The best movies are never easy to make and naturally, things were no different on the set of The Sound of Music — the beloved 1965 musical that won the Best Picture Academy Award. Members of the cast discussed those details in an exclusive from 2017 with Closer Weekly, admitting the filming became quite dark. With part of the film made on location in Salzburg, Austria, residents were initially unhappy with the idea of them shooting there.
"The town didn't want us there. They provided no cooperation whatsoever," Nicholas Hammond, who played Friedrich, said, adding that the local marionette theater did not even want their puppets used in "The Lonely Goatherd" scene. "They said, 'This is a classy operation we do here. We don't want them in some tacky Hollywood movie.' So the puppets we used had to be made," Hammond, now 67, recalled.
The weather was also terrible in Salzburg during the spring that year. "We had what was on record as the worst spring weather [Salzburg] had in 50 years," Hammond recalled. "It rained almost every single day. In an awful lot of the shots where it looks sunny, it wasn't at all. They had to blast a lot of huge arc lights to try to make it look like the sun was shining."
The experience was not all bad for everyone, though. Kym Karath, who played Gretl, the youngest of the Von Trapp children, said she enjoyed going to school with her co-stars. "Going to school with everyone was fun," Kym, now 59, told Closer Weekly. "Even though I was five and didn't have to go, I wanted to! I tagged along and they gave me stuff to do."
Karath was part of a scary moment during filming. When the Von Tapp children and Julie Andrews fell over in the boat scene, Karath did not immediately reach the surface. "It was 10 seconds before anybody realized there were only six kids in the boat, not seven," Hammond recalled. "All those crew guys went rushing into the lake and pulled Kym up and she promptly threw up all over Heather Menzies [who played Louisa von Trapp]!"
The bad weather also delayed filming, which can be a problem when you have multiple children experiencing growth spurts and losing teeth. Debbie Turner, who played Marta, said she lost four bottom teeth, so she needed to wear fake teeth to match earlier scenes. Hammond had a growth spurt during production, requiring a new costume.
One of the most difficult scenes in the film to shoot comes right when Andrews sings the title song. "A giant helicopter came at me sideways with a very brave cameraman hanging out [its] side," Andrews said of filming the legendary scene. "Every time he went around me, the downdraft from the jets would fling me down into the grass."
Getting Christopher Plummer to play Captain Von Trapp was no easy task. The actor famously did not want to play the part, but he eventually agreed and got on well with Andrews during production.1comments
The Sound of Music is still one of the top-grossing movies of all time and effectively kept 20th Century Fox from closing for good after pouring millions into making Cleopatra. The film won five Oscars, including two more for West Side Story co-director Robert Wise. It also created an off-set family since the children spent so much time together.
"We feel very fortunate," Hammond told Closer Weekly. "All of us feel blessed that we were able to be in something that's given so much pleasure and has had such a positive effect on so many lives."