Guest Author - Karen L Hardison
From tormenting the nuns at Nonnberg Abbey ("She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee..."), the postulant Maria goes on to being the governess, at the strong suggestion of her Mother Superior ("Climb every mountain, ford every stream, / Follow every rainbow, / till you find your dream..."), of the von Trapp children who are notorious for putting frogs and tacks and things where they don't belong and other outlandish tricks designed to scramble the head of any respectable governess in the smash hit The Sound of Music by Rogers and Hammerstein. Captain Von Trapp leaves almost immediately to court his intended wife in Vienna and the von Trapp mansion's draperies have never looked so good ("When you know the notes to sing, / You can sing most anything. / Together!"). A massive thunder storm throws governess and children together for a note of encouragement: "Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes. / Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes...."
Upon Captain von Trapp's return with his fiancee in tow their carriage passes seven children and a governess all dressed in drapery fabric hanging from tree branches along the public road...Curiouser and curiouser. As a greeting and welcome for their father, Maria has taught the children to harmonize on "Edelweiss," and Captain von Trapp sings and strums along showing the great talent for which he was once renowned. As part of the entertainment for the great lady and her party visiting from Vienna, Maria and the children put on a marionette show about a goatherd and a girl ("Soon the mama with a gleaming gloat heard / Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo!"). A ball is arranged and Maria has the thrill of dancing with the Captain (Whatever designer put Julie Andrews in the horrible dress should still be doing penance!). She later has the thrill of singing with him as they declare their love for each other with "Perhaps I had a wicked childhood. / Perhaps I had a miserable youth. / But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past, / There must have been a moment of truth...." The splendid wedding is only the beginning of the drama that comes as the Nazis invade Austria and, rather than return to naval duty under command of the Nazis, Captain von Trapp and his family flee over the Alps to Switzerland.
Julie Andrews had her already glorious film career emblazoned even further with her performance as Maria in The Sound of Music, starring alongside the impeccable Christopher Plummer (it had to be love if he declared his love while she was in that dress...), as Captain von Trapp, with both framed to perfection by the seven lovely and lovable children ("I fleet, I float, I fleetly flee I fly....So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, adieu. Adieu, adieu to you and you and you...") ("I am sixteen going on seventeen, I know that I'm naive. / Fellows I meet may tell me I'm sweet / And willingly I believe..."). The story of the von Trapps is remarkable for its originality and warmth as well as for its truth. If you're young and have never seen this movie, it's time to rent or buy it. If you're mature and somehow...somehow this movie has slipped through your fingers, it's time to rent or buy it. If you've seen it one to one zillion times, it's time to see it again, after all, "The hills are alive with the sound of music, / With songs they have sung for a thousand years...!" [Directed by Robert Wise (1965).]
[The Sound of Music DVD from Reviewer's private collection.]