When The Sound of Music debuted on cinema screens in April 1965, audiences fell laborious and in large numbers for the joyous celebration of music, dance, patriotism and familial and romantic love, propelling it to develop into one of many world’s most beloved film musicals and turning the story of the von Trapp household into lore.
Like many true tales filtered by Hollywood’s typically overly sentimental lens, The Sound of Music on-screen differs considerably from the true story of Maria, the novice nun who takes a job as a governess within the Austrian family of the von Trapps, solely to search out herself falling in love with widower and retired naval captain Georg von Trapp and his seven youngsters.
The movie stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer as Maria and Georg, and options enduring songs corresponding to “Do-Re-Mi,” “How Do You Remedy a Downside Like Maria,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and “Edelweiss.” It acquired 5 Academy Awards (together with greatest image) and is the third highest-grossing film of all time within the U.S. after its box office is adjusted for inflation.
A cinematic recreation of the 1959 Broadway musical that includes music and lyrics by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, the Robert Clever-directed film relies on the early chapters of Maria’s 1949 memoir, The Story of the Trapp Household Singers, which chronicles Maria and the von Trapp’s beginnings in Salzburg, Austria, by their escape from Nazi-occupied Europe to the household’s eventual relocation to America.
To make use of lyrics from “Do-Re-Mi,” in relation to alterations and omissions contained within the film model of The Sound of Music, “let’s begin on the very starting.”
The true Maria described herself as ‘horrid’
Maria Augusta Kutschera was born in 1905 and after being orphaned at a younger age, was reportedly despatched to reside with an abusive uncle. She attended lecturers’ school the place she found faith and transformed to Catholicism earlier than turning into a candidate for the novitiate in Salzburg. Portrayed on movie by Andrews as demure and self-effacing, the actual Maria was the truth is an actual downside whereas on the convent, describing herself as “horrid, the worst you possibly can think about,” in a 1980 article which features a checklist of transgressions corresponding to breaking china, talking in periods of silence, working within the courtyard, whistling Gregorian chants and climbing on the convent roof.
The names of the von Trapp youngsters – and quantity – had been modified within the film
In 1926 Maria was despatched from the convent to tutor solely considered one of Captain von Trapp’s seven youngsters from his first marriage. Georg’s second eldest daughter, Maria, had contracted scarlet fever – the identical illness that took his first spouse’s life 4 years prior – and will not journey the space to and from college.
Most readers by now have questioned the title of Georg’s daughter listed above. It’s no shock the title shouldn’t be acquainted as one of many youngsters’s, the truth is, all of the names and sexes of the seven von Trapp youngsters represented within the film had been modified. The true von Trapp youngsters had been (in age descending order) Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna and Martina.
On display Rupert grew to become Liesl, a 16 occurring 17-year-old woman. In actual life, by the point the household fled Austria, Rupert was in his late twenties and a working towards doctor.
Even the variety of youngsters was not appropriate within the film. When the von Trapps escaped Austria there have been the truth is 9 youngsters: seven from Georg’s first marriage and two from his marriage to Maria, Rosmarie and Eleonore. The tenth little one, Johannes, was born in America in 1939.
The true household wasn’t as rich as portrayed on display
Although cash didn’t look like of concern to the household depicted within the film, in actual life the fortunes of the von Trapp household had faltered throughout the world despair of the early 1930s to the extent that on the time the movie is ready, many of the family servants had been dismissed and the household had begun taking in boarders. The dearth of funds additionally prompted the household to contemplate turning their love of singing collectively right into a career. “It nearly harm [my father] to have his household on stage, not from a snobbish view, however extra from a protecting one,” Eleonore is quoted as saying in a 1978 Washington Post interview.
The von Trapps had been a musical family properly earlier than Maria entered their lives
Each in actual and reel life, the household singers received first place within the Salzburg Music Pageant. However the sound of music was already properly established throughout the family earlier than Maria arrived. In a reversal of the strict, music-forbidding retired naval officer depicted within the movie, the actual Georg and his first spouse inspired music within the household residence years earlier than Maria arrived. “In actuality, Georg was a heat and loving if considerably overwhelmed father,” creator Tom Santopietro writes in The Sound of Music Story. “It was really Maria herself, along with her emotionally stunted upbringing, who wanted thawing.”
Maria was hesitant about marrying Captain von Trapp
Just like the movie, Maria and Georg had been the truth is married solely a yr after the novice arrived as governess. In contrast to the movie, they had been really married in 1927, greater than a decade earlier than fleeing Austria in 1938. Georg was 25 years older than Maria and the match was not love at first sight. Although Georg had fallen for Maria and requested her to stick with him and develop into a second mom to his youngsters, Maria was not as positive of the union, reportedly saying, “God will need to have made him phrase it that means as a result of if he had solely requested me to marry him I won’t have stated sure.”
The true von Trapps didn’t secretly cross the alps by foot
The household’s exit from Austria below Nazi occupation was additionally given a shiny Hollywood therapy, depicting the von Trapps as having to cross the alps on foot to keep away from detection. In actuality such a journey would have introduced them to instantly into Germany, not Switzerland as within the movie. “Don’t they know geography in Hollywood? Salzburg doesn’t border on Switzerland!” complained Maria to a reporter in 1967.
Although they left Austria solely a day earlier than the borders had been sealed, their precise departure lacked the drama contained within the movie in keeping with paperwork and interviews contained within the U.S. National Archives. “We did inform those who we had been going to America to sing,” daughter Maria advised Opera News in 2003. “And we didn’t climb over mountains with all our heavy suitcases and devices. We left by practice in broad daylight, pretending nothing.”
The von Trapps traveled with their musical conductor, Rev. Franz Wasner, and secretary Martha Zochbauer. On movie Wasner grew to become the fictional Max Detweiler, who remained in Austria.
The true journey took the household first to Italy, the place Georg attained citizenship attributable to his birthplace having develop into Italian territory in 1920, then on to London earlier than boarding a ship for America. In the course of the early 1940s they toured the U.S. because the Trapp Household Singers, finally settling in Stowe, Vermont. There they opened a guest house, which remains to be owned and operated by descendants of the von Trapp household.
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