best of the ’60s: JULIE ANDREWS
Sugar-coated, sing-songy, appropriate-dancing fun for the whole family — no other movie best fits those words quite like The Sound of Music. So forgive my undying love of all things do re mi for a moment, and move past all the cynical, blind hatred you may hold for the happiest little movie that ever was so that you can take a step back and admire the awesomeness of Julie Andrews and her ragtag crew of spoiled rich kids. Now, repeat viewings at my grandparents’ house at least once a year certainly helped fuel my love for the 1965 musical, but I ask you to come up with a more iconic and more well-loved musical. And let’s be honest, the hilltop opening has got to be one the top 5 most recognizable movie moments in filmdom. Now add to all of this the fact that it’s chockfull of delightful song and dance numbers including the title song, “So Long, Farewell” (Who didn’t reenact that at least a few times as a child?), and, a personal favorite of mine, “The Lonely Goatherd.” If this is what I’m to be subjected to, then bring on the Andrews-led yodeling.
And the smile-fest doesn’t end there for the Julie Andrews ’60s musical rundown. Just a year earlier, 1964’s Mary Poppins was released. Though I’ve never been quite as fond of this one as many people seem to be (it was never on regular rotation at my house), it does contain some prime Andrews congeniality in “Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (yep, I checked the spelling). It seems my lack of closeness to the picture, though, allowed me to enjoy that funny horror movie trailer mash-up more than a Poppins-phile probably did. So thanks to the winning smile and insane vocal range of Ms. Andrews, the ’60s were a little bit brighter. Although, having recently discovered the later work of the actress (namely 1982’s Victor/Victoria), there’s certainly something to be said for her saucy, less plucky side as well.