Sure, everyone's seen The Sound of Music
, but how about Flower Drum Song
? Or State Fair
, either the 1945 version (a remake of a 1933 nonmusical) or the 1962 re-remake with Bobby Darin, Ann-Margret, and Pat Boone? Rodgers & Hammerstein: The Sound of Movies
is a comprehensive and entertaining 97-minute documentary surveying the film career of the beloved songwriting team and how their screen work was interwoven with their stage work. (State Fair
was written directly for the screen before they began adapting their stage shows for film.) Host Shirley Jones (the ingenue in both Oklahoma!
) provides numerous trivia tidbits on most of the films, while segments on The King and I
, Flower Drum Song
, and The Sound of Music
are presented by those who appeared in them: Rita Moreno (Tuptim), Nancy Kwan (Linda Low), and Charmian Carr (Liesl), respectively. Also of interest will be original casting possibilities (James Dean in Oklahoma!
, Marlon Brando in Carousel
), rarely seen outtakes, live television performances, and clips from films that inspired Rodgers and Hammerstein's shows (including Rex Harrison as the king of Siam). Because Rodgers and Hammerstein's films were deeply involved in the development of widescreen techniques such as CinemaScope, this documentary is savvy enough to present its clips in letterboxed widescreen format, but that footage is occasionally grainy. Unfortunately, The Sound of Movies
was filmed in 1995, four years before the release of sumptuous remasterings of six of these featured films. --David Horiuchi
The movies came alive with the sound of music the day that Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II teamed up to pen a spectacular string of musical hits. Their legendary collaboration produced seven motion picture masterpieces in all State Fair, Oklahoma!, Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific, Flower Drum Song and, of course, The Sound of Music. Join host Shirley Jones and leading ladies Julie Andrews, Rita Moreno and Nancy Kwan for the ultimate behind-the-scenes tour of these enduring classics. Here are, without a doubt, the greatest song and dance numbers ever seen on the silver screen, featuring stars like Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Mitzi Gaynor and Christopher Plummer. With spectacular film footage and never-before-seen outtakes, screen tests and home movies, RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN: THE SOUND OF MOVIES shows us why these are the songs we'll be singing for a thousand years.