1. The film The Sound of Music was based on a broadway musical, which was based off of a book, Maria Kutschera's 1949 memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.
  2. The von Trapps did escape Austria as the Nazis came to power, but they didn't flee over the Alps, they got on a train to Italy and then traveled to America, where they had a concert tour scheduled. The day after they left, Hitler ordered the Austrian borders shut.
  3. When they left Austria, Baron von Trapp and Maria had already been married for 11 years and had two children of their own, with another on the way.
  4. When the von Trapps came to America they settled in Stowe, Vermont. They opened theTrapp Family Lodge,which is operational to this day.
  5. Maria sold the rights to her memoir to German producers who made two films. The Trapp Family and its sequel, The Trapp Family in America, were incredibly popular in post-War West Germany.
  6. Halliday approached musical super-duo Rodgers and Hammerstein about writing one song for the show; they countered with making it a proper musical.
  7. The musical's original title? The Singing Heart.
  8. The Sound of Music was the eighth and final musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein, but Hammerstein never saw the movie. He died of stomach cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere.
  9. "Edelweiss" was the last song Oscar Hammerstein ever wrote, at the last minute during the show's tryout in Boston.
  10. Audience members were totally convinced that "Edelweiss" was an actual Austrian folk song.
  11. The Sound of Music opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 16, 1959. Both major New York critics hated it, finding it way too saccharine, but producers already had $2 million in advance ticket sales so it didn’t really matter.
  12. Kym Karath, who played little Gretl, was already a film vet when she auditioned for The Sound of Music. She was feeling so adult that for her audition she sang "Sixteen Going on Seventeen." She was five.
  13. Christopher Plummer never cared for the movie. He thought it would compromise his reputation as a serious Shakespearean actor.
  14. William Wyler, the film’s original director, quit to work on another movie and that's probably a good thing. Wyler was apparently a little deaf and planned to make the piece a somber film that focused more on the war.
  15. While filming the iconic opening scene, twirling in the hills of Austria, Andrews kept getting knocked down in the mud by the gusts from the helicopter carrying the camera.
  16. When the boat carrying the von Trapp brood tipped over, Kym Karath, who played Gretl, nearly drowned because she couldn't swim. She swallowed a lot of water, which she then threw up all over co-star Heather Menzies, who played Louisa.
  17. "Edelweiss" was so good that film director Robert Wise also thought it was a real Austrian folk song. When they were shooting the scene at the Salzburg music festival, filming was delayed for hours while hundreds of Austrian extras were taught the words.
  18. Also during that scene, Plummer was drunk.
  19. If you look closely at the film, you'll spot the real Maria von Trapp in a cameo, walking past a stone archway while Julie Andrews sings I Have Confidence.
  20. In one of Maria von Trapp’s memoirs, she wrote that she wasn’t invited to the premiere of the film, and producers couldn't find her a seat when she asked.
  21. One of Maria's biggest beefs with the film was with the geography. Not only does Salzburg not border on Switzerland, but taking that route out of Austria would have sent them straight towards Berchtesgaden, Hitler's summer retreat.
  22. The Sound of Music won five Oscars in 1965, including Best Picture. It's one of only four films ever to win a Tony Award for Best Play or Musical, and later win Best Picture.
  23. Adjusted for inflation, it's one of the highest grossing films ever made, right behind Gone With the Wind and Star Wars.
  24. It had the longest first run in U.S. cinemas ever at four and a half years.