The Sound of Music : Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

He had commented many times as this being a terrible experience, even calling it 'The Sound of Mucus'.

This film is the only reason a lot of people even know who he is, yet he trashes it?!



I'd say this cloud is Cumulo Nimbus.
Didn't he discover America?
Penfold, shush.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

a wonderful actor,but a hypocrite..he knew it was a" corny" musical when he signed on for the big paycheck,yet he thought he was too good for it..he's not the first or last actor to cop that attitude,which is disloyal and ungrateful

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

Thank you for the reply. I suspected it was a snooty-issue with Plummer. He always acted like his crap didn't stink.

While the film is cheesy to some extent, its also charming & the actors (almost everyone except Plummer, ironically) clearly worked very hard on it.

His rude attitude reminds me of Tom Cruise re the film "Legend".
The film was the picture of superb cinematography & soundtrack.
Yet Cruise refuses to discuss it, even though he ironically is decent there.

He finds it embarrassing, yet not only is he is a third-rate actor at best, but why isn't he embarrassed by the horrid "Color of Money" or "Eyes Wide Shut" or "Cocktail"?!

But then, his attitudes offscreen are equally stupid.



I'd say this cloud is Cumulo Nimbus.
Didn't he discover America?
Penfold, shush.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

Your comment about The Color of Money proves you are an idiot

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

I am basing my opinion solely on the info presented here in this thread. I don't know what he said exactly. Surely after several years, an actor can express his true feelings in an interview. What would be the point of interviewing ex-White House press secretaries, people who worked with Elvis, or former Marines if the only respectable, loyal way to respond in the interview was to express cliches and to utter insincere praise. Plummer should have been gracious and objective. I agree. The movieas classic status now and it's far enough away that even a ultra hip Wrapper/rapper can say he loves it without shocking anyone, but probably in the late 60s/early 70s, it would have been so square to say one was proud of the movie and saw it every time it played in a cinema. Just a guess. Can't prove it.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

Perhaps it was more the experience of it rather than the film itself.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

I've since read a little about why he hated it. Evidently he said "I know this is such a cheesy musical but I like the big paycheck'.

Again, he's a schmuck. This film is really the only reason Americans even know who he is.



I'd say this cloud is Cumulo Nimbus.
Didn't he discover America?
Penfold, shush.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

Speak for yourself. I've seen him in a ton of movies, and find the Sound of Music to be the equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. Even remembering that awful singing of Julie Andrews gives me a headache. It's one long ad for her vocal extremes. Maybe he was made irritable by high pitch singing too? I think it's our ears--her voice on higher notes pierces through our ears and then into our brains. It's physically painful. It's just too much when they put her outside and she aims that voice across the mountains! It's a weapon! With artificial cheeriness added. So over-the-top! Many musicals stay in my head for days in a good way. But this has me wanting to cry, and muting very fast. I like Victor/Victoria and only mute her singing a couple of times. I love her in The Americanization of Emily--she never sings.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??


Even remembering that awful singing of Julie Andrews gives me a headache.


Hehe... good thing for you there is always Taylor Swift!!

LOL!!!






Is very bad to steal Jobu's rum. Is very bad.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

i feel exactly the same, i hate that voice, most of her films bombed at the box office,ie "STAR" "DARLING LILI" also the tamarind seed, torn curtain with Paul Newman, what was they thinking of putting them too together, she had a small revival with "Victor Victoria", her tv series was scrapped after one series due to very low ratings..anyway along came Barbra Streisand with that beautiful voice and she had 1st choice of all the musicals being made in Hollywood and put Julie in the shade. i think Julie is a lovely lady when i have seen her on talk shows, but in musicals not for me.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??


most of her films bombed at the box office,ie "STAR" "DARLING LILI" also the tamarind seed, torn curtain with Paul Newman, what was they thinking of putting them too together...





Actually, until "Star!" and "Darling Lili," all of Julie Andrews' films were box office hits - and some of them ("Mary Poppins," "The Sound of Music" and "Hawaii") were the biggest grossers of their respective years. "Torn Curtain" was certainly not a critical success, but it managed to generate a small profit. "Americanization of Emily" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie" were also hits.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

I don't think he hated making it at all. I just think that's become his schtick over the years, the more so as we've started celebrating SoM anniversaries. He admits his behavior wasn't the greatest, but it depends upon who you ask. I think Sol Chaplin said that he behaved as if he were this great theatrical performer condescending to do this minor little film. But Bob Wise (the director) liked him, and Ernst Lehman, the screenwriter, who thinks all actors are a pain in the neck, LOVED him. When Ernst Lehman has stories about working with stars, he rolls his eyes at the input they wanted into the script. Even about Cary Grant. Christopher Plummer is the only one whose input he found valuable. So anyway, like a lot of projects, I think he may have been ambivalent at times but it was not so bad as he pretends. He certainly went on to make plenty of crap movies. This is much better than a lot of them.

Julie Andrews at the time of the movie also said he's a thoughtful person, and when someone is thoughtful and they're quiet, people may think they're being aloof, but he's not.

I also think the memory of the Broadway show sticks in Plummer's mind. When he complains that the role as written was terrible, he's not being a "star". He's right. He's not looking to be the star performer - it was just an awful role until they re-wrote it. For example, when they're fleeing the Nazis, the Captain has no idea what to do and is all "What about the children!?" and Maria has all the answers. And, actually, if you watch the German language movie upon which the B'way show is based, you can see that the Captain has no real drive or direction of his own.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

You clearly dont know what a singing voice sounds like

Julie andrews could hit very high notes.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

It seems that you forget that Christopher Plummer was already well known back on 1965 for his excellent Shakespearian stage performances. (His playing style is obvious at the festival scene when he gives a small talk before starts singing. Watch how he speaks his lines).

So I think that what was bothering him the most, was that he was not remembered afterwards about his stage work but just from this role. This is certainly at least frustrating for an actor who had worked hard to establish himself on stage - the most difficult kind of performances actors can give.
To be remembered from a musical, even if this musical is one of the best, it wasn't the best thing that could happen for the reputation of a stage actor, even if this made him internationally famous.
It was a matter of his personal priorities and I can understand why he felt negatively afterwards about this film.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

The "sound of mucus" reference was about the fact that he had a miserable cold all the way through filming. In itself, it is not a commentary on the film so much as a pun about his experience.

However, yes, he did spend a number of years being unpleasant about the film. He was a young, attractive, formally trained "serious" Shakespearean actor and this musical was cheesy and saccharine and clearly positioned to earn money. I expect he really did see himself as being above it and that is thoroughly obnoxious. Pretty sure he was also a depressed alcoholic at the time. He didn't quit the drinking until later in life.

I get the sense though that, in his later years, he's grown up and mellowed a bit about the whole thing and recognized what a phenomenon the film has become.

He also seems to have maintained a lovely friendship with Julie Andrews so it couldn't have been all bad.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

Luckily it was a miserable cold instead of a bad case of flu. Otherwise, he might be referring to the movie as "The Sound of Spewed Sick" instead.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

I read all of the Sound of Music sections of his autobiography, and he didn't have a cold during filming. His only health issue was sciatic nerve pain.

He and many in the production did a lot of work prior to the filming, because the Broadway show was pretty bad, as I think people can tell from the Live Version a couple of years ago. He wasn't actually formally trained in theatre - he didn't go to an academy or a conservatory. He learned from his peers, on the job, and I think got his first big break on a show that went to Bahamas. He had leading man looks, was intelligent, had a resonant voice, could handle verse, and had presence. That's what started his career. He did plenty of dreck before SoM. In his autobiography, he claims what attitude he did have was insecurity about the singing, at the same time wanting to do his own singing and not be dubbed, and his fears that they'd not improved his own role. By "improve" I don't mean "expanded." Just give him some presence. He wasn't the Laurence Olivier of Canada at that point. He'd made a splash in Henry V and I think had done Hamlet, but was also doing the ordinary jobs most actors do. One of his better jobs was "Stage Struck" where he was a supporting character. The leads were Henry Fonda and Susan Strasberg, and his character lost the girl to Henry's. The trailers for the movie tried to sell him a bit as a hearthrob but it didn't stick.

His formal training was in classical piano.

Nobody put a gun to his head to sign for the movie. He wasn't under contract to a studio. He knew exactly what property he was signing up to film - he'd seen it on the stage. He put his faith in the director, in the screenwriter, who worked with him, and in wanting to work with Julie Andrews, whom he'd loved in My Fair Lady.

A couple of things that are funny two me - two show business guys whose names I forget tell a story of picking up Christopher Plummer at the airport and being told by no means mention "Sound of Music." No sooner do they get him to his hotel than he's at the piano belting out "Eidelweiss." Another time he surprised Andrews on stage when Victor Victoria closed on Broadway, and everybody again sang "Eidelweiss" led by Plummer. He's just being contrary. When people fawn over the movie he pushes back. He knows it was great for his box office when he did do theatre.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

Plummer's displeasure with "The Sound of Mucus" could be similar to Alec Guinness' own rising contempt for Star Wars.

These extraordinarily talented stage and film actors were probably tired of being only known as that 'Sound of Music actor' and 'Obi Wan Kenobi'.

I'm sure whenever Plummer sat down for an interview, not more than 20 seconds in, and it's all Sound of Music questions. He was far more than a Captain Von Trapp, but the world didn't seem to care.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

I'm pretty sure he appeared with most of the cast on a reunion show on Oprah a few years back.

Re: Why did Christopher Plummer hate making this film so much??

From what I've seen in interviews and reading a bit into his psyche, I think that it all boils down to the fact that he was young and brash,and just doing a job at the time. No one knew that the movie was going to become a cinematic masterpiece. We all know what ends up on screen is polished and edited and represents nothing of the monotonous,sometimes grueling work actors have to endure. Also the credit goes to Wise,Rodgers,and Hammerstein for making the movie a piece of art. Plummer probably got tired of hearing about it. It wasn't his acting that made it great. It would be like if that farmer with the pitchfork in the painting "American Gothic" kept getting pestered by all the people in his town about how fantastic the painting was. Gets kind of old fast when all you contributed to it was standing still for hours on end.
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