The Sound of Music Flashback: Cpt Von Trapp blows my whistle

I recently felt the overwhelming urge to watch The Sound of Music again. This urge has not reared its saccharine head in almost a decade. But, all of a sudden, I was struck by this resounding need to watch Julie Andrews yodel while running through the hills.

Okay, so she doesn’t actually do that in the movie, but when one thinks of The Sound of Music, one thinks of yodeling, hills, and lots of drape-clad children.

Green Drapes-Lederhosen: the hot new trend

Like I said, I hadn’t watched The Sound of Music in its entirety for years. I’d always remembered it as this fluffy family film that takes a random turn towards Nazis. This never really sat well with seven-year-old me – it was just completely bewildering. It got all serious and tense all of a sudden. Why weren’t they singing Do-Re-Mi anymore? Why is there a GUN?! Baffling.

The Sound of Music was always just a “yeah, it was pretty good” movie for me. I never understood is timelessness. However, re-watching it as a young adult with a comprehensive knowledge of the atrocities committed by the Third Reich, I’ve completely fallen in love with the hope and joy it unashamedly exudes in the presence of something as ugly as Nazism.

That’s it, isn’t it? That’s why its a classic. It’s totally un-cynical celebration of innocence in the face of a brutal reality.

I read somewhere that, in the event of a nuclear strike, part of BBC’s broadcasting programme consists of playing The Sound of Music as a way to lift morale with survivors. Well, I don’t know about you, but if I happened to survive being irradiated to an inch of my death in an atomic mega-blast, I would find it incredibly comforting hearing Fraulein Maria singing about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.

Its all right, my darlings. Nuclear fallout can’t hurt you. Simply remember your favourite things, and then you won’t feel so bad.

Another thing I failed to notice in my previous watchings of The Sound of Music was how dashing Christopher Plummer was. I mean, look at him! He’s such a babe. I’m not British, and I never use this term, but if there existed an exclamation more appropriate for this man, it would be ‘PHWWOOOARR’:

Being the huge film trivia scaveneger that I am, I immediately launched a fanatical expedition to discover as much as I could about Young Christopher Plummer. After hours (okay, maybe 20 mins – I’m not crazy) of stalker-ish behaviour, I uncovered various gems that I’d like to share. Initially, everything I found melted my insides. Please, watch for yourself and join in me bliss:

And then I thought, ‘my, doesn’t he look familiar?’

Of course, I should’ve quit while I was ahead. He wasn’t the dapper gentleman with the Hugh Jackman personality that I had pictured him to be. Why must I always go ruin my perfectly good fantasies with reality?

1. He hated being in The Sound of Music. So much so that he called it ‘The Sound of Mucus’.

2. He ‘flirted’ with Liesl, the eldest Von Trapp, on the set. *shudder* 

3. He was a huge arrogant dick and a nasty drunk with anger issues.

4. He was really pretentious about the whole acting shtick:

So, he basically, he was kind of a bad boy. Too bad I’ve never been too fond of bad boys. Key operating word being “boys”. I’ll stick to men, thanks.

Is there anything more off-putting than an actor being un-gracious about a role that has pretty much immortalised him in cinema history? Thankfully, it seems that old age has mellowed him out a bit.

 

That’s the Christopher Plummer I’d like to remember – the living legend who is an ever-charming class act.

 

 

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