Sunday, January 2, 2011
Julie Andrews and the Sound of Music.
There was a news item last week in the print media about Julie Andrews, the famous actress of the 1965 film 'SOUND OF MUSIC' and the actress who had won several awards including the Academy Award, Grammy award, Golden Globe, Emmy, Laurel, Tony Award etc.etc., being presented with yet another Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement coinciding with her reaching 75 years of age.
Memories went back to the middle of the 60s when the film SOUND OF MUSIC was released at Calicut at the Crown Theatre. With the publicity build up in the news papers and film magazines and the rave reviews the film was enjoying, the release of the film was an event in itself in the city especially among the youngsters. The film was based on the highly successful Broadway musical production named Sound of Music (1959) which was again based on the book,' Maria von Trapp,Story of the Trapp Family Singers' (Authors: Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse). The film Sound of Music had Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in the lead roles of Maria and Captain Georg Von Trapp respectively.The story revolves around Maria joining the Von Trapp family to look after the family children and later marrying the Captain and finally helping them to escape from being captured by the Nazis. The picture ends,if I remember correctly, showing the Captain, Maria and the family climbing the Alps to reach Swirzerland.
The 20th Century Fox picture, produced in 'TODD-AO* COLOR BY DE LUXE', was such a sensation among the public that it was shown for several weeks in the theatre . The major attraction of the film was the songs and the music by Richard Rodgers which were very popular and the music record(in Stereo)of the film was in great demand. The picture of Julie Andrews swinging the box of guitar and hand bag and playing with the Trapp family children was seen every where on the city walls and newspapers . The picture was there on the front cover of the dust jacket of the record. The back cover gave the full details of the cast and credits of the film. The impact of Julie Andrews gelling with the songs of the film made the name Julie Andrews synonymous with the sound of music!
That also brings to my mind the highly successful Broadway production, viz., MY FAIR LADY, based on Bernard Shaw's PIGMALION, in which Julie Andrews gave an outstanding performance. I have a record of the highly popular music though it is not the original sound track but an instrumental version by Percy Faith. When the play was made into a film in the same name, My Fair Lady, actor Rex Harrisson was retained as the hero but Audrey Hepburn was chosen to play the role of the heroine, Miss Doolittle, so memorably enacted by Julie Andrews for the Broadway music,