Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: The Sound of Music


Hit Me With Your Best Shot is back, and I promised Nathaniel I would try my hardest to play along.  I fear that I won't be able to see Paris is Burning in time, but luckily for me I have The Sound of Music within arm's reach, and it's never hard to get my kids to sit down and watch a movie with me.  So, last night the whole family sprawled out on the couch to catch Julie Andrews in all her glory belting out the songs we all love and know from the hilltops.  

I LOVE Julie Andrews...so much!

Anyways, the obvious choice was, well, obvious, since that picture of Andrews running up the hilltop, her arms outstretched and her voice escalating, is pretty much the most iconic cinematic shot of all time, but I wanted to go elsewhere with this.

I have a real soft spot for depictions of intimacy, especially those rich moments where you can see someone's personal opinions and feelings shift within a single look.  For me, the most beautiful scene within The Sound of Music is that dance between Andrews and Plummer (how was he NOT Oscar nominated for this?).  It's all in a look, and in this moment, in this scene, we see so much about the way that these two individuals are shifting in their affections towards each other.  Andrews is great in this scene, but for me this is Plummer's moment to shine.  He commands so much attention and displays so much deeply rooted blossoming intimacy.

That is why my Best Shot is this:


Those eyes, that smolder, that FEELING!

And because I found this online and it's just so beautiful to watch:


26 comments:

  1. LOVE.

    I went with a similar shot of Maria and the Captain. Julie Andrews is so exquisite in this movie - her performance alone is why I get so rankled when people sneer at it. Forget how iconic it is, she's such an open, relatable presence here, brilliant with the kids, yes, but surprisingly affecting when realizing just how she feels about the Captain and processing her crisis of faith. It's a far fuller performance than the film's reputation would have you believe.

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    1. This is one of those I've seen in bits and pieces but never all at once. I liked what i saw bit never had a desire to sit through the entire thing. That may change since the women in my house all love it. We'll see.

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    2. Yes, Daniel! Andrews is just so wonderful here. I hate how unfairly maligned this film is by so-called cinephiles who want to label it something it so clearly isn't.

      I can't wait to see your shot!

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    3. Wendell...WATCH THIS MOVIE WITH YOUR FAMILY!!!

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  2. OMG that's my favorite shot too, Drew, amongst many favorite things, er scenes from this wonderful movie. There's so much going on in the brief encounter... all the repressed emotion & sexual tension is palpable... it took my breath away whenever I saw it. I love the scene afterward when Louisa pointed out her face was red :P

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    1. YAY! It really is such a beautiful moment. Rewatching this last night was such a joy and reminded me why I love this movie so much.

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  3. How can anyone not love this film? Oh wait, Christopher Plummer has a love/hate relationship towards the film.

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    1. LOL, yeah...Plummer's public dissing of this film is so strange.

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  4. It's funny...when I was about 10 or so they had the world television premiere and I watched transfixed. When I saw the ballroom scene and saw how he looked at her while they danced this beautiful dance it became my favourite scene. I even tried to copy the moves in my bedroom. Of course i also went all swoony with the wedding scene. I just thought he was dreamy and he should have been Oscar nominated. I have to admit I have been to Salzburg and Mirabel Gardens. One can take the Sound of Music tour there and it really is special. BTW I skipped through the ivy archway when they sing Do-Re-Mi. I have not seen this film in a few years but have been getting the hankering to see it again without the TV edits

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  5. Great choice, it does sum up what's happening at that moment. It is surprising that Christopher Plummer didn't score a nom considering how huge the film was but then the same could be said for my beloved Eleanor Parker who manages to make what could have been a cardboard villainess into a fully rounded woman, both good and bad.

    Obviously those first shots of the mountains, Maria twirling and then running and singing, that voice!, are the iconic ones which everybody conjures up when the movie is mentioned but when you go beyond that it's so tough to pick a best shot since the film is packed with wonderful moments.

    My choice would be during the secret dance in the pavilion between Liesl and Rolfe. In the middle of the dance when they are silhouetted against the glass with the rain pouring down the deep focus that catches all the colors of the exterior lights, her dress and the reflections plus the joy with which they are dancing is just amazing. It also informs the scenes with Rolfe later when that happy boy disappears into rigid doctrine.

    Have you ever read Charmain Carr's autobiography Forever Liesl? It's packed with memories of the making of the film which make fascinating reading. She discusses the filming of the dance sequence and how the panes of glass leaked so the filming took forever and was quite perilous since the benches they were dancing on were slick. She took a spill once and landed flat on her back, winding her badly but she pressed on.

    Another very cool thing is that the kids all bonded on the film and even more on the publicity trail afterwards and have stayed close all these years reuniting frequently. They've also stayed close with Christopher Plummer and to a lesser extent Julie Andrews and Eleanor Parker all of whom she had only the most complimentary things to say.

    I so wanted my shot to include Eleanor Parker since pretty much every time she shows up she's a best shot in herself but I just love that pavilion dance. As I said I think she's great in this but it's a shame with all the terrific work she did throughout her career this smallish part is her best known. Ironically she was the NAME in the cast at the time filming started since Mary Poppins hadn't opened and Christopher Plummer was a respected performer but not really famous and Fox wanted the assurance of at least one well known star in the credits.

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    1. I love all the insight you bring, and the fact that you have read all of these memoirs and books on classic Hollywood is fascinating. I feel like I learn so much from you comments.

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    2. I have to second this. I always LOVE reading your comments!

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    3. If only Joel would buckle down and start his own blog, filled with his impressive knowledge of classic cinema...I'd be there EVERY DAY!

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    4. So would I! Let's peer pressure him!

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  6. great pick! i love the chemistry that julie and plummer have in this film. this scene in particular is always beautiful to watch play out.

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    1. I really is...this moment grabbed me so much during this particular watch. It didn't hurt that my eldest daughter was swooning.

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  7. This has to be one of my all-time favorite romances in film, I just love how it's developed. They are so right for each other that the Baroness instantly recognizes that she's no match for Maria (those disdainful looks she gives her are EVERYTHING. Such shade!).

    Plummer has nothing to be ashamed of with this film. It's stellar.

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    1. LOL, yes, they are EVERYTHING!

      I'm really baffled by Plummer's 'above it all' attitude towards this film.

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  8. Great choice. It really was a beautiful scene. Loved that dance. I had a hard time to make a choice, but in the end I went with more colorful scene.

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    1. It's strange, because this isn't a film you'd immediately recall for it's bounty of images (other than the obvious), and yet there were so many great choices here. It's a deceptively beautiful film.

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  9. So glad you're playing again. I have seen this movie so many times but somehow THIS very time is when I was like "wow, Plummer is excellent... sexcellent even... in this movie."

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    1. Yeah, Plummer is truly wonderful here. He really should have snagged an Oscar nom for this, especially considering how strong the film performed with Oscar.

      Ah, remember the days when a female driven narrative could win a Best Picture Oscar?

      And I'm so happy to be playing along again too!

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  10. Brilliant choice. I shamelessly love this movie, but it probably helps that I first saw it as a child. It really is odd that Plummer missed an Oscar nod. I haven't seen Olivier in Othello, but Lee Marvin easily could've been bumped for Plummer. :/

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    1. Plummer's Oscar absence is very strange, indeed. It's a movie star performance in a film that was wholly embraced.

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