The Hills Are Alive With Facts You Didn’t Know About “The Sound Of Music”

There are certain movies which are truly timeless. It doesn't matter when they were shot or what the subject matter was—what matters is their resonance with an audience in an intensely personal way. The Sound of Music is among the most well-known and well-remembered musical movies of all time. Julie Andrews is superb in the lead role and the Von Trapp family is loveable and interesting.

As much as we love this movie, though, we hadn't peeked behind the curtain to learn more about it. Join us and we'll share what we found with you!

1. Julie Andrews Almost Walked Away


Julie Andrews had only recently filmed Mary Poppins when The Sound of Music part was offered to her. She almost turned it down because she didn't want to be typecast as a nanny.

2. There Was A Little Drinking Going On

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The Music Festival Scene sees a particularly committed performance from Christopher Plummer—that's because he was practically falling down drunk when he filmed it. 

3. The "I Have Confidence" Fall Was Unplanned


When Maria trips as she sings "I have confidence," it was a complete accident and not scripted. It was left in because it seemed to fit the mood of the song.

4. Liesel Really Liked Her On Screen Father


Charmian Carr, who played Liesel, was 21 when they shot the film. She says that she was deeply attracted to Christopher who played her on screen father. He has said the feeling was mutual, too!

5. Christopher Hated Working With Julie


He said that appearing with Julie was like "being hit over the head with a big Valentine's Day card, every day."

That's a bad thing, apparently...

6. Laughter Killed The Mood

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When Julie kisses Christopher, she says it was through peals of laughter. There was a light fitting making a raspberry sound behind them and it was triggering fits of giggles. 

7. Julie Does Have A Favorite Song


She only plays a tiny part in it on screen, but Julie is adamant that her favorite song from The Sound of Music is "Edelweiss." 

8. The Captain Was A Dullard In Real Life


To research the part, Christopher went to Austria to meet the Captain's real life nephew. The nephew said his uncle was the most boring man in history. 


9. The Wedding Train Was Serious


That wedding train used by Maria? It was over 14 feet long! It's an absolutely fantastic dress and was the envy of brides the world over. 

10. Someone Had A Crush On Julie

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Nicholas Hammond, who was Friederich in the movie, was really taken by Julie Andrews. There are even some candid shots in the movie of him mooning at her from afar!

11. Christopher Couldn't Sing

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He did record all of his own vocals and he learned to play an instrument for the movie, but he wasn't good enough and was dubbed out of the final cut.

12. Marta Was Missing Some Teeth


Marta, played by a young Debbie Turner, kept losing her baby teeth during the shooting of the movie. Producers had to give her false teeth to replace them. 

13. Filming Was Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious


Julie Andrews was singing "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" every day on set to entertain the children. The kids thought it had been made up for them because Mary Poppins hadn't been shown at the cinema then.

14. "Edelweiss" Was Not Famous In Austria

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The song is not a traditional Austrian number—it was written for the musical. However, it was a big hit in Austria when they finally heard it. 

15. Julie Had To Learn The Guitar

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Julie had to be convinced to take the part—and as soon as she accepted, she was ordered to learn to play the guitar. And she did. 

16. 'Edelweiss' Marked The End Of An Era


Oscar Hammerstein was one of the world's greatest songwriters. Sadly, "Edelweiss" would prove to be his last song before he passed away in 1960.

17. The Von Trapps Were Hiking The Wrong Way


That beautiful shot of the Von Trapps hiking over the mountains at the end of the movie? If they'd kept going in that direction they would have ended up in Germany, next to Hitler's holiday home which would have been a very bad place to be.


18. Christopher Plummer Got Fat

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Christopher Plummer's constant boozing combined with an endless appetite meant that throughout filming, they had to keep expanding his clothes. He would then go on to complain about one of the children putting on weight!

19. It Didn't Translate Well


The Sound Of Music did not translate well into all other languages. In Hong Kong it became Fairy Music Blow Fragrant Place, Place Hear and in Argentina it became The Rebellious Novice.

20. It Won A Groundbreaking Oscar


The film won the best picture Oscar of 1966. The award ceremony was considered to be groundbreaking because it was the first to be broadcast in color.

21. In England, The Sound Of Music Is A Nuclear Fallback Option


Yes, it's true. In the UK the BBC has selected The Sound of Music as one of the movies to play if the country is hit by a nuclear strike because they believe it would raise the morale of the survivors.

22. It Was A Huge Hit In South Korea


South Koreans loved the movie so much that one theater owner actually cut some of the musical numbers so that he could screen it more times in a day!

23. Maria And George Van Trapp's Real Life Relationship Was Not Romantic


“I really and truly was not in love. I liked him but I didn’t love him. However, I loved the children. And so, in a way, I really married the children," said Maria in her autobiography in 1948.

24.The Real Maria Von Trapp Is In The Movie


In fact, Maria and her daughter and her granddaughter all appeared in The Sound Of Music. They are seen in the background when "I have confidence" is sung.

25. The Von Trapps' Real Home Was Stolen By Himmler


When the Von Trapps fled from Austria, their home was confiscated by the Nazis and it was Hitler's right-hand man, Heinrich Himmler, who lived there during the occupation. 

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