‘The Sound of Music’ Star Christopher Plummer Hated the Film, Calling it ‘So Awful and Sentimental and Gooey’
The Sound of Music is one of the most beloved, iconic films of all time. The 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical drama starring Julie Andrews received mixed reviews at first.
However, it went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time (stealing that honor from Gone with the Wind) for five years. It earned five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Even decades later the story of the von Trapp family and their governess Maria resonates with modern audiences. However, at least one person isn’t so enamored by The Sound of Music. Lead actor Christopher Plummer (Captain von Trapp) made no secret of his disdain for the film.
‘The Sound of Music’ is an epic tale of love and history
The award-winning classic movie is based on the 1949 memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria von Trapp. The central story takes place just before the start of World War II and follows Maria as she accepts the position of governess for seven children from their retired naval officer father, Captain von Trapp.
Before the free-spirited and musical governess Maria came along, the Captain was raising his children with military discipline and strict rules. She takes a softer, kinder approach, which the family patriarch resents. Eventually, she helps the children form a singing group.
Maria and Captain von Trapp fall in love despite her being an aspiring nun. They marry, and the family flees to Switzerland to escape Nazi rule in their native Austria.
Christopher Plummer mocked the feel-good musical movie
Many critics adored The Sound of Music, which Variety called, “a warmly-pulsating, captivating drama set to the most imaginative use of the lilting R-H tunes, magnificently mounted and with a brilliant cast.” However, one of the lead actors in the film had the opposite reaction.
The New York Times reported that Plummer referred to the movie as “The Sound of Mucus” more than once. Also, he told the Boston Globe that he was “a bit bored with the character” of Captain von Trapp.
“Although we worked hard enough to make him interesting, it was a bit like flogging a dead horse. And the subject matter is not mine. I mean it can’t appeal to every person in the world. It’s not my cup of tea,” he said.
In 2011, Plummer offered even more harsh criticism, Insider reported. “[I]t was so awful and sentimental and gooey,” the actor lamented, “You had to work terribly hard to try and infuse some minuscule bit of humor into it.”
‘The Sound of Music’ remains a cultural significant film
Despite mixed reviews from the cast and critics, The Sound of Music enjoyed record-breaking earnings and timeless popularity. Adjusted for inflation, the musical has raked in around $2.3 billion worldwide since its release.
And sappy as it seemed, the story was rooted in truth. Filmmakers took some liberties with the storytelling. Still, The Sound of Music sent a message of hope, love, and music that so many other contemporary films failed to fully explore. Even if Plummer did think the whole thing was cheesy.