The Sound of Music

Question: Gretel is 5 years old and the mother died seven years ago. Who is Gretel's mom?

Chosen answer: In the film, the Mother Abess explains to Maria that the Captain Von Trapp's wife died "several years" ago. This is commonly misheard by viewers as "seven years." In reality, the actual mother of the Von Trapp children was Agathe Whitehead, who died of scarlet fever in 1922, just four years before Maria came to the Von Trapp home, initially as a tutor (not a governess) in 1926.

Michael Albert

Question: When Liesl and Rolf are sitting outside just before it rains, why does Rolf keep pulling away when Liesl tries to kiss him?

Chosen answer: Believe it or not, kissing or even holding hands for that matter was a very big deal back then. Kissing indicated the onset of a serious relationship which Rolf probably wasn't prepared for.

William Bergquist

Question: When they are singing the "favourite things" song, the kids start to name things that make them happy. One of them says 'a big sneeze', and Maria says something just after that. What does she say?

Chosen answer: One of the children then makes sneezing noises, and Maria says "Gesundheit" - a polite thing to say after someone sneezes, similar to saying "bless you." Literally translated by babelfish.com - it means health.

pinkwafer

Question: In the scene where the children are singing 'So long, Farewell', Kurt sings in a very high voice 'goodbye'. Is he really singing this or is someone else singing this?

peach

Chosen answer: Darleen Carr - the younger sister of Charmian Carr, who played Liesl - sang that line, according to Charmian's autobiography "Forever Liesl".

Jeff Swanson

Question: When the Von Trapps and Maria sit down for dinner, why do they start to cry?

Chosen answer: Maria is (successfully) making them feel guilty about the pranks they've been pulling.

Matty Blast

Question: Who was the actress who played the servant who cleared the patio table of dirty dishes? She asked Uncle Max if he wanted more strudel. When Uncle Max asked how much strudel he had eaten, she replied he had eaten two.

Chosen answer: There were several uncredited roles in 1965's "Sound of Music, " and the role of the maid on the terrace appears to be one of them. A search of the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), as well as a search of the original Lehman screenplay and production notes, reveals no clue as to the character's name or the identity of the actress.

Charles Austin Miller

Question: Why, during the folk festival, does Max make a point of telling the audience that Captain Von Trapp will be going to fight for the Third Reich after the festival is over and not mention that he is doing so against his will? Wouldn't this make the audience (most of which know The Captain or at least know of him) believe that he is joining the war and not being forced into it? Would it not have been better for Max to say The Captain is being taken against his will to fight a war he doesn't wish to be part of, if only to try and save the Captain's reputation?

strikeand

Chosen answer: Max announces that Captain Von Trapp will be leaving Austria to join the forces of the Third Reich as rationale for the encore of "So Long, Farewell, " during and after which the family makes its escape. Recall that the chief representatives of the Third Reich in Austria are sitting in the front row. As such, it would be unwise for a capitulating Max to overtly irritate them, or to incite their wrath and suspicion toward the Captain at that moment. Meanwhile, Captain Von Trapp has pretty much done his own public relations job by singing his "love song" to Austria, "Edelweiss, " and encouraging the audience to join in with his words, "I hope you all share this love, and that you never let it die." I think his sentiments are clear, and he gets his message across that he is displeased with the turn of events in his country. Everyone in the audience has just lived through Hitler's Anschluss, and most were acutely aware of the pressures brought to bear on Austrian patriots like Captain Von Trapp. His reputation was probably not tarnished.

Michael Albert

Question: What year/make/model of car did the family leave in?

Chosen answer: If you're referring to the family car they leave the house in, it's a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet B. If you're referring to the car they borrow from the convent, it's a Citroën 11 Légère Traction.

Greg Dwyer

Question: The scene where Maria and the children sing 'The Lonely Goatherd', there is a girl singing: 'One little girl in a pale pink coat heard' and 'She yodeled back to the lonely goatheard' (nearly at the end, the second time this is in the song). Who is singing here: Brigitta or Louisa?

peach

Chosen answer: This line occurs 2:15 into the song. We see the singer is Brigitta (dark hair), played by Angela Cartwright, and not blonde Louisa, played by Heather Menzies.

kuffpah

Question: Why were the Nazis so desperate to get Captain von Trapp into their navy? Austria hadn't had a navy since the end of the first world war, so his skills weren't exactly up to date.

Chosen answer: True, but a decorated and highly respected command officer, particularly one with proven wartime experience, is still a major asset. While he might not be directly familiar with the current equipment, naval tactics wouldn't have altered to any great degree and his ability to lead and inspire those under his command would remain the same.

Tailkinker

Question: Is "Uncle" Max the children's real uncle? If he is, on whose side?

padfootrocksmysocks

Chosen answer: Max is not the children's uncle but a close family friend. He helps the Von Trapps to escape by stalling the announcement the winners of a music concert held at the end. Being the first-place winners, the Von Trapps are announced last, but they have already slipped away into the mountains.

raywest

Question: In the scene where the nuns are singing 'How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria', one nun says 'I even heard her singing in the abbey.' This is used as though Maria was doing something bad, but throughout this song, aren't the nuns in the abbey, and aren't they singing? If it was so wrong for Maria to do this, why is it okay for them?

Chosen answer: Postulants/Novices, such as Maria, were forbidden from singing in the Abbey. However, these rules did not necessarily apply to the sisters who are singing. In addition, it's a musical, and the nuns weren't "really" singing. Their complaints about Maria are simply put into a song.

Question: In the scene where Rolfe is throwing stones at the window, Captain von Trapp catches him and after trying to explain, Rolfe says Heil Hitler. I was just wondering why he says that seeing as all three there are Austrians (esp. von Trapp) and Germany hasn't taken over Austria yet.

Chosen answer: Some Austrians (such as Rolfe) had already been converted to the Nazi cause as a political/social/pseudo-religious movement rather than as an expression of German nationalism, just as you can live in a democracy and be a communist.

Myridon

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Quotes

Maria: I don't understand.
Captain von Trapp: Well, we called off our engagement, you see, and...
Maria: Oh, I'm sorry.
Captain von Trapp: Yes. You are?
Maria: Mm-hmm. You did?
Captain von Trapp: Yes. Well, you can't marry someone when you're in love with someone else... Can you?

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Mistakes

Liesl creeps through the window and explains herself to Maria, standing by the middle of the bed. When the angle changes she is by the side of the bed. Then the angle changes and she is back by the middle side.

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Trivia

The front of the von Trapp house and the back of the house are actually two different houses. Also, the gazebo (which belongs to the house used for the back shots) is actually across a river from the house. (You can take the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg.)

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