20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
50 years ago today -- March 2, 1965 -- The Sound of Music hit theaters in the United States. In honor of the iconic film's anniversary, we take a look behind the scenes of one of our favorite movies to share some things you may not have known.
1. While singing "I Have Confidence," Julie Andrews accidentally tripped in the Von Trapp courtyard.
Director Robert Wise felt it added a much needed nervousness to the song and the character, so he decided to use it in the film.
2. Julie Andrews sang "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" to the Von Trapp children between filming.
Since Mary Poppins hadn't been released yet, the kids all thought she made it up just for them.
3. Maria never uses the Captain's first name, Georg.
She calls him only Captain, Sir, or Darling.
4. Christopher Plummer traveled to the Salzburg mountains to meet Captain's nephew and learn more about the character.
Since very little information was available about Captain Von Trapp for Plummer, he and his interpreter met with Captain's nephew to learn a bit about him. The nephew described the real man as the most boring man he'd ever met.
5. The day after the von Trapp family escaped Austria, Hitler ordered the borders shut.
6. They also took a train station to Italy and safety; they didn't hike over a mountain.
Salzburg is much closer to Austria's border with Germany, and neither Italy nor Switzerland are within walking distance.
7. If they had hiked over a mountain, they'd find themselves near Hitler's mountain retreat in Germany.
8. Charmian Carr (Liesl) has admitted she was attracted to Christopher Plummer, who played her father.
Despite the 13 year age difference, Plummer admits that the feeling was mutual. He insists it never evolved beyond flirtation.
9. Director Robert Wise didn't get along with the real Maria von Trapp when she came to the set.
He called her "bossy."
10. In the original play, ideological differences drive the Captain and the Baroness apart.
She wouldn't stand up to the Nazis, and he refused to compromise with them.
11. Grace Kelly had been considered for the part of the Baroness, but was a bit too busy, you know, being a princess.
12. The gazebo scene with Maria and the Captain was made a silhouette to hide the uncontrollable laughter of Julie Andrews.
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
According to Andrews, a lighting device kept making a certain "raspberry" noise every time she leaned in to kiss Plummer. After more than 20 takes, the scene was changed to a silhouette to make her laughter less noticeable.
13. The real Von Trapp children weren't pleased with how stern their father was portrayed.
Maria Von Trapp had asked Wise to soften the character a bit, but the director refused.
14. Kurt's high note in "So Long, Farewell" is actually sung by Liesl's real life younger sister.
The note was out of Duane Chase's range, so Charmian Carr's sister, Darlene, sang it instead.
15. Mia Farrow auditioned for the role of Liesl.
Liza Minnelli and Sharon Tate were also among those who tested for the part.
16. Christopher Plummer admits he was drunk when they filmed the music festival sequence.
17. The movie is one of only four films to win both the Tony Award for Best Musical/Play and the Oscar for Best Picture.
The others are My Fair Lady, A Man For All Seasons, and Amadeus.
18. Charmian Carr (Liesl) danced through "Sixteen Going On Seventeen" on an injured ankle.
During the first take of this scene, Carr slipped while leaping from a bench and fell through glass. She wasn't badly hurt, but her ankle was injured and needed to be wrapped for the scene.
19. Even though nobody had seen how she would perform on screen yet, Julie Andrews was always director Robert Wise's first choice.
20. Yet she almost turned down the part, fearing it was too similar to Mary Poppins.
21. The actress who played Marta, Debbie Turner, kept losing teeth during filming.
They had to be replaced with false teeth.
22. The children kept growing during filming, so lots of heel lifts and camera tricks were needed for height continuity.
Louisa (Heather Menzies-Urich) started production three inches taller than Friedrich (Nicholas Hammond); he had to wear lifts. By the end of filming, he'd grown six inches. Liesl (Charmian Carr) had to stand on a box while Friedrich didn't wear shoes to help keep their heights consistent.
23. Nicholas Hammond had to endure a bunch of painful bleachings to turn brown hair blond for the film.
24. Christopher Plummer disliked filming so very much that he referred to the movie as "The Sound of Mucus."
25. Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, and Veronica Cartwright were among those who auditioned for roles as von Trapp children.
As did the four oldest Osmond brothers: Alan, Jay, Merrill, and Wayne.
26. The gazebo's interior scenes were shot in Los Angeles.
The inside of the actual gazebo was too small to accommodate the dance numbers.
27. The gazebo can still be seen in Salzburg, but only from the outside.
Visitors were too frequently attempting to dance along the benches and injuring themselves, so the interior is now off limits.
28. Julie Andrews learned to play guitar specifically for this role.
29. Christopher Plummer also learned to play guitar for the role...but his playing was dubbed.
30. Christopher Plummer asked for "Edelweiss" to be replaced.
He thought the song was trite and "schmaltzy" and asked for it to be written out. Screenwriter Ernest Lehman refused.
31. There was nobody at the altar to officiate the wedding during filming because someone forgot to wake the actor.
32. Julie Andrews has also claimed that the actual bishop of Salzburg can be spotted in the wedding scene.
33. It's not really Kym Karath (Gretl) on Captain's shoulders in the final shot as they climb the mountains to safety.
Karath had gained a bit of weight while filming in Austria, and evidently Christopher Plummer found her too heavy to carry on his back. He requested a stunt double.
34. Which is funny, since Plummer's weight gain required his costumes to be refitted for his extra mass.
He admitted he ate and drank in Austria in order to better cope with the unhappiness he felt from filming.
35. The movie features a rare onscreen performance by famed ghost singer Marni Nixon.
She played Sister Sophia. Nixon, who had previously done the vocals for Natalie Wood in West Side Story, Deborah Kerr in The King and I, and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. Since Julie Andrews played Eliza Doolittle in the Broadway version but was passed over in favor of Hepburn for the film, producers were nervous to learn how she would react to Nixon's casting. Andrews approached her and exclaimed, "Marni, I'm a fan of you!"
36. Christopher Plummer has said working with Julie Andrews is like "being hit over the head with a big Valentine's Day card."
37. Julie Andrews kept getting knocked over from the helicopter's wind.
Though that iconic spin looks warm and sunny, Andrews only remembers how cold she was as she repeatedly ran across the mountain with the ferocious winds of the chopper above. She tried digging her feet into the ground without luck.
38. Director Robert Wise climbed a nearby tree in order to film that first musical number; he wanted to be able to watch the helicopter filming without getting in the shot himself.
39. Sean Connery and Richard Burton were both considered to play Captain.
40. The real Maria von Trapp makes a cameo.
In the "I Have Confidence" scene, as Julie Andrews walks beneath a brick archway, the real Maria can be seen behind her, dressed as a peasant.
41. Heinrich Himmler, famed Nazi, took over the von Trapp house after they escaped. Adolf Hitler visited him there more than once.
42. Kym Karath (Gretl) couldn't swim, so Julie Andrews was responsible for catching her when they fall out of the boat and into the water.
On the second take, the boat tipped in a way that sent Andrews flying one way and Karath falling out the other side. Heather Menzies-Urich (Louisa) was tasked with saving her instead, which Andrews was haunted by.
43. Subsequently, Karath threw up all over Menzies-Urich after swallowing too much water.
44. The cast had to be continually hosed down in order to maintain a soaking wet look after falling into the water.
45. Liesl may have been 16 going on 17, but she was actually older than Rolfe.
Charmian Carr was 22 at the time she sang that song; Daniel Truhitte, who played Rolfe, is ten months younger than she is. Now who's older and wiser?
46. Shirley Jones, Anne Bancroft, and Doris Day were all considered for the part of Maria.
47. Robert Wise initially turned down the opportunity to direct the picture.
Stanley Donen, Vincent Donohue, Gene Kelly, and George Roy Hill were also approached and said no.
48. Mary Martin, wife of the producer of the original Broadway show and the first woman to play Maria made nearly $8,000,000 from the film.
While Julie Andrews earned just $225,000.
49. According to British tabloid The Sun, it's one of the films chosen to show after a nuclear strike to improve morale.
Though this is unconfirmed by the BBC who declared it a security issue.
50. Peggy Wood (Mother Abbess) had a hard time lip-syncing along to "Climb Ev'ry Mountain."
She struggled to perfectly match the first word of the song, so director Robert Wise had her face away from camera when she began singing. When she looked at camera, she had caught up with the song enough to perfectly pass. The effect of her staring out the window in the beginning added a mystical element to the song and fit in better than originally planned.
British electronic dance stars Disclosure have shut down allegations they used stolen lyrics in their hit collaborations with artists including Sam Smith and Eliza Doolittle. The duo hit headlines over the weekend (17-18Jan15) after professional songwriter Katie Farrah Sopher filed suit, claiming an ex-boyfriend stole her songbook and sold it to his music industry contacts.
She alleged the lyrics from her notes have since appeared in a number of Disclosure tracks - their AlunaGeorge tunes Attracting Flies and White Noise, You And Me with Doolittle, and Latch, their smash hit with Smith - and she is seeking more than $320,000 (£200,000) in damages.
However, Disclosure have now blasted the accusations in a lengthy post on Facebook.com.
The statement, issued on Wednesday (21Jan15), reads: "Firstly we want to make it very clear that every Disclosure song we have put our names to has been written by us. We sometimes write lyrics and melodies along-side whoever the featured singer may be (i.e. Sam, Eliza etc) and the great Mr. Jimmy Napes, but that is it.
"When we do, we always make sure everyone gets proper credit. We take great pride in our self sufficiency, our work and the way we work, and it's incredibly frustrating when someone tries to take that away from us, by claiming we stole even one word or one note of our music from anyone.
"We'd much rather be working on more music than commenting on these type of things, but it felt like we had no choice...
"So, just to be clear, all allegations made against us to do with this subject are completely false, as anyone we have ever worked with will back up. We didn't get into this industry to steal other people's ideas and we haven't - we are musicians, artists and producers."
A professional songwriter is suing pop stars Sam Smith and Eliza Doolittle, alleging they used her lyrics in their chart hits. Katie Farrah Sopher claims an ex-boyfriend stole her songbook and sold it on to music industry contacts, and the words have since been used in tracks featuring Smith and Doolittle.
She alleges three hits by British electronic duo Disclosure, including Latch which featured Smith on vocals and You & Me, with Doolittle, contain her lyrics.
She is also suing dance duo AlunaGeorge for their contribution to Disclosure's White Noise.
In documents obtained by British newspaper The Mail on Sunday, Sopher is seeking more than $320,000 (£200,000) in damages.
British pop stars Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen and Eliza Doolittle are among the celebrities who are donating items to an online auction to raise money for charity. Sing hitmaker Sheeran has donated a variety of American Apparel, Fenchurch and Puma T-shirts, Smile singer Allen has given away a selection of her designer dresses, including a strapless Stella McCartney frock, and Doolittle has handed over a pair of her signature Nike high-top trainers.
The items will be available on the TAGS-ON.com website, where they will be auctioned from 24 November until 30 November (14).
The money raised by Sheeran's clothes will go to a U.K. children's hospice and a homeless charity, Allen has picked War Child as her benefactor, and Doolittle is supporting Oxfam.
Model Daisy Lowe and singer Beverley Knight are also donating to the fundraising drive.
Oxfam released a special music video on Wednesday (05Nov14) featuring 18,000 concert goers from seven U.K. festivals this summer (14), including stars such as Simon Pegg, Eliza Doolittle and Foals. The track, Make a Song and Dance About Poverty, is aimed a raising awareness of global issues.
Hugh Jackman, Samuel L. Jackson and David and Victoria Beckham were among the celebrities who witnessed tennis champ Novak Djokovic defeat Roger Federer to win Britain's Wimbledon Men's title on Sunday (06Jul14). Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Thor star Chris Hemsworth, Orlando Bloom, Kate Beckinsale and director Guy Ritchie were also in the stands at Centre Court as the Serbian sportsman emerged victorious after an epic five-set match, narrowly beating Federer 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 to claim his second Wimbledon trophy.
Jackman shared a Twitter.com photo of himself and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness at the London venue and later congratulated Djokovic on his seventh Grand Slam title, writing, "One of the greatest matches of all time @Wimbledon. Well done @rogerfederer. Superb win and huge congratulations @DjokerNole."
He also uploaded a photo of Djokovic hugging his mentor, former tennis icon Boris Becker, after the match and added, "Epic moment for djokernole, Becker and their entire team. What a day @Wimbledon. One I will never forget."
Other stars watching the game on TV also shared their thoughts online, with British comedian Stephen Fry writing, "How magnificently graceful both players were in defeat and victory. Hurrah for that", and actor John Leguizamo tweeting, "Sorry #federer u (sic) gave it your all my friend! Great game!"
Meanwhile, One Direction singer Liam Payne added, "Congratulations @DjokerNole heard it was a great game can't wait to watch it back have a drunk (drink) on me".
Actresses Kate Walsh and Brooklyn Decker, singer Eliza Doolittle and Bridesmaids star Chris O'Dowd were also among the celebrities tweeting about the championship finals on Sunday.
Angelina Jolie's London summit to end rape in war zones has won the support of stars including Thandie Newton, Kathleen Turner, model Cara Delevingne, and even Catholic leader Pope Francis.
The Hollywood actress launched the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in the British capital on Tuesday (10Jun14) and the event's slogan #timetoact has sparked a social networking frenzy. The phrase has become a trending topic on Twitter.com as more and more stars post pictures of themselves holding a sign bearing the words.
Newton, Turner and Delevingne have all joined in, with the model backing Jolie in a tweet, writing, "Yes Angie! #timetoact #stoptorture". Others who have backed the drive include Harry Potter actress Bonnie Wright, fashion designers Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood, singers Paloma Faith, Mollie King and Eliza Doolittle, and Pope Francis.
The head of the Catholic Church writes on Twitter, "Let us pray for all victims of sexual violence in conflict, and those working to end this crime. #TimeToAct."
British singer/songwriter Eliza Doolittle has confirmed romance rumours suggesting she's dating property tycoon Nick Leslau's son. The Skinny Genes hitmaker was spotted shopping with Jake Leslau last week (ends23May14) and now she reveals the music manager is her "lover".
She tells The Sun on Sunday, "It's a summer fling that will hopefully last for a long time."
Doolittle admits she was keen to keep the identity of her new beau under wraps for as long as possible.
She previously dated Good Charlotte star Benji Madden.
Hollywood beauty Cameron Diaz has sparked rumours she is in a romance with Good Charlotte rocker Benji Madden. The pair sent gossips into a spin after they were spotted spending the day together in Beverly Hills on Saturday (17May14).
They were later seen leaving the gym together and being driven away in Diaz's car. New reports in the U.S. now suggest Diaz and Madden have been dating for several weeks after being introduced by Madden's sister-in-law Nicole Richie.
Diaz has previously dated Jared Leto, Justin Timberlake and baseball star Alex Rodriguez, while Madden has been linked to Carmen Electra, Sophie Monk and British singer Eliza Doolittle.
Prepare to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but one of eyes... crazy eyes. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Years Zone! Sometime after destroying all the other housewives from Season 1, Ramona Singer a.k.a. Eyelander, must have absorbed too much power and entered into an alternate dimension. In this world, despite making Eliza Doolittle sounding refined, Ramona is insanely wealthy and above it all. Even though she spent last season’s girls' trip acting like a child with Sonja Morgan, her getting splashed with water warrants a first-degree assault charge. Compared to the gals of RHONY 1.0 Ramona was spunky and delightful. However, compared to actual Manhattan socialites and business women she seems like a boozy old broad.
Sexless in the City
Carole Radziwill seems to be fallen asleep after marathon watching Sex and the City and is dreaming about being Carrie Bradshaw. She’s a successful writer and journalist so why not bemoan her dead end love life? She heads to her totally awesome Los Angeles apartment and invites her girls... they’re literally girls, much younger than she is. They dish about her book and failed love life. Is this a pitch for a spin-off? She plays a voicemail from a guy who cancels a date because he’s entered a relationship. Is she on Match.com? This seems like a typical OkCupid experience. Carole Radziwill, just like us. Later, she and Kristen Taekman meet with Richard Easton, the creepiest looking matchmaker in all the land. He may be able to guarantee you a marriage proposal from a wealthy man, but it will cost you a newborn babe or something more powerful the crazy eyes of an Eyelander. If Carole goes missing this footage may be subpoenaed.
Sonja Morgan Presents: Nothing
The show’s resident Samantha, Sonja Morgan, stops by to talk to Josh Taekman about business. She spouts out the entire contents of her America Online inbox including a great opportunity with a Nigerian prince. He tries to get her to focus, hire a team, and establish a business plan with priorities. Instead she just wants to say buzzwords. Later, Sonja joins LuAnn desperate Lesseps and Ramona for anti-gravity yoga. They all try in vain… to look young and hip.
Guess Who’s Ruining Dinner
Ramona stops by Heather Thomson’s couples dinner an uninvited guest, her gay pet Shane Stevens. Way to set the gay community back by treating a him like some accessory, and worse yet, breaking the rules of fine dining. Did I miss something? When did Ramona become the Queen of Manhattan? With her thick accent, new wealth, and husband allegedly cheating on her, she belongs in New Jersey. Fabellini! Heather invites everyone to dinner because the girls are all taking a trip. Ramona acts smug about the fact the girls are going to the Berkshires because no celebrities she knows go there. Clearly Ramona is in an alternate universe where she thinks she’s Meryl Streep. But the joke is on her: in a Twilight Zone twist, she’s the only one who thinks that. The reason Aviva Drescher is not in this episode is because this is all in a dream. She’ll wake up in a world where Ramona is married to George Clooney… and he’s cheating on her, too.
Malice’s Adventures in the Berkshires
The ladies set sail, via SUV, to Heather’s house in the Berkshires. It’s a beautiful, ultra-modern vacation home. It’s also very large for a summer house with great furniture and a ton of land. Meanwhile, Ramona calls it the garage. Heather has the patience of a saint because Ramona is irritating, tacky, and rude. Doesn’t Ramona know Heather assassinated Biggy Smalls for insulting her Spanx? She also has the nerve to order air conditioning to Heather’s home. Calling producers and making it a big production is a little too much. After all, she’s not NeNe Leakes or Lisa Vanderpump.
Malice: Threw the Drinking Glass
The ladies decide to go for a dip in the pond. Ramona is shocked that they’ll have to carry their own canoes. Has no one met Heather? She’s low maintenance. It is funny seeing these batty old broads trying to navigate doing things for themselves. While on the canoe, Ramona starts drinking and complaining. She complains about Josh commenting on Sonja’s businesses at the couple’s dinner. This is after she mentions that Carole and Sonja were not invited because they have no one in their lives. Kristen hears what they’re saying and innocently splashes Ramona. Ramona flings a glass in her face and tries to hit her with an oar. To add insult to injury she storms off and leaves a bleeding Kristen without apologizing. Ramona is starting to make LuAnn look like a vital part of the show and maybe she needs to go the way of Jill Zarin.
Real Houselines of New York City
"You’re f**king bananas." – Josh Taekman about Sonja’s businesses
"Ramona forgets the one thing that’s crucial... the phone call. Phone call: I’m not coming to your anniversary party. Phone call: I’m bringing a random person to your couple’s dinner party." – Heather to Ramona and her uninvited guest
"She’s afraid they’re gonna take it before she gets back." – LuAnn on why Sonja never leaves her townhouse
"I’m willing to try anything once… including anal. No don’t put that in!" – Carole
"To be honest, I could do without Ramona today. But at least I have someone who’s going to look as dumb as me." – Sonja
"My house is cool, my house is not tacky not like some people’s." – Heather to Ramona
"Ramona is the oldest after all. And you know what they say about menopoause: Old people do like to stay cool in the summer." – Heather
"You guys are f**king crazy. I’m out of here." – Carole before jumping off the boat