Ever found yourself on a beautiful grassy hill with the urge to throw your hands into the air and belt out, “The hills are alive…with the sound of music?” As music lovers—who happen to be particularly fond of filling beautiful green open spaces with melodious sounds—we’ve experienced this feeling many times.
50 years ago today—March 2, 1965—the one and only Julie Andrews sang her way into people’s hearts across the nation with the U.S. premiere of the Academy Award-winning film, The Sound of Music.
Interestingly enough, some early critics did not foresee a bright future for The Sound of Music, dismissing it as a “corny” and “artificial” movie, filled with “romantic nonsense.” However, the film’s record-breaking success quickly suggested otherwise. Within four weeks, The Sound of Music had become the number one box office hit in the country, eventually becoming the highest grossing film on record—a position it held until the re-issue of Gone with the Wind in August 1966. Within a few months, The Sound of Music opened overseas, as the first movie ever to be entirely dubbed in a foreign language.
Why do we still love this film today? Set in Austria on the eve of WWII, this iconic movie gives viewers a feel-good glimpse into a painful moment in history. The film’s subtle social commentary is presented to viewers with light-hearted humor, a bit of romance and, of course, a collection of timeless songs written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II that still bring audiences to their feet (as Lady Gaga’s recent tribute performance at the Oscars demonstrated).
The Sound of Music’s title song, “The Hills Are Alive” strikes a chord with us here at Levitt Pavilions. Time and again we’ve seen how music has the power to bring life to individuals, communities and public spaces—hills included.
In honor of this special day, we thought we’d mention just a few of our favorite things…
*To be sung to the melody of the movie’s “My Favorite Things:”
“Bringing free music to my city and yours
Moving and grooving, ovations and encores
Picnics with laughter, and hip hop with strings
These are a few of our favorite things!”
Here’s to enjoying the classic tunes from The Sound of Music for years to come!