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The Sound of Music (1965)

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Page 7
Maria as a bride

And so they were married... Surrounded by hundreds of well-wishers as well as the children, Maria processes down the aisle of the cathedral at Mondsee in a simple, elegant Dorothy Jeakins gown with the Nonnberg Abbey nuns (never mind the geography) looking on approvingly.  One of the most memorable in film history after Wagner, Irwin Kostal's adaptation of Richard Rodgers' wedding processional for Maria, overscored with strains of "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?," earned Kostal an Academy Award for Best Music Scoring and sets the perfect tone for this, one of the most tastefully lavish wedding scenes ever filmed.

"The Wedding March" (a .MOV file courtesy 20th Century Fox).

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

The children and Max rehearse

The pealing of church bells is soon drowned out by the sound of goose-stepping boots on Salzburg's cobblestone streets however, as the political crisis that has been brewing throughout the film finally comes to a boil.  While Maria and Georg are away on their honeymoon, the Nazis take over Austria and the Von Trapp's homeland becomes a subordinate province in Hitler's ever expanding and increasingly militant Third Reich.  Unsaddled with the captain's political convictions, Max cooperates with the new regime and even takes advantage of the captain's absence to enter the children in the annual Salzburg Music Festival.  On the day of the festival however, Georg and Maria return, and Captain von Trapp reiterates to Max his staunch opposition to his children singing in public.  Maria, now acquiescent in her role as the dutiful wife and mother, makes little attempt to change his mind.

Maria counsels Liesl

Instead, while Georg goes off by himself to read a telegram from Berlin, Maria counsels Liesl on the ups and downs of love.  The young lad Rolfe, it seems, has been caught up in the political fervor of the Anschluss and is now occupied with more important matters than romantic summer strolls with Liesl. Considerably more poised, yet understanding as ever, Maria advises Liesl to cry a little and then wait for the sun to come out -- as it always does:

"When you're sixteen-going-on-seventeen, waiting for life to start, somebody kind who touches your mind will suddenly touch your heart..."

Georg and Maria prepare to leave

Maria's quiet moments as wife and mother are brief however, as Georg soberly returns with the telegram requesting his immediate acceptance of a commission in the German navy.

"To refuse them would be fatal for all of us, and joining them would be unthinkable." -- Captain von Trapp.

With surprisingly little deliberation and no consultation with his wife, Georg tells Maria they must get out of Austria that very night.  A few hours later, under the cover of darkness, Max reluctantly helps them quietly push the family car out of the driveway where Herr Zeller, the Nazi gauleiter, and his henchmen are waiting for them.  In a quick cover-up, Captain von Trapp explains to Herr Zeller that the family is on its way to sing at the festival.  Incredulous, the gauleiter accepts this plausible explanation as a temporary delay in his orders and escorts the Von Trapps to the festival, after which he intends to take the captain to the naval base at Bremerhaven to accept his commission.

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Last updated: June 21, 2010.
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