The Sound of Music (1965)
| Awards |
| Dictionary | Bibliography |
Captain von Trapp returns from Vienna with guests in tow: his glamorous love
interest, Baroness Elsa Schraeder (Eleanor Parker), and enterprising family
friend/ chaperone, Max Detweiler (Richard Hayden).
Although Eleanor Parker was by far the best-known film star to appear in
THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the time of its release, the almost-conspiratorial
matrimonial plotting that takes place between Max and Elsa in the stage
production was virtually eliminated from the movie, reducing the screen-time
significance of both characters, but making the movie's baroness a much more
sympathetic romantic leading lady.
Two songs from the stage production
involving Frau Schraeder -- "How Can Love Survive?" with Max, and "No Way to
Stop It" with Max and Georg -- were also cut from the film, better refining
the movie's use of the music dynamic in plot development. In the stage
production, all the characters in the play sing because it is a musical.
In the film version of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, when individual characters are
moved to sing together, they find themselves united by the music.
Characters who don't sing together share a less intimate relationship than
those who do.
In the film, when the singing starts, Elsa quips that she should have brought along her
harmonica -- a humorous line, but one that demonstrates her exclusion from
the musical bond that develops between the others.
The captain is far from amused when he arrives home to find his children and
their governess soaked to the skin, having tumbled out of a canoe into the
lake in their excitement to see him. After immediately ordering the
children inside to clean up and get back into their uniforms, he confronts Fraulein
Maria about the play clothes and the children's extra-curricular activities
climbing trees. She, in turn, proceeds to tell the captain a few
things about his children that he is never home long enough to notice.
Angered at her outspokenness, Captain von Trapp dismisses Maria and orders
her to return to the abbey. In the silence that follows this
pronouncement, the captain hears music coming from the house and goes inside
Astounded to discover his children singing "The Sound of Music" for the baroness, the
captain is moved to join them, and over the course of the song, the
reconnects through the music.
Though British stage actor Christopher Plummer originally intended to do his
own singing for THE SOUND OF MUSIC, his musical contributions to the film
were eventually re-recorded in post-production by voice artist Bill Lee who
had recorded musical numbers for John Kerr in SOUTH PACIFIC (1958) and
voiced animated characters for numerous
Disney feature films.
the children sing 'The
Sound of Music'" (a .MOV file courtesy 20th Century
Catching a glimpse of Maria in the doorway and grateful to her for
bringing music back into his house, the captain changes his mind about
dismissing her and asks Maria to stay. Armed with a better
understanding of the captain and his intentions toward the baroness, Maria
continues on with the family, redefining her governess role to include the
task of preparing the children for a new mother.
Under Maria's tutelage, the von Trapp children's musical talents expand to
include puppeteering, as demonstrated by the marionette show they put on for
Uncle Max, the baroness and their father.
Originally written for the thunderstorm scene in Maria's bedroom, "The
Lonely Goatherd" is another example of structural changes screenwriter
Ernest Lehman made to the stage story in adapting it for the screen.
In the play, Maria and the Mother Abbess sing "My Favorite Things" in her
office before Maria leaves the abbey. Lehman moved that song to the
thunderstorm scene in Maria's bedroom and used that scene's original song,
"The Lonely Goatherd," for a new and completely separate puppet show number:
"High on a hill lived a lonely goatherd. Lay-ee ode lay-ee ode lay-hee
hoo. Loud was the voice of the lonely goatherd: Lay-ee ode lay-ee ode-loo.
"Folks in a town that was quite remote heard: Lay-ee ode lay-ee ode lay-hee
Lusty and clear from the goatherd's throat heard: Lay-ee ode lay-ee ode-loo..."
Goatherd" (a .MOV file courtesy 20th Century
The children next add light dancing to their repertoire as demonstrated when
they sing goodnight to their
father's guests at the grand and glorious party Captain von Trapp gives to
introduce the baroness to his Salzburg friends: "So long. Farewell. Auf
"There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells
in the steeple too. And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is
popping out to say cuckoo. Regretfully they tell us, but firmly they
compel us, to say goodbye to you..."
Long, Farewell" (a .MOV file courtesy 20th Century
(For help opening the multimedia files, visit the plug-ins
Go to the next page.
Main Page |
Page 2 | Page 3
| Page 4 | Page 5 |
Page 6 | Page 7 |