For my first entry to The Film Experience's Hit Me With Your Best Shot blogathon, I was excited to participate in calling out the best scene for The Sound of Music. When The Entertainment Junkie informed me that this was the first film slated for the season, I knew immediately what my best pick was for this movie: the gazebo scene with Captain Von Trapp and Maria professing their love to one another in silhouette.
When I was a kid, I can distinctly remember fast-forwarding (ode to VHS) through this part because I wasn't interested in their romance- I just wanted to see all the cool stuff the children were up to (I really wanted a puppet show!) It's funny how as you get older and watch a movie from your childhood, you notice things you did not before and value different characters, lines, and moments in ways you had not. I used to be a bit repulsed by the Captain- I thought he was an old man! Now, however, I marvel at how good-looking Christopher Plummer is and what a wonderful career he has had. The same with Julie Andrews- it amazes me how talented, beautiful, and so youthful she appears in this film and always does. They both have the most lovely sparkle in their baby blues!
As a young adult this love scene was more meaningful for me because true love was my heart's greatest desire. So at one point it was a bit painful and I'd choke up watching it. Now, it simply fills me with joy because as the song suggests, love happens, and not as a result of anything you've done, just by being you. "For here you are standing there, loving me...whether or not you should." (I can sing the whole movie!) As an adult too, I think it is easier to pick up on the chemistry building between Maria and the Captain since their first meeting.
The silhouette captures everything that is great about the film- the acting dynamic, the lyrics and music, and the camera work. There needs to be no flash nor pomp and circumstance- just their voices and it's perfect! Also, it is interesting that apparently this scene was supposed to light their faces, but Julie Andrews kept giggling for some reason (I think a machine was making a funny noise on set), so they kept their profiles backlit. And wow, what an iconic scene. <3
I've visited Salzburg and been to the areas where they filmed the movie (absolutely gorgeous and I wish I had digital copies). I will say that the gazebo is a real place (locked unfortunately so no one will reenact the film, haha), and it is a lot smaller in person, but nevertheless, very romantic and unassuming. It's hard to believe that it's the kind of fixture that would inspire such iconic filmmaking, yet there it is! Most Austrians have never seen The Sound of Music, but it's starting to grow in popularity over time. Either way, the Salzburgers enjoy hosting tourists and sharing a piece of their world and culture.
Thank you for letting me participate! I know I could write so much more!