There are few scenes in the history of cinema as iconic as the opening of The Sound of Music. However, according to Julie Andrews, filming the scene was not as beautiful as the scene turned out to be. Recently, Julie Andrews discussed how the scene was filmed, with a helicopter moving toward her while she moved toward it. The filming itself seemed to go ok, but when the chopper had to reset to do another take, things got a bit wild for the actress. According to Andrews...
Every time the helicopter had finished [shooting], it went around me, but the down draft from the jet engines just flung me into the grass. So, we did this about six or seven times and I was spitting dirt and hay. And I kept saying, 'couldn't you take a wider circle around?' And all I got was, '[thumbs up] just fine, we're going to do another take.'
It's mostly funny because when you look back at a classic like The Sound of Music, the movie itself has such an air of dignity to it that one just sort of assumes that the production of the movie did as well. But according to Julie Andrews' comments on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, that's apparently not the case. While the final version of the opening moments is just a beautiful vista in Austria with the swelling music of the movie's title theme, what Julie Andrews experienced was quite different. She also had to put up with what we can only assume was an immense amount of noise coming from a helicopter, which was probably doing a decent job drowning out the massive speakers hidden in trees that were playing the music Andrews was trying to lip sync to.
While the scene may have been difficult to film, it set the tone for what would go on to be one of the popular movies ever made. The Sound of Music is just one of the reasons that Julie Andrews is one of the greatest actresses that ever lived. Check out her full comments about the memorable scene, with a Tonight Show host who clearly loves the movie, in the clip below.
We're certainly glad that Julie Andrews braved the dirt and grass in order to produce one of the most memorable moments in movie history. You can tell how important a movie The Sound of Music is by virtue of the fact that nobody has even dared a theatrical remake yet.