December 27, 2009, - 7:19 pm

Schlussel TV Guide: In Case You Forgot . . .

By Debbie Schlussel

**** UPDATE: OOPS, I forgot. “Showboat” and “West Side Story” are also the “greatest musical ever written and made into film.” Sorry for not noting those–both of which I love, too. ****

. . . the greatest musical ever written and made into film is on TV, right now.  “The Sound of Music” on ABC.  Began just a few minutes ago at 7:00 p.m., Eastern Time.


Hey, I gotta take a break from terrorism stuff, Obamanations, and horrible contemporary movies, sometimes.

It may be sappy and old-fashioned, but at 44 years old (the movie debuted in 1965), it stands the test of time.  And it’s got everything, including terrif actor Christopher Plummer, Julie Andrews and her great singing of songs that stand the test of time.  And escape from the Nazis.  Plus, Penny Robinson (Angela Cartwright) from “Lost in Space.”

Are  you watching?  I try to watch every year when it’s on.  Do you like “Sound of Music”?  Why or why not?  Like I said, I think it’s the best musical ever written, especially the way it’s presented in the film.  It’s got the right mix of music/song and drama, it’s got romance, adventure, Nazis and some thriller stuff.  Plus, singing nuns and kids wearing clothes made out of ugly drapes.

Can’t beat it.  Great for kids and family viewing.  And I think it’s inspired a new song, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Obama?”  (With apologies to Maria for the comparison.)

Go, Von Trapp Family, go.

If you don’t agree with me, what–in your opinion–is the best musical? The best musical on film? Why?

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31 Responses

Not to drag you away from the Von Tripp family but I heard a RUMOR that 60 minutes will be doing a special on terrorist attacks tonight. Nothing is appearing on the website but you may want to check it out.

B: Thanks. Will take a break from SoM to watch. But right now (7:30 ET) the NFL game is still on. DS

billy on December 27, 2009 at 7:25 pm

We love The Sound of Music at our house. We own the dvd.
My daughter is 5 years old and can’t get enough of it.
The only thing she can’t understand at this yound age is why Maria has a different name then when she appears in Mary Poppins.

Keep up the good work. I enjoy your website very much.

Stephen on December 27, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Debbie, will you be doing TV show reviews also? You don’t have cable in your home so that restricts what kinds of shows you could review.

I’ve liked “Legend Of The Seeker.” Really more of a medieval fantasy epic but has a villain, a brother in search of redemption, a love he can never really have with the Mother Confessor figure, his wizard grandfather figure with whom his relationship is complicated. The first season was quite good. Shot in New Zealand, which has a a lot of other worldly terrain, where the LOTR trilogy was also filmed.

As for the “Sound Of Music” its a musical classic. They only thing about it I take exception to is it whitewashes Austria as a victim of Nazi Germany. The historical truth as we all know is just the exact opposite.

NormanF on December 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Hi NormanF!

    Dittos on the whitewashing of Austria thesis you offered.

    That being said, Georg Von Trapp really did NOT like the Nazis and left Austria with his family for that reason. Two of his sons served in the U.S. Armed forces during World War II.

    Like I said above, THE SOUND OF MUSIC reminds me of the mainstream media’s coverage of Islam: loosely based on a true story.


    There is NO Santa Claus

    There is NO Santa Claus on December 27, 2009 at 10:24 pm

I don’t think too many people would agree with me, but I always liked Rhapsody in Blue from 1945 with Robert Alda and Joan Leslie, the biography of George Gershwin — not to take anything away from Singing in the Rain though.

Little Al on December 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Thanks for the heads-up, Debbie!

The movie is bringing a smile to my face amid some rather bad news.

There is NO Santa Claus on December 27, 2009 at 9:19 pm


    THE SOUND OF MUSIC reminds me of the mainstream news media’s coverage of Islam: loosely based on a true story. :+)

    There is NO Santa Claus on December 27, 2009 at 10:02 pm

For the record, Christopher Plummer dislikes that movie and calls it “The Sound of Mucus”. I don’t know why since I thought it was great. On of my favorite musicals is “Fiddler on the Roof”.

Matthew on December 27, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Mad Magazine called it The Sound of Money.

    Miranda Rose Smith on December 28, 2009 at 4:17 am

The best musical? A very, very, very short one. Maybe.

lowandslow on December 27, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    I agree especially anything with Julie Andrews and her fingernails on a chalkboard voice (?) but Fiddler does strike a deep cultural note even if I am Sephardic and prefer pitas and shwarma to bagels and lox. My daughter is half Ukrainian tho and she and her boys love Fiddler.

    mk750 on December 28, 2009 at 6:15 am

In addition to the three you mentioned, Debbie, I think Music Man rides pretty close to the top.

Jim on December 27, 2009 at 10:33 pm

I’ve loved the Sound of Music since I was a child, I even bought the soundtrack 33 rpm LP in 1974. I would play it, close my eyes and imagine that it was I who was singing those songs. I especially loved Sixteen going on Seventeen.

Mark Hammond on December 27, 2009 at 10:43 pm

yep, we needed a break from all the craziness going on. tonight has been a A & E, or football night. I did not know sound of music was on. its a classic.

lindapolver on December 27, 2009 at 11:49 pm

“The hills are alive… Look, there goes one now!”

gus3 on December 28, 2009 at 12:23 am

The greatest Musical? I beg to differ; “Fiddler” then either “Mary Poppins” or “The Wizard of Oz” would constitute the greatest musical ever (although I agree W.Side Story does come close).

Ira Gornish on December 28, 2009 at 12:40 am

The best musical ever? GUYS AND DOLLS and SHOWBOAT both sentimentalize compulsive gambling, which, for anyone who has to live with it in real life, is as sentimental as heroin addiction.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC, as much fun as it is…..I love it in Hebrew too, well, by all accounts, Maria von Trapp was a remarkable woman and perhaps her story should have been told more accurately…Best musical ever? CAROUSEL or THE PYJAMA GAME or BRIGADOON. I also recommend Richard Bissell’s 7 1/2 Cents, the book THE PYJAMA GAME IS BASED ON.

Miranda Rose Smith on December 28, 2009 at 1:54 am

    Should be THE PAJAMA GAME.

    Miranda Rose Smith on December 28, 2009 at 4:18 am

i watched it tonight with my wife and looked up a synopsis to refresh my understanding. Living in hawaii is a bit like the heart of Obamanation so indeed the movie was a welcome break.
Happy new year to all and to all a good night!

jingo go go on December 28, 2009 at 2:25 am

I’ve recently viewed a number of old musicals and the Sound of Music comes out on top. It’s an inspirational story with some really uplifting scenes filmed in wonderful locations. It’s all about joy and love of life, contrasted with the dark death force of Nazi control.
South Pacific has great songs but the direction was turgid. West Side Story has amazing music and dancing but is too depressing and oppressive with studio sets and the gangs look like what they are, professional dancers who aren’t teenage hoodlums.
I just got the SOM special edition DVD and the colours and cinematography are amazing…..especially the gorgeous romantic scene in the gazebo. Great extras too with everyone involved reminiscing.

roger on December 28, 2009 at 7:11 am

1: “Wizard of Oz”
2: “Oklahoma”
3: “Music Man”
4: Anything without Babs Streisand (except “What’s Up Doc?”)

Douglas Q on December 28, 2009 at 7:44 am

Love the sound of Music, watched it again last night… Question: I noticed on the info on the television that it was made in 1965. I remember watching it at the Drive in for the first time in the 3rd grade. That would put me at 8 or 9 years old as I was born in 1961. Did movies run for a long time back in the day? Or were they slow to be released? It really makes you aware of how far we have come with technology today. Do you know by chance how long the run was for the sound of music? I also remember it took me a full year to see JAWS, as it was sold out every time I went. Things have certainly changed in our time.

sharon on December 28, 2009 at 10:35 am

Not “happy happy” but Cabaret and All That Jazz make my top 5 list of watch-again movie musicals.

Michael Fosse on December 28, 2009 at 11:32 am

Singin’ in the Rain, Wizard of Oz, Thoroughly Modern Millie, West Side Story, Annie, Hello Dolly!, Summer Magic (Disney Hayley Mills), Cabaret and Chicago (even though they’re not family friendly)

Jennifer on December 28, 2009 at 12:21 pm

The Sound of Music has some really great music. IMO the story kine only serves to “set up” the next song.

We just got West Side Story on DVD. This also has a story line that serves to get us to the next really great song.

IMO: Both musicals ROCK!

“………….Could be! Who knows?…………”

Sam Adams on December 28, 2009 at 3:04 pm

The Music Man has to be the greatest followed closely by Guys and Dolls. It’s all about the songs! Well, and Sinatra singing with Brando!

Kevin M. on December 28, 2009 at 7:12 pm

I like that it shows a girl choose to grow up and be a mature adult with all the personal responsibility that comes from it. Quite the contrast in the abundant Hollywood fare of adults choosing to be immature.

FeFe on December 29, 2009 at 12:40 pm

I hate most musicals because the songs and music are usually pretty lame. I did like ‘The Sound of Music’ though, and my favourite ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ mostly because I like the songs and can somewhat, in one way or another, identify with some of the characters. And Wizard of Oz is pretty cool too, but mostly, I hate musicals.

Oh, and don’t forget about ‘Grease!’
…the best musical ever!


theShadow on December 30, 2009 at 3:18 am

At 42, my family still loves the musicals of an era that knew how to make them. Our kids are ardent fans of Music Man (original and remake), Brigadune, Singin’ in the rain, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Seven Brides for Sever Brothers and the list goes on and on.

Thanks for sharing.

Jay Forde on August 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm

The Sound of Music I will watch again & again. As I love to watch another epic: Ben Hur.

P. Aaron on February 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm

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