The movie adaptation of The Sound of Music, directed and produced by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews, was released over half a century ago, in 1965. But its enduring appeal means that it’s still one of the world’s most loved films. Indeed, its allure – at least in part – lies within its dramatic, heart-wrenching storyline. However, the true details behind the movie are even more epic than Hollywood would have us believe.
The Sound of Music is an adaptation of the 1959 musical of the same name, with the screenplay written by Ernest Lehman, who adapted it from writers Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Based on Maria von Trapp’s memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, the movie enjoyed huge success and was the highest-grossing release of 1965. Then the next year, it became the biggest-earning film of all time, snatching the title from Gone with the Wind, which had held it for five years.
And even as time passed, the public’s passion for The Sound of Music continued. Indeed, its initial release lasted for four and a half years and the movie enjoyed two re-releases, helping to make it a worldwide hit. Consequently, the film sold 283 million tickets across the globe and raked in a total gross of $286 million.