🎥🍣Movie Sushi — The Sound of Music

AdGridley
8 min readAug 20, 2021

Salzburg, Austria — in the last Golden Days of the Thirties

Nuns walk about in the courtyard and cloisters and pray in the abbey. No-one can find Maria. When she’s found, she’s sent to the Reverend Mother’s office. She had to sing and dance on the mountain because the sky was so blue and it’s her mountain. As a girl, she’d climb a tree and look over into their garden, seeing the nuns working and singing.

The Reverend Mother says Maria needs life experience. Maria will be governess at a big house near Salzburg. Captain Georg von Trapp is a retired Naval captain and has seven children. His wife died several years ago. Maria heads there with light luggage and acoustic guitar.

She finds grand, cavernous rooms everywhere. The captain warns her to leave certain rooms undisturbed. He makes her twirl, then remove her hat. Her dress isn’t up to standard, but he’ll provide her with material to make better clothes.

She’s the twelfth governess the children have had since their mother died. The captain wants discipline for his children. As he blows his whistle, the children appear, marching down the staircase in strict formation.

The children in turn step forward and say their names. When the captain says he’s assigned a whistle signal for Maria, she bridles. He doesn’t have a signal, she may call him captain.

Brigitta insults Maria’s dress. The children tell Maria to tell the captain to mind his own business and to be rude in front of him. The housekeeper, Frau Schmidt, says it’s time for the childrens’ walk. Maria finds a frog in her pocket. Maria’s late for dinner where she sits on a pinecone. She passes it off to the captain as rheumatism.

Maria insists on saying Grace before eating. Maria thanks the children for the frog earlier, but in a way that doesn’t incriminate or blame them. Marta starts crying, followed by the others. Maria tells the captain they’re just happy.

Rolf gives Franz, the butler, a telegram for the captain. Liesl leaves the table to find Rolf, and they embrace. Whenever a telegram comes is the only time the two can meet.

Frau Schmidt brings Maria some clothing materials. When Maria wants to make play clothes, Frau Schmidt says the von Trapp children only march. Music or laughing remind Georg of his late wife. Frau Schmidt says new drapes are arriving soon. She also says the captain is leaving for Vienna to meet Baroness Elsa Schraeder, who he might marry.

There’s thunder outside and the children arrive scared at Maria’s room. As a distraction, Maria sings about her favourite things. The singing is stopped when the captain arrives — all the children lining up. It’s past their bedtime, but Maria blames the thunderstorm. Once the children leave, Maria asks for material for play clothes. The captain says no.

Maria makes play clothes out of the old drapes. She and the children head into town, running and jumping about in their new clothes. They go to the market and ride a steam train and picnic together. Maria teaches the children a song to sing for the Baroness.

The captain drives Elsa, and friend, Max Detweiler, back to his vast house. Max is a musical agent. Georg wonders where his children are. Baroness Elsa tells Max she and Georg both inherited vast wealth. Georg sees Rolf throwing stones against Liesl’s window. Rolf has a telegram for Max.

The captain angrily investigates a boatful of his noisy children on the lake. They capsize and he orders them out. He blows his whistle and the children line up. They leave to dry off. Alone with Maria, he gets angrier still when he learns his children have been galavanting about Salzburg climbing trees — dressed in old curtains.

Maria tells the captain some home truths about his children and he orders her to leave immediately. But, when they hear the children singing for the Baroness, his heart melts. He even joins in. Afterwards, the children all hug him. Georg apologises to Maria. She’s brought music back into the house. Georg forbids his children from singing in public, though. Maria gives Georg a guitar and he plays Edelweiss — Liesl joining in. Elsa suggests Georg give a glorious party for her so she can meet all Georg’s Salzburg friends. Gretl’s excited ‘cos it’ll be her very first party.

The ballroom looks exquisite, filled with well-heeled people. Georg introduces Herr Zeller to Elsa, and everyone else who files past at the entrance. Liesl and Friedrich start dancing outside. They notice the adults are now dancing the Laendler, an Austrian folk dance.

The children beg Maria to teach them. Kurt attempts the dance with Maria, then Georg arrives and takes his place. When they get too heated, Maria apologises and splits from Georg. Maria announces that the von Trapp children wish to say goodnight through song and, afterwards, everyone applauds them.

The Baroness tells Maria that men look at beautiful women. Maria’s worried she’s given Georg the wrong impression. Elsa says Maria is in love with Georg. She also says Georg thinks he’s in love with Maria. Maria is startled, becomes embarrassed and decides to leave. When Elsa rejoins the guests, she tells Max she feels like celebrating with champagne. Elsa then dances with Georg. Maria discreetly leaves a note by the mirror before hurrying off.

Elsa wants ultimately to send the children to boarding school. For now, Max wants the children to rehearse for the festival. Liesl fetches the guitar, but Gretl can’t sing because of an injured finger. Georg arrives and they all ask after Maria. He says she’s left for good. Then, it transpires that Elsa’s going to be their new mother. The children secretly go to find Maria at the abbey. She’s in seclusion and isn’t seeing anybody. The children are hustled away.

Reverend Mother wants to know why Maria left the von Trapps. Sometimes when the captain looked at Maria, she could hardly breathe. Maria was concerned because she was on God’s errand. The Reverend Mother says the love of a man and a woman is holy. If Maria loves Georg, it doesn’t mean she loves God less. The Reverend Mother says Maria must go back to Georg and the children. She must climb every mountain in life.

The children lie to their father about seeing Maria and Gretl, for one, feels awful. To lift their spirits, the children start singing. Maria arrives and joins in. Gretl gets to show Maria her injured finger. The children tell Maria their father’s getting married to Baroness Schraeder. Maria wishes Georg and the Baroness every happiness. Maria will leave when another governess can be found.

That evening, Georg is watching Maria by the river from the balcony. Elsa arrives, and suggests she might buy Georg a villa in the south of France or a yacht as wedding present. He says he’s being dishonest and unfair to her — putting distance between them both now. She then says they’re wrong for each other and returns to Vienna.

Georg tells Maria the engagement is called off. He says you can’t marry someone when you’re in love with someone else. The captain and Maria kiss. She mentions the Reverend Mother talking about how you have to look for your life. He says he’s loves her. He confesses he first fell in love with her when she sat on the pinecone at dinner. For her, it was when he first blew his Naval whistle. She in a big white dress — church bells ring out in the abbey.

Nazi soldiers march on the square. A marked Nazi car pulls up. Herr Zeller meets Max, who’s teaching the von Trapp kids singing. Zeller says he’s the Gauleiter. He says the von Trapp house is the only one in the neighbourhood not flying the Third Reich flag — since the Anschluss. Zeller wants to know when the captain will return.

Max says he’s still on his honeymoon. When he gets back, he’ll fill his proper position in the new order. Max thanks Herr Zeller for allowing the festival to go on tonight, as planned. He says nothing in Austria has changed. Herr Zeller does a third and final “heil Hitler”. Max begrudgingly reciprocates and Zeller leaves. Gretl says the flag with the black spider on it makes people nervous.

Rolf calls out to Liesl, but now he’s emotionless. He instructs her to pass on a telegram to her father. He tells her to see that he gets it — it’s important. Ignoring her affections, Rolf walks off.

Georg tears the Nazi flag down from a window of his house, then tears it apart. His children then appear wanting souvenirs from Paris. They then boast of their upcoming performance in the festival that night. Max says they’ll be the talk of the festival.

Max tells Georg the committee was enchanted, he’s never heard such enthusiasm. Max says this is for Austria. They should be grateful the Anschluss happened peacefully. Georg takes offence that he should be grateful, saying he doesn’t really know Max at all. Max says if the children don’t sing at the festival, it’ll be a negative reflection on Austria.

Liesl asks Maria what you should do when you think you love someone. She says you cry a bit, then wait for the sun to come out — it always does. Sometimes, Liesl feels like the world is ending. Maria says then you feel it’s just beginning. She says it’ll be wonderful.

Georg must report to Bremerhaven Naval base the next day. Refusing to would be fatal, but, joining them would be unthinkable. Georg wants to get everyone together and flee Austria. That night, the von Trapp family plus Max push the car out of the grounds — quietly headed for Switzerland. Then, Herr Zeller appears with soldiers. He’s been ordered to take Georg to Bremerhaven himself tonight, where he’ll fight for the Nazis. The captain says he can’t, his family’s singing that night in the festival.

Maria doesn’t want to be late. Max says it’ll be incredible. The captain says both he and Herr Zeller are men of hidden talents. Herr Zeller comments on the childrens’ wearing travel clothes. Maria says they’re costumes. Herr Zeller allows them to sing — it would demonstrate that nothing in Austria has changed. Afterwards, the captain will be taken to Bremerhaven.

After an ensemble piece at the Salzburg Folk Festival, Georg addresses his fellow Austrians. He gets a guitar and sings Edelweiss, then, Maria and the children join in. Then, the audience joins in. Max explains the captain’s immediate situation to the crowd. Max says the von Trapps will bid them all farewell. The crowd applauds.

Max reads out that the von Trapp family singers have won, but they don’t accept their awards. A Nazi runs out to say that they’ve disappeared. The family’s hiding out in the abbey. The Nazis come to search the place and a nun very slowly answers the door. Once inside, they fan out — searching the abbey. Reverend Mother lends the von Trapps her car, but the borders have been closed.

Georg wants to drive up into the hills and cross the mountains on foot. The family lays low in the darkness. Liesl gasps when she recognises Rolf is part of the Nazi search party. He plays his torch over the hiding von Trapps and Liesl cries out. Georg confidently approaches Rolf, who holds Georg at gunpoint. Rolf says it’s only Georg they want. Georg removes the gun from Rolf, but Rolf raises the alarm. The family gets in the car and drives away. The Nazis’ car won’t start because two nuns removed a crucial engine part. Afterwards, they confess this sin to the Reverend Mother.

In the sunshine, the von Trapp family walk freely over the Austrian mountain tops to freedom.

Starring Julie Andrews. Christopher Plummer. Eleanor Parker. Rated U. Dir Robert Wise. Released in the UK 1965. Runtime 2hrs 52mins

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AdGridley

Ad teaches & gives speeches on his MH struggle + recovery at institutions right across the world. (Movie Sushi pieces contain spoilers)