Christopher Plummer opted out of the Harry Palmer role in The Ipcress File (1965) in favor of the Captain Von Trapp part, a decision he later regretted.
In the capacity of producer and director, Robert Wise won two statuettes but was unavailable to claim them due to his location shoot in Hong Kong on The Sand Pebbles (1966).
When the Best Picture Oscar went to The Sound of Music (1965) (April 18, 1966), it was the first time the Academy Awards had ever been broadcast in color (ABC TV) (see also The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)).
# # One of only 4 productions to win both the Best Play Tony (1960) and the Best Picture Oscar (1965). The other 3 are My Fair Lady (1957/1964), A Man For All Seasons (1962/1966) and Amadeus (1981/1984).
In 1962, Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett appeared in a special, Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall (1962) (TV), and at the time, "The Sound of Music" was still running on Broadway. Ironically, in a sketch on this TV special, Julie and Carol did a spoof of the "The Sound of Music" in much the same way Burnett later spoofed movies on her own variety show "The Carol Burnett Show" (1967). At the time, Julie Andrews had no idea she would later star in the film version.
# # The soundtrack album of the film (RCA Victor: 1965) is one of the best-selling soundtracks of all-time (some 11 million copies sold worldwide) and has never been out of print. A Grammy nominee for Album of the Year which remained at number one on the Billboard Charts for some five weeks, the very earliest issues of the album came with an illustrated booklet discussing the making of the film and the lives and careers of composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.
# # In real life, Captain Von Trapp was not stern. The Trapp children were upset and disturbed by the portrayal of their father in the film. Maria Von Trapp requested that director Robert Wise soften the character of her husband, but Wise refused.
Jeanette MacDonald was originally considered for the role of the Mother Abbess, and she was interested, but, in the end, her increasingly worsening health precluded her taking the part. She died a month before the film was released. Had she been able to accept, it would have been her first film in sixteen years.
The Sound of Music opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 16, 1959 and ran for 1443 performances.
# # Though the film is virtually unknown in Austria, due to the international popularity you can visit the places were the filming took place with a special tour. Furthermore in many hotels in Salzburg the movie is played non-stop on TV for the tourists.
# # The first scene filmed was the scene in Maria's bedroom where Frau Schmidt brings the dress material, and later Liesl sneaks in through the window. One of the last scenes filmed was the "You are Sixteen" number, which appears in the film right before the scene in Maria's room. The two scenes were shot about 4 months apart.
# # At the beginning of filming, Heather Menzies (Louisa) was about three inches taller than Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich). He had to wear heel lifts to make him look taller. By the end of the shoot, Nicolas Hammond had grown six inches (5'3" to 5'9"). He often filmed in no shoes and Charmian Carr had to stand on a box to make her taller. All of the Von Trapp children grew a lot during filming, so heel lifts and various camera tricks were used to keep their heights steady.
Charmian Carr (Liesl) slipped and injured her ankle while filming "Sixteen Going On Seventeen". In early editions of the film, the bandage covering that ankle is visible. When the film was remastered for DVD, the images of this bandage were digitally removed. On the movie commentary of the 40th Anniversary edition in 2005, Charmian said that because of this, some people do not believe her when she says she danced on an injured ankle.
Patty Duke, Mia Farrow and Sharon Tate all auditioned for the role of Liesl.
In Austria the film is know as “Meine Lieder - meine Träume” (“My Songs - my dreams”). It's not very well known there though, and the ending of the film was cut when it hit Austrian cinemas in the 60s.