"The Movie" is memories of Maria von Trapp, who is the third child of Agathe Whitehead von Trapp and Captain von Trapp.
In 1959, the play, The Sound of Music, with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, opened on Broadway with Theodore Bikel playing the Captain and Mary Martin playing Maria. Maria Kutchera von Trapp and Johannes von Trapp attended the opening at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Because the play was so popular, in 1965, Hollywood made the story into a movie with Julie Andrews playing Maria and Christopher Plummer as Baron von Trapp. It was named Best Picture of The Year.
Our mother and Rosmarie were the only family members who met Julie Andrews. You can see both of them in the film for a split second passing through the arches near the cathedral in Salzburg. The family never met Christopher Plummer or Julie Andrews, but caught up with the "Children" in 1998. A few of us are still in contact with our film siblings.
As the movie brings many tourists to Salzburg, we received medals of Honor from the Salzburg government in 1998. The Sound of Music is still a favorite all over the world. At the time of the Berlin Wall, it was the only foreign movie allowed to be shown in Russia. In Japan, it is popular, too. In Salzburg, I met a woman from Turkey who raved about it. Even in New Guinea, the children of my neighbors - first, second and third graders - would come home after school and beeline to the TV to see The Sound of Music every day! I was always surprised how it appealed to small children and, of course, everybody sings the songs except the Trapp Family! After all these years, it is now a hit in Austria.
The Sound of Music is a musical and was never meant to be a documentary about our life. Rodgers and Hammerstein were inspired to write it after reading our mother's book, The Story of The Trapp Family. As we had given all of our rights to the German film company, we had no control over the content of The Sound of Music.
When I first saw The Sound of Music, I was disappointed by the way Father was represented. This came to me one day during a stage show in California, after which the stage father apologized that he was obliged to misrepresent my father - we had discussed this problem before the show. I told him about the resolution that came to me during the performance about my father's true character of principles and as someone who acted upon them. My feelings of disappointment were no longer a problem from that moment on.
A common question of the Trapp Family is which family member is played by the movie characters? The names of the movie characters are not the real names of the sons and daughters of Captain Georg and Maria von Trapp. The following will hopefully help to clarify this.
- Leisl played by Charman Carr represents Agathe von Trapp
- Frederick played by Nicholas Hammond represents Rupert von Trapp
- Louisa played by Heather Menzies Urich represents Maria von Trapp, daughter of the Captain and Agathe Whitehead von Trapp
- Kurt played by Duane Chase represents Werner von Trapp
- Brigita played by Angela Cartwright Gullion represents Hedwig von Trapp
- Martha played by Debbie Larson represents Johanna von Trapp
- Gretl played by Kim Karath represents Martina von Trapp