Saturday, January 28, 2017


I had responded to a Facebook request from a friend to name a movie I'd seen more than three times. When I supplied several names of movies I had indeed watched more than once, the person posting wrote that she "couldn't believe" that I didn't mention The Sound Of Music. I responded that it was a ridiculous movie which I had endured watching one time.

One would have thought that I had committed blasphemy. She actually telephoned me because she was upset. I asked, "How could he have been a NAVY Captain in Austria?"

That remark unleashed a barrage of emotion from her. "Why do you always make fun of the things I love?, she asked.  I thought, but did not say, "Surely you don't think that schmaltz is historically accurate, do you?" but instead I merely said, "Surely you know that Austria is a land-locked country so how could Captain Trapp have been in a navy?"

She said that I was mean. I said, "Oh, Hell, you'll probably be telling me next that you think Gone With The Wind was historically accurate!"

She can't seem to comprehend that because I dislike something she likes that it is not an attack on her personally or a judgment of her character; I cannot understand such great sensitivity. Why on earth would she care that I don't like a movie which I consider treacly? If she didn't want my opinion, why ask?  She thinks I am "opinionated";  I told her that I think she is opinionated, but that's why I like her!

She and I agree on nearly everything which I consider important, but I am not exaggerating when I reveal that there have been dozens of incidents with her having hurt feelings because I disliked something she liked. One time she didn't speak to me for a week because I hadn't been sympathetic to a demise of a television program she cherished.

She protested, "But it won the Oscar!"   I replied, "Just because it won the Academy Award doesn't mean it's a great movie; I'll just mention The English Patient, Braveheart, and Gladiator for ridiculous winners."

I know that moviemakers have dramatic license, but there are just too many errors in the movie to be acceptable. For example: Captain von Trapp is portrayed as a cruel father, which numerous accounts, including Maria's, have disputed. There were 10 children, not 7, and Maria was hired to be the governess of one child. The Captain and Maria married in 1927, not shortly before they left Austria, as portrayed in the movie, and they certainly didn't climb any mountains to escape Nazis; in fact, they left on a train in 1938, which was two years after winning the famous competition in Salzburg.

However, in researching for this, I was embarrassed to find that I was wrong because I learned that Captain von Trapp had indeed been a Navy submarine Captain in World War I for the Austro-Hungarian Navy.

To show how bad I feel about being wrong about Captain von Trapp , I actually gave her an AUTOGRAPHED, first-edition copy of Maria von Trapp's autobiography. I know you are going to ask why I have a copy of a book which I have obviously little interest in; it was a gift from someone who knows I like first editions, but I must have failed to let that person know that I like first editions of authors I like, not every first edition. I have kept the book for more than 20 years but now it will with someone who will appreciate it.

Although I was wrong about Captain von Trapp being a captain, it's STILL a ridiculous movie!

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