one great film in the treasure of world films
Here you will find
The complete story of the film with all the major scenes and dialogues.
The stars for the film
The True Story
The story told in the film is a true story. differing from the real story only in a few details, It is the story of the Von Trapp family. The Von Trapps did not return to Austria after WW II, but settled in the United States. The Baron,( the hero of the film) was decorated submarine commander in the First World War
Maria Von Trapp ( the heroine of the film ) stayed at the Von Trapp family music camp in Vermont, called "Little Austria." till the end of her life.
The Von Trapps arrived in New York with only $4 in their pockets and made their living for the next fifteen years as touring musicians. They then established their music camp at "Little Austria."
On March 12, 1938, Nazi troops peacefully entered Austria to effect the union of Austria and Germany. This was called the "Anschluss." Germany and its friends in Austria claimed that there was a common Austro-German language and culture and that Austria should be an equal part of the Third Reich. As shown in the movie, the few Austrians who opposed the Anschluss were drowned out in a chorus of "Heil Hitlers."
If you love the film you must read the story,
If you have never seen the film, you have to read Ihe story: please it is a request from a sound of music fan. And do not forget the songs in the right box, they are just too good.
They will give you courage, hope and confidence!
The complete story of the film
(you can read it like a story book)
when the film begins we see
rocky, snow-covered mountains.
a green, wooded valley with steep cliffs that descend into a snow-fed lake. Reflections of the hills are viewed in the mirror-like images on the water's surface.
The European landscape and village, an open, green area nestled between the peaks. we go closer into the green field, where a happy and joyous Maria (Julie Andrews), a novice Salzburg Austrian nun, walking across the wide expanse of land.
With open-armed appreciation of the beauty of the surrounding majestic peaks and vistas of the Austrian Alps, she twirls and sings the title song.
"The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music."
Because of her adventuresome, flighty and stubborn nature, she spends so much time singing and dancing on the mountainside that she has neglected most of her duties at the Abbey. She hears distant church bells pealing, reminding her that she is late and must return to the nunnery.
The setting is Austria in 1939 before the outbreak of World War II: "Salzburg, Austria, in the last Golden Days of the Thirties."
In Maria's nunnery, prayers have been said in the chapel, but Maria is nowhere to be found, according to Sister Bernice , "I have looked everywhere, in all the usual places." Sister Margaretta stands up for Maria: "After all, the wool of a black sheep is just as warm." Sister Berthe, is uncertain of the future of the independent-minded, spirited nun-in training: "We are not talking about sheep, black or white, Sister Margaretta. Of all the candidates for the novitiate, I would say Maria is the least likely."
Maria climbs trees and her dress has a tear. She waltzes on her way to mass, has curlers in her hair, and even sings in the Abbey. Maria is always late for chapel: "She always late for everything except for every meal." Their overall assessment: "Maria's not an asset to the Abbey."
The Reverend Mother wonders about how to cure the deficiencies of the troublesome, flighty, and unpredictable trainee: "How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?...Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her, many a thing she ought to understand...How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?"
In the Reverend Mother's chambers, Maria says sorry for being distracted by the majestic scenery, begging for forgiveness:
"I just couldn't help myself. The gates were open and the hills were beckoning...I can't seem to stop singing wherever I am." says Maria
In the hopes that Maria mignt find her way if she goes in the outside world, the Mother Superior suggests that she leave the nunnery before she decides whether to become a monastic, nun:
"It seems to be the will of God that you leave us...only for a while, Maria...Perhaps if you go out into the world for a time, knowing what we expect of you, you will have a chance to find out if you can expect it of yourself."
It is arranged for Maria to take a job as a governess/nanny for a family near Salzburg "until September...to take care of seven children" - of the widowed Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer),
a retired officer of the Imperial Navy, a fine man and a brave one. His wife died several years ago, leaving him alone with the children. Now I understand he's had a most difficult time managing to keep a governess there.
Scared, doubtful and worried as she leaves the familiar surroundings of the Abbey, Maria walks away with her duffel bag and guitar case .
She begin's her journey by comforting herself by saying , "when god closes the door some how he opens the window"
Through out her journey she is telling herself, "I Have Confidence in Me."
She peers through the gate as she arrives at the magnificent Von Trapp villa, gasping: "Oh, help!" After butler Franz greets her at the front door, she walks into the ballroom and begins to dance by herself. The Captain enters by slamming open both doors, startling her and causing her to run from the room. She is sternly reprimanded by the strait-laced widower:
In the future, you'll kindly remember there are certain rooms in this house which are not to be disturbed.
Maria is warned that by the harsh disciplinarian that she is "twelfth in a long line of governesses" who have attempted to look after the mother-less Von Trapp children: "..the last one - she stayed only two hours." After a daunted Maria inquires: "What's wrong with the children, sir?," she is cautioned that the problems were with the previous nannies: "They were completely unable to maintain discipline. Without it, this house cannot be properly run. Will you please remember that, Fraulein?" Since his wife died, naval hero Trapp has strictly helmed his house like a militaristic, humorless naval ship - there is no time for play and his regimented children function like a troop of automaton-sailors:
Every morning, you will drill the children in their studies. I will not permit them to dream away their summer holidays. Each afternoon, they will march about the grounds breathing deeply. Bedtime is to be strictly observed - no exceptions...You will see to it that they conduct themselves at all time with the utmost orderliness and decorum. I am placing you in command.
The Captain summons the children to come down with his boatswain's whistle. Each wearing a drab, modified sailor's uniform, they line up on the upper floor's balcony (from the eldest to youngest) and march down the stairs in unison. They are identified by an individualized whistle sound - as each signal is played, they step forward and announce their names to Maria:
16 year-old Liesl (Charmain Carr),
14 year-old Friedrich (Nicholas Hammond),
13 year-old Louisa (Heather Menzies),
11 year-old Kurt (Duane Chase),
10 year-old Brigitta (Angela Cartwright),
almost 7 year-old Marta (Debbie Turner), and
5 year-old Gretl (Kym Karath).
Maria is instructed: "You, Fraulein, will listen carefully. Learn their signals so that you can call them when you want them."
The novice governess defiantly confronts the Captain regarding his summoning technique:
I could never answer to a whistle. Whistles are for dogs and cats and other animals, but not for children, and definitely not for me. It would be too humiliating.
The seven mischievous, incorrigible children test her and play a prank upon her, as they have done previously to run off other governesses. When she's not looking, they place a frog in her pocket. At the dinner table that evening in the formal dining room, Maria she sits on a rough-edged pine cone placed on her chair. She makes the children feel guilty for their practical jokes: "Knowing how nervous I must have been - a stranger in a new household, knowing how important it was for me to feel accepted, it was so kind and thoughtful of you to make my first moments here so warm and happy and pleasant."
Young, teenaged Rolf (Daniel Truhitte) delivers a telegram through Franz to the Captain, summoning him in the morning to Vienna to again visit Baroness Elsa Schraeder (Eleanor Parker) and Max Detweiler (Richard Hadyn), whom the children regard as their 'uncle.' Liesl sneaks outdoors to meet shy, 17 year-old boyfriend Rolf, who is waiting for her in the garden near the pavilion. Together in the bluish light of the evening, they sing of their innocent young, adolescent love on the brink of adulthood: "You Are Sixteen." Thunder, lightning and rain forces them into the shelter of the gazebo where they continue singing and dancing in a magical sequence.
(Rolf): 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...
Totally unprepared are you, to face a world of men.
Timid and shy and scared are you, of things beyond your kin.
You need someone older and wiser, telling you what to do.
I am seventeen, going on eighteen. I'll take care of you...
(Liesl): 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.
I am sixteen, going on seventeen, innocent as a rose...
Totally unprepared am I, to face a world of men.
Timid and shy and scared am I, of things beyond my kin.
I need someone older and wiser telling me what to do.
You are seventeen, going on eighteen. I'll depend on you.
At the conclusion of their duet, they finally kiss just once - he races rapturously from the gazebo, and she exclaims triumphantly with her arms outstretched: "Whee!"
Frau Schmidt delivers bolts of fabric material to Maria that the Captain had ordered from town to make new dresses for her. When she asks for more material to make playclothes for her charges, Frau Schmidt curtly lectures: "The Von Trapp children don't play, they march." According to her, since his wife died, the Captain is aloof and cold and "runs this house as if he were on one of his ships again - whistles, orders, no more music, no more laughing. Nothing that reminds him of her, even the children." However, the last time he visited the Baroness, he remained in Vienna for a month and "the Captain is thinking very seriously of marrying the woman before the summer's over." As Maria prays by her bedside, blessing the Captain and the children, a rain-drenched, love-sick Leisl enters through her window from her dis-allowed rendezvous with Rolf. Three or four noisy peals of lightning and thunder bring in the other children in their pajamas, fearful of the storm. To allay their concerns, she advises them to think of "nice things...daffodils, green meadows, skies full of stars, raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens" when they are unhappy. She breaks into song, "My Favorite Things":
...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 strudels
Doorbells and sleighbells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
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.
She wins them over to her side with singing and with her warm-heartedness and sense of fair play and humor. But when the Captain enters, the cowed children snap back to attention while Maria is reprimanded for not observing strict bedtime hours and is accused of undermining his authority. She is reminded that "the first rule in this house is discipline." After the Captain has left, she conceives the idea of making playclothes for the children from the cast-off material of the soon-to-be replaced drapes, and begins resumes joyously singing "My Favorite Things."
In the next scene, after the Captain has left for Vienna, she ignores his strict orders - refusing to obey his harsh treatment of the family. Instead of keeping the children at home, she takes them on tours of the city and the surrounding countryside. The children accompany Maria to town, each wearing matching clothing from the heavy window drapes. They cross a footbridge and visit the open market for shopping, where she juggles ripe tomatoes. The happy group skips along the banks of a river, rides a train up into the Austrian Alps hills, where they experience an open-air picnic on the verdant grassy area of the film's opening sequence, with a magnificent panorama of beautiful peaks behind them. To prepare for the Baroness' arrival, she teaches them how to sing, beginning by giving a name to the fundamental notes of the scale - "Do-Re-Mi."
...the first three notes just happen to be, Do-Re-Mi.
Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti, oh let's see if I can make it easier
Doe, a deer, a female deer, Ray, a drop of golden sun
Me, a name I call myself, Far, a long, long way to run
Sew, a needle pulling thread, La, a note to follow So
Tea, a drink with jam and bread, that will bring us back to Do...
As the song continues marked with superb, fresh choreography, they return to town - the clothing of the children changes to reflect the passage of time during the Captain's absence. She further explains that Do, Re, and Mi "are only the tools we use to build a song. Once you have these notes in your heads, you can sing a million different tunes by mixing them up, like this - So, Do, La, Fa, Mi, Do, Re, So, Do, La, Ti, Do, Re, Do." Then she adds one word for every note: "When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most any thing." A quick-cut montage shows them walking, bicycling, riding in a carriage, and running. In the carriage sequence, each of the children take one of the seven notes on the scale - Maria points to them with the buggy whip, creating a melody with their voices: "Do, Mi, Mi, Mi, So, So, Re, Fa, Fa, La, Ti, Ti." On the steps of a garden area, she and the children jump up and down 'musical' steps - signifying higher and lower notes on the diatonic musical scale.
The Captain returns home with his fiancee, the wealthy, glamorous Austrian Baroness and Max Detweiler, a self-proclaimed "very charming sponge" and an impresario who mentions that "somewhere, a hungry little singing group is waiting for Max Detweiler to pluck it out of obscurity and make it famous at the Salzburg Folk Festival." On their drive toward the villa, they notice the rambunctious Trapp children hanging from limbs along the tree-lined road, which the Captain quickly dismisses: "Oh, it's nothing - just some local urchins." He shows Elsa his estate upon their arrival where she feels he is more "at home" than in Vienna. He compliments her as being "lovely, charming, witty, graceful, the perfect hostess, and...in a way, my savior...Well, I would be an ungrateful wretch if I didn't tell you at least once that it was you who brought some meaning back into my life..." She hints at her own desire for marriage, mentioning that without her environment in Vienna, she is "just wealthy, unattached little me searching just like you."
When the Captain exits to look for his children, Elsa and Max speak about her strategy to win over the wealthy, aristocratic Captain:
Max: Have you made up Georg's mind yet? Do I hear wedding bells?
Elsa: Pealing madly.
Elsa: But not necessarily for me.
Max: What kind of talk's that?
Elsa: That is none of your business talk, Max. I am terribly fond of Georg and I will not have you toying with us.
Max: But I am a child. I like toys, so tell me everything. Oh come on, tell Max every teensy, weensy, intimate disgusting detail.
Elsa: Well, let's just say I have a feeling I may be here on approval.
Max: Well, I approve of that. How can you miss?
Elsa: Far too easily.
Max: If I know you darling, and I do, you will find a way.
Elsa: Oh, he's no ordinary man.
Max: No, he's rich!
Elsa: When his wife died, she left him with a terrible heartache.
Max: And when your husband died, he left you with a terrible fortune.
Elsa: Oh, Max, you really are a beast.
Max: You and Georg are like family to me. That's why I want to see you two get married. We must keep all that lovely money in the family.
As Rolf throws small rocks at Leisl's window, he is caught by the Captain. Embarrassed, he makes a Heil Hitler gesture, and then delivers a telegram to Herr Detweiler, an apolitical bystander. The imminent political and military invasion-takeover of Austria by the Nazis is a subject of contention between them, and the Captain refuses to surrender:
Elsa: Oh Georg, he's just a boy.
Captain: Yes, and I'm just an Austrian.
Max: What's gonna happen's gonna happen. Just make sure it doesn't happen to you.
Captain: (incensed) Max, don't you ever say that again!
Max: You know I have no political convictions. Can I help it if other people do?
Captain: Oh yes you can help it. You must help it.
The children are spied canoeing on the lake - as they stand to greet their father in the unwieldy vessel, the boat overturns and capsizes, and everyone falls out. The completely soaked von Trapps are whistled into a line, introduced to Baroness Schraeder, and then dismissed. Still dripping wet, Maria is scolded for her conduct, for making playclothes out of common house drapes, and for encouraging their disobedience:
Captain: Is it possible, or could I have just imagined, have my children by any chance been climbing trees today?
Maria: Yes, Captain.
Captain: I see. And where, may I ask, did they get these, uhm, these...
Captain: Oh, is that what you call them?
Maria: I made them, from the drapes that used to hang in my bedroom...They still had plenty of wear left. The children have been everywhere in them.
Captain: Do you mean to tell me that my children have been roaming about Salzburg dressed up in nothing but some old drapes?!
Maria: (affirming) Umm, hmm, and having a marvelous time.
Captain: They have uniforms.
Maria: Straitjackets, if you'll forgive me.
Captain: I will not forgive you for that.
Maria: Children cannot do all the things they're supposed to do if they have to worry about spoiling their precious clothes they wear....Well, they wouldn't dare. They love you too much. They fear you too much.
Captain: I don't wish you to discuss my children in this manner.
Maria: Well, you've got to hear from someone. You're never home long enough to know them.
Captain: I said I don't want to hear any more from you about my children.
Maria: I know you don't, but you've got to!
Outspoken, she pleads for him to get to know and love his children more completely, as she does: "Oh please, Captain, love them, love them all." Exasperated by her impertinence, the stodgy commander orders her to leave: "You will pack your things this minute and return to the Abbey." At the same instant, he hears his children singing for the first time. Strains of "The Sound of Music" come from inside - the song that Maria taught them to sing for the Baroness. He enters the living room and watches his children performing - he is visibly touched, sings the remainder of the song, and hugs all of them. The Captain realizes his grave error in judgment and apologizes to Maria as she goes up the stairs to pack: "I behaved badly. I apologize...You were right. I don't know my children...You've brought music back into the house. I'd forgotten. Fraulein, I want you to stay. I ask you to stay more than you know."
In the Trapp villa one day, the children perform "The Lonely Goatherd," a puppet show, where they act as a chorus and as puppeteers. Marta has the task of dropping new backgrounds into place. After the show, the Captain compliments Maria - he has undergone a major change and defrosting of his personality due to her charm: "I really am very, very much impressed." The haughty Baroness feels a twinge of jealousy toward the talented governess for the Captain's children:
Elsa: My dear, is there anything you can't do?
Maria: Well, I'm not sure I'll make a very good nun.
Elsa: Oh, if you have any problems, I'd be happy to help you.
Max makes a surprise announcement to the Captain regarding his discovery of a "most exciting entry for the Salzburg Folk Festival" - "a singing group all in one family...yours! They'll be the talk of the festival...you heard them. They'll be a sensation...It's a wonderful idea, fresh, original." But the Captain denies them permission to be entered in the festival: "Max, my children will not sing in public." However, Maria and the children convince him to play guitar and sing the tender and poignant "Edelweiss," accompanied during the second verse by daughter Leisl:
Edelweiss, Edelweiss, every morning you greet me
Small and white, clean and bright, you look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow, bloom and grow forever
Edelweiss, Edelweiss, bless my homeland forever...
Max suggests that the Captain and his children be part of his "new act - the von Trapp Family Singers."
A formal dinner party with a full orchestra playing waltzes entertains wealthy guests at the villa. Herr Zeller (Ben Wright), a Nazi supporter, is disturbed that an Austrian flag is audaciously displayed in the grand foyer of the mansion. One of the orchestral numbers is the "Laendler," an Austrian folk dance, which Maria demonstrates to the children on the outdoor patio. The Captain cuts in and dances with his children's nanny - when they look into each other's eyes, they begin to fall in love and she blushes. The Baroness witnesses the dance's conclusion and the glow of their budding romance, and offers her insincere compliments: "Oh, that was beautifully done. What a lovely couple you make."
Before retiring for the night, the children perform a good-night song for the guests: "So Long, Farewell." One by one, each of them bids the audience farewell (goodbye, adieu, auf wiedersehen, etc.) before exiting. Afterwards, Max insists that Maria join the party - once she changes into more suitable party clothes: "You will be my dinner partner." Another confrontation underlines the tension between the loyal Austrian Captain and a representative of the German Nazis:
Baron: Is there a more beautiful expression of what is good in this country of ours than the innocent voices of our children?
Zeller: Oh, come now, Baron, would you have us believe that Austria alone holds a monopoly on virtue?
Captain: Herr Zeller, some of us prefer Austrian voices raised in song to ugly, German threats.
Zeller: The ostrich buries his head in the sand, and sometimes in the flag. (He turns toward the Austrian flag) Perhaps those who would warn you that the Anschluss is coming - and it is coming, Captain - perhaps they would get further with you by setting their words to music.
Captain: If the Nazis take over Austria, I have no doubt, Herr Zeller, that you will be the entire trumpet section.
Zeller: You flatter me, Captain.
Captain: Oh, how clumsy of me. I meant to accuse you.
As Maria changes in her bedroom, the Baroness 'helps' Maria by telling her about the Captain's feelings and his dangerous attraction to her - this fearful, confusing news and her own disoriented, romantic emotions prompt the novice to begin packing:
Baroness: Now, where is that lovely little thing you were wearing the other evening, when the Captain couldn't keep his eyes off you.
Maria: Couldn't keep his eyes off me?
Baroness: Come, my dear, we are women. Let's not pretend we don't know when a man notices us...
Maria: The Captain notices everybody and everything.
Baroness: Well, there's no need to feel so defensive, Maria. You are quite attractive, you know. The Captain would hardly be a man if he didn't notice you.
Maria: Baroness, I hope you're joking.
Baroness: Not at all.
Maria: But I've never done a thing to...
Baroness: But you don't have to, Maria. There's nothing more irresistible to a man than a woman who's in love with him.
Maria: 'In love with him'?
Baroness: Of course. What makes it so nice is he thinks he's in love with you.
Maria: But that's not true.
Baroness: Oh surely you've noticed the way he looks into your eyes. And you know, uh, you blushed in his arms when you were dancing just now. Don't take it to heart. He'll get over it soon enough, I should think. Men do, you know.
Maria: Then I should go. I mustn't stay here.
As the scheming Baroness departs, she leaves with one under-handed word of encouragement about Maria's religious duties: "I'm sure you'll make a very fine nun." Later, Maria stealthily comes down the stairs and places a goodbye letter on the hallway's table before running back to the Abbey.
In the next sequence, the Baroness clumsily attempts to play ball with the gloomy-looking children - but they are joyless and inconsolable after Maria's departure. Elsa plots a way to deal with the children: "There must be an easier way," and tells Max that her plan is to send them away to boarding school. Without Maria, the down-hearted children sing "The Sound of Music" slowly and spiritlessly when Max rehearses them for the festival. They cannot believe that Maria is permanently gone: "I don't believe it, father...about Fraulein Maria." In her goodbye note, she wrote that "she missed her life at the Abbey too much. She had to leave us - and that's all there is to it." The littlest one asks: "Who is our new governess going to be?" The Captain takes the opportunity to announce his engagement to the Baroness: "Well, you're not going to have a governess anymore...You're going to have a new mother...We talked about it last night. It's all settled. And we're all going to be very happy." The seven cheerless, depressed children dutifully kiss the cheek of their new 'mother' and then venture to town to try and visit Maria at the Abbey, but they are turned away and told - "Maria is in seclusion. She hasn't been seeing anyone."
Afterwards, Sister Margaretta describes Maria's silence to the Reverend Mother: "She doesn't say a word, Reverend Mother, except in prayer...It's strange. She seems happy to be back here, and yet she's unhappy too." In a private conference with the Reverend Mother, Maria confesses why she came back - to escape from her deep, unacknowledged romantic feelings for the Captain. She is persuaded by the sympathetic Mother to return, with the understanding that married love is also a holy vocation:
Maria: I left...I was frightened...I was confused, I felt, I've never felt that way before. I couldn't stay. I knew that here I'd be away from it. I'd be safe...I can't face him again...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. I'm ready at this moment to take my vows. Please help me.
Reverend Mother: Maria, the love of a man and a woman is holy too. You have a great capacity to love. What you must find out is how God wants you to spend your love.
Maria: But I pledged my life to God. I pledged my life to his service.
Reverend Mother: My daughter, if you love this man, it doesn't mean you love God less. No, you must find out and you must go back.
Maria: Oh, Mother, you can't ask me to do that. Please let me stay, I beg of you.
Reverend Mother: 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.
The worldly-wise Reverend Mother sings the inspirational: "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" to encourage Maria:
Climb ev'ry mountain, search high and low
Follow ev'ry byway, every path you know
Climb ev'ry mountain, ford every stream
Follow every rainbow, till 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...
When the children return from their unsuccessful venture, their father questions them for their secretiveness about where they went, and for being late for dinner. Marta makes up an impossible excuse: "We were berry-picking," but that's impossible: "It's too early for blueberries." For their escapade and deceitful alibis, they are denied dinner. They are reminded of Maria's cure for feeling better - singing "My Favorite Things," but they don't feel any change - until they hear Maria's voice harmonizing with theirs. She has returned and happily joins in. They tell her the impending, life-changing news that the Captain will be marrying the Baroness: "The most important thing is that father is going to be married...to Baroness Schraeder." The Captain walks down the steps to greet Maria and to ask why she left - but she is devastated and can't answer. She decides to stay only until he finds a new governess:
Captain: You left without saying goodbye, even to the children.
Maria: It was wrong of me, forgive me.
Captain: Why did you?
Maria: Please don't ask me. Anyway, the reason no longer exists.
Baroness: Fraulein Maria, you've returned. Isn't it wonderful, Georg?
Maria: May I wish you every happiness, Baroness? And you too, Captain. The children tell me you're to be married.
Baroness: Thank you, my dear.
Captain: You are back to, uh, stay?
Maria: Only until arrangements can be made for another governess.
That evening in a blue dress, Maria walks near the lake and gazes up at the night sky, thinking about her life and its dilemmas. From his balcony's terrace, the Captain also appears and looks down at her - connected across the distance. Elsa follows toward him and rattles on about what wedding gift she should give him: "...I do want you to have some little trifle for the occasion. At first, I thought of a fountain pen but you've already got one. And then, I thought perhaps a villa in the south of France, but they are so difficult to gift wrap...And where to go on our honeymoon - now that is a real problem. I thought a trip around the world would be lovely. Yet I said, 'Oh Elsa, there must be someplace better to go.'" - after some mutual soul-searching, they both decide to gracefully break off their engagement:
Captain: It's no use, you and I. I'm being dishonest to both of us and utterly unfair to you. When two people talk of marriage...
Elsa: No, don't, don't say another word, Georg, please? You see, uh, there are other things I've been thinking of. Fond as I am of you, I really don't think you're the right man for me. You're much too independent and I need someone who needs me desperately, or at least needs my money desperately. I've enjoyed every moment we've had together. I do thank you for that. Now, if you'll forgive me, I'll go inside, pack my little bags, and return to Vienna where I belong. And somewhere out there is a young lady who I think will never be a nun.
The Captain readily joins Maria by the pavilion, and asks two questions: why did she run away to the Abbey, and why did she come back. According to Maria, she "had an obligation to fulfill and I came back to fulfill it...I missed the children." He explains that "nothing was the same" while she was away and "it'll be all wrong again" after she leaves. He attempts to persuade her to change her mind and stay longer. And then he tells her that his engagement to the Baroness is off: "There isn't going to be any Baroness...well, we've, uhm, called off our engagement, you see...You can't marry someone when you're in love with someone else, can you?" He holds her tenderly by the chin and draws her lips nearer for a kiss. Relieved, Maria has had her prayers answered:
Reverend Mother always says when the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.
As they are reunited and now free to express their love, they both sing: "Something Good" - about being rewarded for something good they did in the past:
(Maria) 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.
(Captain) For here you are standing there loving me, whether or not you should
(Maria) So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.
(Both) Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could
(Maria) So somewhere in my youth (Captain) or childhood, (Maria) I must have done something, (Both) something good.
In a room off the Abbey cloister, the nuns help prepare Maria's satiny wedding gown with wedding bells pealing in the background. They escort her to the cathedral gate, where she enters as the black-cloaked nuns remain outside and separated. The three young Von Trapp girls serve as bridesmaids, and the Captain appears in full uniformed regalia at the front of the main Salzburg Cathedral for the religious ceremony.
Outside, in a transition which conveys a short passage of time following the marriage, and the peaceful German Anschluss (annexation) of Austria [in March of 1938], Nazi troops march and assemble in the Salzburg square under large red Nazi swastika banners. Herr Zeller, now a high-ranking Nazi official, is driven to the folk festival's rehearsal, where he appears aggravated that "the only one in the neighborhood not flying the flag of the Third Reich since the Anschluss" is the Captain. Zeller wants to know from Max when the Captain will be returning from his month-long honeymoon trip.
According to Zeller, the Captain will be expected to serve under the Nazis: "When he does return, he will be expected to fill his proper position in the new order." But the festival concert will be held that evening as originally scheduled: "Nothing in Austria has changed. Singing and music will show this to the world. Austria is the same." Young Marta thinks "maybe the flag with the black spider on it makes people nervous." Rolf has become indoctrinated into the Party of the Third Reich and delivers a telegram (from Berlin) for Leisl to transmit to her father, boasting about the omniscient Nazis: "We make it our business to know everything about everyone." He ignores her romantic invitation: "I'm now occupied with more important matters. And your father better be too if he knows what's good for him."
Upon his return to his villa, the Captain pulls down the Nazi banner hanging there - disgusted, he rips it into two. The children excitedly invite Maria to attend the festival in the evening, but the Captain again refuses to have them compete in public. Max is disturbed because "if the children don't sing at the festival, well, it will be a reflection on Austria." Maria gives motherly advice to Liesl, now rejected by Rolf, about what happens when a person stops loving you: "You cry a little and then you wait for the sun to come out. It always does." To buoy Liesl's mood, she reprises a variation of "You Are Sixteen, Going on Seventeen," suggesting that she wait a year or two.
The telegram from Berlin (from Admiral von Schreiber of the Navy of the Third Reich) offers the Captain a commission to join the German Navy, but the former Navy officer adamantly refuses to serve under Hitler: "I've been requested to accept immediately and report to their naval base at Bremerhaven tomorrow...To refuse them would be fatal for all of us. And joining them would be unthinkable." His plan is to "get out of Austria - and this house - tonight" without alarming the children. During the family's nocturnal attempt to flee the country that evening after packing, the Von Trapps silently push their car past their house. It is thought that by the time the Von Trapps have been announced to sing in the music festival, they'll "be over the border." But they are detained by the Nazis outside their own gate - Zeller offers an escort to the Salzburg show and then afterwards to Bremerhaven to force the Captain to accept his commission. To his children's astonishment, their father convinces the Nazis that they are costumed to journey to their performance in the musical festival.
Nazi guards watchfully surround the open-air amphitheatre during the Salzburg Folk Festival. As a farewell song dedicated in tribute to his "fellow Austrians," the Captain patriotically reprises the "love song" "Edelweiss."
I know you share this love. I pray that you will never let it die.
During the singing of the song, his voice cracks, and Maria steps in and encourages the entire audience to sing-along in an act of bold freedom. While the judges are evaluating the performances of the competition, Max uses coded language to tip off the Von Trapps to escape:
The festival competition has come to its conclusion, except of course we don't know yet what that conclusion will be. And while the judges are arriving at their decision, I have been given permission to offer you an encore. This will be the last opportunity the Von Trapps will have of singing together for a long, long time. Even now, officials are waiting in this auditorium to escort Captain Von Trapp to his new command in the naval forces of the Third Reich. (The crowd murmurs in reaction.) And so, ladies and gentlemen, the Family Von Trapp again to bid you farewell.
The family's encore is "So Long, Farewell," an opportune song that allows each of the members of the family to leave the stage. The results of the judging are announced by Max at the end of the show - the Von Trapps are awarded first prize, "the highest honor in all Austria," but they fail to appear after two fanfares. A Nazi guard runs out of the entryway crying: "They're gone!" Nazi cars speed to the Abbey's convent, where the family has fled and is being hidden by the Reverend Mother in the dark crypt area. A search commences, but they cannot be found. Because the borders are closed, the Captain decides to flee with his family toward the Austrian mountains in the convent's car, and then proceed on foot. The Reverend Mother blesses them: "I lift up mine eyes into the hills, from whence cometh my help...God be with you."
Rolf, one of the Nazi guards, slyly remains behind as the others search the roof area, and he discovers them as they emerge from their hiding places. As the family escapes to the convent's car, the Captain remains behind and challenges the young lad who wields a pistol: "You're only a boy. You don't really belong to them...Come away with us before it's too late...You'll never be one of them." Although the Captain safely removes the revolver from the boy's hands, Rolf summons the other officers. The entire family speeds off towards the mountains. Zeller and his men hear a car racing away and rush out to their vehicles, but they can't get them to start. By an upstairs window, the sisters confess to the Reverend Mother that they "have sinned" - they exhibit vital car parts from under their robes.
The Von Trapps are last seen climbing the Austrian mountains to freedom in Switzerland, where they can perform to the world. A chorus sings the finale of "Climb Ev'ry Mountain."
The star of the film was the previous year's Best Actress Academy Award winner - fresh-faced Julie Andrews in a similar role as governess in Mary Poppins (1964), accompanied by her lovely singing voice, glorious, on-location travelogue views of Salzburg, Austria filmed in 70 mm, and melodic, memorable sing-along tunes including "Maria," "The Sound of Music," "My Favorite Things," "You Are Sixteen, Going On Seventeen," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," "Do-Re-Mi," and "Edelweiss." The sentimental, entertaining musical was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Julie Andrews), Best Supporting Actress (Peggy Wood), Best Director, Best Color Cinematography, Best Color Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Score, Best Film Editing, and Best Color Costume Design. In the final tally, the film came away with five major wins - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound, Best Score, and Best Film Editing.
The opening sequence of The Sound of Music is a much-heralded, breath-taking piece of film-making. With a sweeping aerial view, the film opens with a left-to-right camera pan through the clouds and across rocky, snow-covered mountains. The camera dips into a green, wooded valley with steep cliffs that descend into a snow-fed lake. Reflections of the hills are viewed in the mirror-like images on the water's surface. As the camera moves over the European landscape and village, it discovers an open, green area nestled between the peaks. It moves closer and zooms into the green field, where it suddenly finds a happy and joyous Maria (Julie Andrews), a novice Salzburg Austrian nun, walking across the wide expanse of land. With open-armed appreciation of the beauty of the surrounding majestic peaks and vistas of the Austrian Alps, she twirls and sings the title song. For her: "The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music."