The Sound of Music


November 24, 2005|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

Fox $27

The 40th anniversary edition of the Oscar-winning musical is now available on a new two-disc set. It includes a beautiful new transfer of the musical drama; commentary with the late director, Robert Wise, as well as with stars Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Charmian Carr (Liesl); a retrospective documentary; a delightful reminiscence with Andrews and Plummer (who has a great sense of humor); a reunion of the actors who played the Von Trapp family children; a look at the sing-along Sound of Music phenomenon; a biography on the real Von Trapp family; a restoration comparison; and a short but very amusing screen test with a young Mia Farrow, who was auditioning for Liesl.

"I feel immensely grateful for the gift that [my films] have been for me and everybody," Andrews says. "I can't believe that it's 40 years ago when this film came out. It is mind-boggling."

The 60th anniversary edition of State Fair ($27), the only original musical Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote for the movies, and the 50th anniversary edition of Oklahoma! ($27), based on the team's groundbreaking first Broadway musical, are also out on disc.


[DreamWorks] $30

Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer supply the voices for this popular computer-animated adventure about four New York zoo animals who find themselves on a ship bound for Madagascar. Extras include numerous interactive games, passable documentaries and a holiday short featuring the wisecracking penguins.

The Skeleton Key

[Universal] $30

Kate Hudson goes dramatic in this spooky story set in the swamps of pre-Katrina Louisiana. The disc includes several behind-the-scenes documentaries, Hudson's unnerving recollection of staying in a haunted house when she was a child, deleted scenes, an alternate opening and serviceable commentary with director Iain Softley.

Happy Endings

[Lions Gate] $28

Writer-director Don Roos created this offbeat comedy for Lisa Kudrow, the star of his successful art house comedy, The Opposite of Sex. Kudrow plays a divorced woman who had given up her baby for adoption 19 years ago and is being blackmailed by a would-be filmmaker who claims he knows the child's whereabouts. Extras include a breezy commentary track with Roos, Kudrow and cinematographer J. Clark Mathis; a making-of featurette; a gag reel and deleted scenes with commentary.

The Oprah Winfrey Show

20th Anniversary DVD Collection

[Paramount] $55

This six-disc set includes a retrospective of her early days, guests who have touched her heart, her most fascinating interviews, an overview of her hairstyles and weight fluctuation, and her 50th birthday bash. Winfrey also introduces the segments.

Fantasy Island

The Complete First Season

[Sony] $50

Ricardo Montalban was the perfect choice to play Mr. Roarke, a nattily dressed man of mystery who owned a special kind of resort in which he could fulfill any visitor's fantasy. Herve Villechaize played his assistant, the diminutive Tattoo, who would shout "De plane! De plane!" to herald the arrival of guests. Extras include a retrospective on the inception of the ABC series, which aired from the late '70s to the early '80s, plus a documentary with several guest stars.

The Huckleberry Hound Show

Vol. 1

[Warner] $45

The venerable Hanna-Barbera cartoon concerned the adventures of a Southern blue dog with a drawl (voiced by the legendary Daws Butler). Also appearing on the Emmy Award-winning series were Yogi Bear, Hokey Wolf, Mr. Jinks and Pixie and Dixie. Warners also is releasing the spinoff, The Yogi Bear Show -- The Complete Series ($45).

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