Sunday, September 25, 2016

Movie Review of "The von Trapp Family: A Life of Music" (2015)

This is a first for me on my blog - a movie review!

I am a big fan of "The Sound of Music" and whole von Trapp family story. I saw the Julie Andrews' movie back in 1967 at the old St. Louis Theater, now the home of the St. Louis Symphony. Over the last year I've also seen the original German movie, "Die Trapp-Familie" (1956), that was the inspiration for the Broadway show and movie, as well as its sequel, "Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika" (1958). I highly recommend them as well, maybe even to view before one views this new 2015 movie.

The first of these follows the story line of "Sound of Music" very closely, but with the music being a combination of Catholic hymns and Austrian folk music. The sequel covers their first few years in the USA, starting in New York City, and then moving to their Vermont home. The music and the acting are very good throughout the two movies.

I would also suggest this Wiki article on Captain von Trapp:

Now to the new movie.

This is the story going back to the death of Agatha (nee Whitehead) von Trapp from scarlet fever contracted from her oldest daughter, Agathe. This is Agathe's story, as told to her niece (or grand niece), from her perspective. There are many parallels to the earlier movies, but many aspects that were pretty much ignored previously are now brought out quite clearly, mainly the turmoil in Austria before WWII. The Nazi hatred of Catholics, Jews, artists, and familial social status is quite clear! There is still no music from Broadway, but a different selection of Catholic and Austrian music, performed quite nicely.

Here is a YouTube link to the trailer:

I think this film is available somewhere on the internet. I purchased a copy through Ebay. It's a Region 6 DVD, so I can only watch it on my Region 0 (all Region) player, or loan it to people who also have one.

I dare you to get through this with dry eyes!