In 1956, Paramount Pictures purchased the United States film rights to the book, with the intention of casting Audrey Hepburn
as Maria. But the studio eventually dropped its option, clearing the way for the stage version of “The Sound of Music” (right), starring Mary Martin
. The musical won six Tony Awards in 1960, including Best Musical, and later that year 20th Century Fox bought the film adaptation rights to the stage show for $1.25 million.