The stars of the beloved movie, including Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, mark its 45th anniversary

By Alison Schwartz
Updated October 27, 2010 01:00 PM
Credit: George Burns/Harpo, Inc.

The hills are still alive: They may have said “so long, farewell” 45 years ago, but come Thursday, Maria, the Captain and all seven von Trapp children – now very grown up – will gather on The Oprah Winfrey Show show to celebrate the 45th anniversary of The Sound of Music.

The movie’s original cast, including Julie Andews (Maria), Christopher Plummer (the Captain) and Charmian Carr (Liesl), are marking the milestone and the Nov. 2 release of the Blu-Ray edition of the beloved film, still one of the highest-grossing of all time.

These decades later it may be hard to imagine that there were doubts at the time of its release that the movie would strike such musical gold – critics found it too sweet, and its studio, 20th Century Fox, was still reeling from the massive loses of Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra. As Plummer, 80, now recalls, he himself called the movie The Sound of Mucus.

“There needed to be a cynic of some kind around to stop it from getting too mawkish,” he tells Winfrey. Adds Andrews, 75: “I think we all felt that if we weren’t careful, the film could have been dreadfully saccharin.”

For Andrews, life has not been all raindrops on roses since her portrayal of the smitten Maria, who chooses to marry Captain von Trapp rather than become a nun. In the late 90s, the Oscar winner lost the gift that truly brought Maria to life – her singing voice.

And like millions who have seen the movie, she credits The Sound of Music with giving her the strength to overcome her obstacles.

“It certainly was huge,” Andrews says. “I mean I did go into huge decline. But the wonder is, and it’s true that it – as Maria says in the movie – when God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.”