplifted ... and have a bit of a sing too.