The Sound of Music

Many critics trashed Robert Wise’s 1965 screen version of The Sound of Music, but the musical’s emotional openness and unguarded optimism honestly express the worldview of songwriters Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. In the words of theater historian Ethan Mordden, their last collaboration is a “youthful piece written by the elderly, because it is entirely about freedom, which youth always seeks and the aged feel the loss of.” The film’s sweeping aerial cinematography and Salzburg location footage and Julie Andrews’s smart, feisty performance enhance the story’s appeal, and this “sing-along” edition, outfitted with subtitles for the lyrics, affirms Rodgers and Hammerstein’s belief in the power of music to unlock the buoyancy of the human spirit.