An enthusiastic close-up of movie history.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC STORY

HOW A BEGUILING YOUNG NOVICE, A HANDSOME AUSTRIAN CAPTAIN, AND TEN SINGING VON TRAPP CHILDREN INSPIRED THE MOST-LOVED FILM OF ALL TIME

A celebration of a beloved movie.

Fans of The Sound of Music will find plenty to please them in Santopietro’s (The Godfather Effect: Changing Hollywood, America, and Me, 2012, etc.) history of the sweeping musical. In the 1950s, two German movies about the von Trapp family came to the attention of director Vincent Donehue, who imagined a Broadway version with Mary Martin in the role of Maria. After complicated negotiations with the German film company and Maria herself, Donehue signed Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse to write the play and the renowned Rodgers and Hammerstein to produce an original score. The show opened on Nov. 16, 1959, won five Tony awards and ran for three years. Soon, 20th Century Fox optioned the story; William Wyler agreed to direct, replaced by Robert Wise when Wyler decided to move to another project; and Ernest Lehman was brought in to rewrite the script. Casting Julie Andrews for the starring role was not inevitable. Although a hit on Broadway, Andrews “was a completely unknown quantity on film,” scaring investors who wanted “a real movie star with box office clout.” With support from Wise and the composers, Andrews was offered the role and grabbed it. Among contenders to play Capt. von Trapp were Rex Harrison, David Niven, Peter Finch and even Bing Crosby. Wise, though, opted shrewdly for Christopher Plummer. During filming, Andrews was exemplary, exuding “nonstop good cheer” and endless patience with the “seven potentially scene-stealing children” in the cast. The author details the painstaking complexities of producing a big-budget extravaganza, reprising every song and dance step, and the considerable task of generating buzz about the movie before it opened. All those efforts paid off: Warmly received by critics (except for Pauline Kael), it earned 10 Oscar nominations and was the highest-grossing film of 1965.

An enthusiastic close-up of movie history.

Pub Date: Feb. 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-1250064462

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more