The Sound Of Music. An absolute classic with unforgettable songs, sweet messages, and nice chemistry between the cast. It defined a generation, and there’s an unwritten law that every family should own a copy. My own family was really into it about seven years ago. It all started when my church youth group was doing a roadshow where we mashed up two movies, and the movies we mashed up were Napoleon Dynamite and The Sound Of Music. A random combination, yes, but we actually managed to make it work out pretty well. And in the process, my own family got hooked on The Sound Of Music. My little brother and my little sister were singing the songs nonstop, and dancing to them, and listening to the soundtrack on every. Single. Car. Ride. I loved the songs, too, and I took it in stride. However, my mom said she thought we should move on from The Sound Of Music and get hooked on some other musical. She probably should’ve been more careful what she wished for, because Frozen came out just a few months later.
Getting off topic here-the movie itself. On the whole, it’s a great one. But, at nearly three hours, is it too long?
Many people (myself included) are willing to give TSOM a little leeway, because it came from a time period where movie-making styles were very different from what they are now. Pacing was slower, and studios would place the credits at the start of movies as opposed to the end, and storylines would be extended further. The Sound Of Music fits all these criteria. Not that any of it is inherently bad, but…could The Sound Of Music work if it was a little shorter?
These past couple nights, I’ve been rewatching TSOM with my family. It’s as magical as ever, but I’ve noticed that there are some establishing shots and walking-around-the-house scenes that keep on going. That might be part of why it’s so long, but it might also be because the actual plot is extended to a long length. Not that there’s anything wrong with the story itself, but I can’t help wondering if, were a studio to reboot TSOM, if it would end up being shorter than the original. They’d keep all the songs, of course, but would they try to make the storyline more concise? Because a three-hour movie can be a long sit, especially for a kid.
And yeah, there are some pretty long movies in the modern day. Movies like The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King and Avengers: Endgame are three hours long themselves. But LOTR is a big, epic storyline with a massive scope, and Avengers is the culmination of ten years and twenty+ movies. In such cases, a long final chapter feels earned. Not to mention, both those movies have lots of characters in them. The Sound Of Music is just one nanny that we’re following around for three hours. In all fairness, Maria Von Trapp is a likeable protagonist, especially when she’s got all the kids surrounding her. Not to mention, Captain Von Trapp has his share of character development, as do the kids. But Maria is still very much the main character.
What do you guys think? Do you think length is a problem for TSOM? Or does the scope of its colossal runtime just add to its greatness?