Best Picture Winners Part 38 (of 87): The Sound of Music

thesoundofmusic1965

Title: The Sound of Music
Year: 1965
Starring: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
Runtime: 2 hrs 54 mins

What It Is: Taking place during the Nazi occupation of Austria, Maria (Andrews) decides to leave a covenant and become a governess for the family of an Austrian Naval Captain named Giles Von Trapp (Plummer). It is here where the enthusiastic Maria teaches the stern seas captain how to run his house without an iron fist, while also learning to appreciating his children more. As Maria begins to teach the children the merits and singing and dancing she also begins to win the heart of Capt. Von Trapp. All the while the hand of the Third Reich inches ever closer to the Austrian border.

Memorable Quote: Maria: When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.

Competition: A one horse race. Outside of The Sound of Music this was a rather lean year in the nomination pool. Darling has Julie Christie winning the Academy Awards for Best Actress. She won it for playing the titular “darling” in this pseudo homage to the swingin’ sixties. Not a well directed film by any means, despite John Schlesinger’s nomination. Flat cinematography and uninteresting characters outside of Christie’s Diane. It does offer a few laughs despite it all. Director David Lean is simply a master of the grand scale, and Doctor Zhivago is yet another example. He is a man who can portray grandiose better then most other directors can. In this he takes Omar Sharif to a different level not seen since the last time those two collided. Working with a script based on the Nobel Prize winning novel by Boris Pasternak. It’s a winner of 5 others, but none for its acting. Ship of Fools is Stanley Kramer’s weakest film of the era. It sees a great cast work an Anne Potter novel. That’s the biggest flaw in the film though, the dialogue. It isn’t nearly as fast or quippy as other romances of the era. Vivian Leigh is okay here but Oskar Warner is the one who received the Oscar nomination. Lastly we have A Thousand Clowns which revolves around a TV writer named Murray Burns this is perhaps the weakest in a weak field that represents 1965. One has to wonder where Othello is. Normally the Academy is very friendly to the combo of Shakespeare recited by Sir Laurence Olivier, in addition the film did receive 4 acting nominations. Odd how that works out.

We’re continuing to move further through these years and  the films continue to get all the more contemporary. However 1966 takes a step back, and keeps it a little more…throwback.

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