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The Sound of Music Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

Outstanding family film features glorious music.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this classic film is rich in character, music, and story, as well as filled with positive messages. In the final 10 minutes there are a number of suspenseful scenes that may be frightening for some children, including the main character being held at gunpoint. Kids might be curious to learn more about Nazis and World War II after watching this movie. There's some moderate alcohol consumption and one character smokes. The romantic scenes are limited to gentle embraces and brief chaste kisses.

  • Families can talk about how the movie compares to more recent musical films. How is this one different or similar? What makes this movie a classic?
  • Talk about the songs in the movie. What does the song, "Climb Every Mountain" mean? What about "My Favorite Things"? If you were going to write the song, what would be on your list of favorite things?
  • How do the filmmakers create tension in the last few minutes of the movie? What effects do they use? How do you feel when watching the ending?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true3

    Educational value: In addition to the strong role models and positive ideals presented, this film is an introduction to the tensions that led up to World War II. It shows an idyllic Austrian city (Salzburg) as the Germans took over and began to change the course of history.

  • message true1

    Messages: Find your place in life and live it to the fullest. Gentleness and warmth, in combination with some discipline, bring out the best in people, particularly children. Courage and sometimes difficult choices, even leaving your home and friends behind, are necessary to fight against an oppressive government. It's essential to find that courage and stand up for your beliefs.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Maria is virtuous, loving, brave, and honest. Her motives are pure and she's an exemplary surrogate mother. Captain Von Trapp, a good man at heart, learns some valuable lessons about love and good parenting. The leading characters stand tall as they refuse to obey the orders of an occupying army and government that are evil.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence and scariness: Soldiers confront the Von Trapp family as they prepare to leave Austria for the safety of Switzerland. After the family makes a daring escape, there are tense moments as the soldiers, with shadowy flashlights in the darkness, search the local abbey where the family is hiding. One young Nazi sympathizer holds Captain Von Trapp at gunpoint.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: A teen couple embraces and dances together. There's a tender romantic scene as Maria and Captain Von Trapp kiss gently and reveal their love for one another.

  • language false0

    Language: "Heil Hitler" in several scenes.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Wine and champagne are served with restraint in a few social situations. The baroness smokes.

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