ByNell Minow, writer at

A glorious new 50th anniversary Blu-Ray edition of Sound of Music is out this week, featuring commentary, behind the scenes footage, and all kinds of extras — sure to be one of your “favorite things.”

This box-office champ is one of the all-time great family musicals, a Rodgers and Hammerstein triumph based on the true story of the Von Trapp family’s escape from Austria.

Much of the story is true. Maria was a postulant, sent by the convent to become a tutor for one of the ten (not seven) children of nobleman and Naval officer Georg Von Trapp. They got married, but it was seven years before the Nazis took over Austria. Maria always insisted, though, that Georg was not at all like the stern, humorless character of the early scenes. And they escaped by train, not by the mountains. A new book about the real story behind the family and the film is a lot of fun: The Sound of Music Story: How A Beguiling Young Novice, A Handsome Austrian Captain, and Ten Singing Von Trapp Children Inspired the Most Beloved Film of All Time.

The movie musical is still one of the all-time greats. And you can visit the Von Trapp grandchildren and great-grandchildren at their resort in Stowe, Vermont, where they are still singing.

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