The Sound of Music (1965)
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arrival at the Trapp family home, Maria learns that she is the twelfth in a
long line of governesses who have come to look after the children since
their mother died. In fact, her predecessor lasted only two hours.
Her impulsive comments, untidy dress and undisciplined manner leave the
captain skeptical that she will fare any better, but he whistles for his children and,
standing at attention, they introduce themselves -- formally, at first; less
Liesl, 16 and without need of a governess; Friedrich, 14
and impossible; Louisa, 13 and an experienced prankster; Kurt, 11 and
incorrigible; Brigitta, 10 and an observant fashion critic; Marta, 7 and a
fan of pink parasols; Gretl, 5 and always last (because she is the most
"Introducing the von Trapp children" (a .MOV file courtesy
Just as Maria begins to feel sorry for the "poor little dears," she
discovers the precious gift they left in her pocket and her apprehensions
about them are confirmed.
that evening, Maria sits down to dinner with the family, where after a short
blessing, the new governess soon has her young charges bawling with pangs of
guilt that their father prefers to diagnose as indigestion and Maria
dismisses as happiness. Although
the captain (Christopher Plummer) is first introduced laying down the law to
Maria and whistling for his children like animals, it is at the dinner table
that the man behind the military demeanor first begins to peek through.
He is more preoccupied than uncaring, if deliberately so, and although he
appears not to notice when Liesl stealthily departs the dinner table for a
rendezvous with Rolfe, the delivery boy, she later learns he was paying more
attention than she thought.
Carr) and Rolfe
sixteen-going-on-seventeen and seventeen-going-on-eighteen, are only able to
meet when Rolfe comes by to deliver telegrams, though he has considered
sending Liesl a telegram himself, just so he could deliver it:
I'd like to be able to tell you how I feel about you. STOP. Unfortunately,
this wire is already too expensive. Sincerely, Rolfe."
After an admonition to Liesl that the captain should avoid seeming "too
Austrian" in the current political climate, Rolfe confesses that she is
really the one he worries about:
"You wait, little girl, on an empty stage for fate to turn the light
on. Your life, little girl, is an empty page that men will want to write
on. You are sixteen-going-on-seventeen. Baby, it's time to think. Better
beware. Be canny and careful. Baby, you're on the brink.
"You are sixteen-going-on-seventeen. Fellows will fall in line.
Eager young lads and roués and cads will offer you food and wine.
Totally unprepared are you to face a world of men. Timid and shy and
scared are you of things beyond your ken. You need someone older and
wiser telling you what to do. I am seventeen-going-on-eighteen. I'll
take care of you."
out of the house in a thunderstorm, Liesl climbs in through Maria's window
as she is saying her prayers. In one of the first tests of her
authority, Maria demonstrates understanding and a willingness to bend the
rules when she proposes a little friendly counseling rather than turning
Liesl in to her father. The insubordinate teen is quickly won over:
"I told you today I didn't need a governess. Well, maybe
I do." --Liesl.
Charmian Carr made her film debut playing 16 year-old Liesl in THE SOUND
OF MUSIC, and at age 21, she was the oldest of the actors playing the Von
Trapp children by more than seven years. Carr was also the last of the
children to be cast, as the producers struggled to find someone who, aside
from the obvious talent qualifications, was old enough to work the
unrestricted hours disallowed to child actors, yet youthful enough
to pass for 16. In 2000, she published a memoir of the making of THE
SOUND OF MUSIC (her first and last film) entitled Forever Liesl.
Liesl is soon joined in Maria's room by her siblings who arrive seeking
reassurance during the thunderstorm, or ostensibly, to check on Maria and
make sure she isn't scared. After a trying first day, the children and
their new governess finally bond over a rousing rendition of "My Favorite
"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright
copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Brown paper packages tied up with
strings. These are a few of my favorite things. Cream colored ponies and
crisp apple strudel. Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles.
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings. These are a few of my
favorite things. Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes. Snowflakes
that stay on my nose and eyelashes. Silver white winters that melt into
springs. These are a few of my favorite things. When the dog bites, when
the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things,
and then I don't feel so bad."
Favorite Things" (a .MOV file courtesy 20th Century
Favorite Things" (an .AU file courtesy Rhino
(For help opening the multimedia files, visit the plug-ins
(Watch closely in this scene and you can see young Debbie Turner (Marta)
singing along with
Andrews during portions of "My Favorite Things.")
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