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The Sound of Music (1965)

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Page 6
Maria and the captain dance

During the party, Kurt asks Maria to teach him the Lšndler, an Austrian folk dance the orchestra is playing.  But when Kurt proves too short a partner for the demonstration, the captain steps in and dances with Maria until, lost in his eyes, she can't remember anymore.  Embarrassed, confused, and slightly frightened, especially when the baroness comments on what a lovely couple they make, Maria beats a hasty retreat to her bedroom to change clothes for dinner.  But the baroness follows her.

The baroness talks to Maria

In one of the most deftly acted scenes in the entire film, and what amounts to a very sophisticated game of cat and mouse, assuming an air of friendship, the baroness gently informs Maria that her blush in the captain's arms has betrayed the secret love she has for him.  What's more, she tells Maria that the captain thinks he is in love with her as well:

"There's nothing more irresistible to a man than a woman who's in love with him." --The Baroness.

Dismayed at these revelations, Maria quickly packs her bags and runs back to the abbey where she secludes herself from the sisters and prays for guidance.  When the mother abbess finally summons her and Maria confesses she left because she couldn't face the captain again, the Reverend Mother asks point-blank if she is in love with him.

The mother abbess sings 'Climb Every Mountain'

"I don't know! I don't know! The baroness said I was. She said that he was in love with me, but I didn't want to believe it! Oh, there were times when we would look at each other -- oh, Mother, I could hardly breathe! ... That's what's been torturing me.  I was there on God's errand.  To have asked for his love would have been wrong. I couldn't stay. I just couldn't." --Maria.

The Reverend Mother responds by telling Maria that the love of a man and a woman is holy too, assuring her that if she loves the captain, it doesn't mean she loves God less.  Ignoring Maria's pleas to remain at the abbey and be "safe," she sends her back to the Von Trapps to find out the true nature of her feelings for the captain and how God wants her to spend her love, inspiring her with one of the greatest songs of the film: "Climb Every Mountain."

"Maria, these walls were not built to shut out problems. You have to face them. You have to live the life you were born to live:   Climb every mountain. Search high and low. Follow every byway, every path you know. Climb every mountain. Ford every stream. Follow every rainbow 'til you find your dream -- a dream that will need all the love you can give, every day of your life for as long as you live. Climb every mountain. Ford every stream. Follow every rainbow 'til you find your dream."

Georg and Elsa part

When Maria returns to the Von Trapps, the children are as excited to see her as she is to see them, but they have some news: the captain has announced his intention to marry the baroness.  Taken aback, but convinced this development has answered her lingering questions, Maria informs the captain of her intention to stay only until arrangements can be made for another governess.  But intrigued by his own unanswered questions about the reasons for her sudden departure without saying goodbye and subsequent return, the captain finds himself utterly distracted by her renewed presence. In another expertly acted scene, Elsa at first seems impervious to the captain's captivation with Maria, yet upon realizing who really has the captain's heart, she swallows her hurt and disappointment and makes a gracious exit.

Peggy Wood received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her performance as the mother abbess in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and in the opinion of Reel Classics, Eleanor Parker deserved one too.

Maria and the captain in the moonlight

Sure of what he wants, yet unsure of Maria's feelings towards him, the captain finds her in the garden and again inquires why she left and came back.  She continues to evade his questions until he tells her he is no longer engaged to the baroness:

"You can't marry someone when you're in love with someone else, can you?" --Captain von Trapp.

Finally at liberty to confess her own feelings, Maria can't believe that after struggling so long to make a place for herself in life, she finds a place ready-made for her with the captain and his family:

"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.  For here you are, standing there, loving me.  Whether or not you should.  So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good. 

"Nothing comes from nothing.  Nothing ever could.  So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good."

"Something Good" between Maria and the captain. (a .MOV file courtesy 20th Century Fox).

(For help opening the multimedia files, visit the plug-ins page.)

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Last updated: June 21, 2010.
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