The Sound of Musicin Comparison to the First Films
The sound of music (1965) film was an exceptional production by the fox studios at the time. It was based on the baroness Maria von Trapp autobiography (the von Trapp family singers) about the exploits if the family and their 1938 escape from the Nazis in Austria. The award winning Julie Andrews of the Mary Poppins (1964) film was the star of this movie too. It got many nominations along the way such as: best director and picture, Robert wise, best sound and screen, Irwin Kost, best supporting actress Peggy wood and many others.
Just like most films of the Weimar era of the Nazi, it was based on story telling. Most of the films of the time took a leaf from the model expressed by the great German film directors. Story telling was the most compelling factor to use so as to get the targeted audience at the time. In this way, The Sound Of Music (1965) followed the trend of most German films such as The Laugh (1924) Murnai, and the French cinema’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928).
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During the early cinematography times, uniform was one of the most highly recognizable items in many European countries. For example in The Last Laugh, Emile Janning a porter at the posh hotel impressed his neighbors because of his uniform. He unfortunately was demoted to a lavatory attendant due to age and stripped of his uniform which was emotionally demoralizing. Similarly Captain von Trapp has the same respect and pride for the uniform. He had his whole family fully dressed as a rule. The concept of pride and respect in uniforms in Europe is thus transferred to The Sound of Music too; the nuns at the abbey, the captain’s children and the Nazi soldiers.
The sound of music was also a great reflection of Freitz Lang’s remarkable creativity in production of films which he used to restore humanitarian sense to the people. The Nazi creation as reflected in this movie was the just similar to Lang’s way of production and writing. In the sound of music, the producer Robert Wisei tried to bring relaxation and harmony back to the screens of the Austrians in this fashion. In this way, the Austrians were also able to realize that their patriotic sense had not been forgotten and thus relax from the thoughts of the Nazi era.
As Maria sings “the hills were alive with the sound of music”, she brings back to the screens the impact and essence of the mountain films to the actors and actress of the time. Actors like Levi Riefenstahl always felt relaxed from post phobia of the indoor studio films and thus acted in many mountain films such as The Holy Mountain (1926). similarly, the sense of scenery is greatly visible in the sound of music from the beginning; when Maria is late for her prayers while singing in the mountains, in the middle of the film the children together with Maria go to the mountains still for a picnic and they are happy and joyous learning the fundamentals of singing and the film ends with a another shot while they are making their successful escape to Switzerland through the Alps while the song “climb ev’ry mountain” is playing.
The issue of wealth and power is also capitalized on in this movie. It used to be the same ordeal in the olden movies such as, Nosferatu. Ellen gave his wife to Nosferatu so as to conquer him. In the sound of music, the baroness’s wish to marry the captain was simply about the wealth and power as evidenced in her chat with Max after their return from Vienna.
The power of the women is also similarly utilized in both the sound of music and the olden movies, especially in terms of love and the peace it brings to the minds. Ellen’s wife in Nosferatu was able to conquer the vampire and bring peace back to the streets of Bremen while in an almost similar situation; Maria was able to conquer the stone hearted captain with her love for him and brought back the joyous moments to the family of the Von Trapps.
The movie is also socially compelling to people especially those who witnessed the Nazi era. It brings back the memories but with the musical accompaniment it contains and the happy ending of the successful escape, it depicts the Austrians as triumphant and also encompasses the same trait of having endings on a good note like it was in the olden movies.
The sound of music movie also shows erosion in the trust the people had in the government. Captain von Trapp could not accept the rule of the Nazi and at the same time he couldn’t stand to face the ruthless impact it would have on him and his family. His peace was ripped away from him and he couldn’t visualize the positive progress of the nation thus refusal to work with the Nazi and his advice to Rolf the young boy to leave the government while still young and go with him. He encouraged for patriotism among his fellow Austrians through the song “Edelweiss” which is the national flower of the Austrians. He was pressing for a sense of mob mentality and mass culture. This was the same case in Freitz Lang’s “M” film.
Conclusively, The Sound Of Music (1965) has a great similarity to the production techniques of the early films. Its expressionism ability keeps the minds of the viewers alert and with great expectation of how the ending has to be. The musical sound cuts across all edges very well to mediate between the motion of the pictures and the audience as was always done in the improvement progress of the old movies especially by the German Freitz Lang. It also brings the idea of attracting the audience attention through story telling. The concerns about the government authority and peace for the people, is also represented in the movie. Hence it was an improved modern version to the first films and this made it one of the most successful films of the time.