December 23rd, 2012

now - screaming infidelities.

Movie: The Sound of Music (1965)

When I was a kid, I know that I saw parts of The Sound of Music. I must have done, at least a few times - how else would I know the lyrics do "Do-Re-Me" and "Edelweiss"? Why would I know that the main character, played by Julie Andrews, is a nun who watches over a bunch of kids and ends up marrying their father? But my memories of the film were extremely vague, so I impulsively bought the Blu-Ray special edition box set on Amazon.com so that Seanie and I could watch it and refresh our memories.

I was shocked to learn, as I watched the movie, that while some scenes were familiar and I had certainly seen them before, that I really don't know the movie at all. It's my current theory that when I saw the movie at daycare, the women watching us turned it off right after the wedding scene, because I had no idea that there were Nazis in the movie! I'm positive I never saw the final third of the movie, when the plot suddenly takes a much darker and suspenseful turn.

It really changes the rest of the movie. I always thought The Sound of Music was a dippy little family film, a fluffy and harmless little romance with lots of humor and charm. But it's not that at all, not when you have the dark shadow of pre-WWII Germany cast over the sunny meadows and crystalline lakes of Austria. My mind is blown.

Did the daycare supervisors censor the movie? Were we watching some sort of edited version that took out all the references to the Germans? That seems unlikely; I can't imagine why such a movie would have exist. I think that some of the earlier dialogue would have gone over my head when I was so little, so it's probable that I just missed the references to the Nazis early in the film. But I'm guessing that the women in charge thought we'd get scared by the chase scenes at the end of The Sound of Music, so they simply turned the movie off. As an adult, I'm disappointed in them for doing this - kids are tougher than they are often given credit for. But I guess I wouldn't want to be the one trying to explain the Holocaust to someone else's six year old child, either.

Still, though, I feel lied to. In a small way, this is almost as traumatizing as learning that Santa Claus doesn't exist. :-p