Most people are so enamoured with Maria (Julie Andrews) and the songs and music of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music (1965) that Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) is somewhat eclipsed in the masterpiece of the century.
But turn those flying violins down a little and you’ll see a softer man emerge from the stern, humourless, widowed Captain Von Trapp ─ decorated officer of the Austrian navy ─ who rules his household using navy disciplinarian methods such as the whistle. In true Beauty and the Beast fashion, things change and hearts melt when he lets the free-spirited governess into his vast but cold mansion. He lets music back into his house, he starts laughing again, he falls in love, he even sings the patriotic Edelweiss in such a moving manner, his performance is remembered to this day, then, like the protective father that he is, whisks his family of wife and seven children over the Alps to freedom from the Nazis. Way to go Dad. What a hero. And this is a true story too.
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