15 Good Reasons to Hate "The Sound of Music"

Ten thousands of tourists come to Salzburg and tour the city and parts of the nearby Mondsee in the Salzkammergut not because of the historic architecture, the scenery or Mozart - but for the sake of worshipping a tacky musical.

Not even the Dirndl dresses in 'The Sound of Music' are shown authentically.

It might surprise you, but "The Sound of Music" is virtually unknown in Austria. The few Austrians that do know it generally dislike it. This is not only because it is full of historical mistakes - but also because it is a genuinely bad movie.

In the following you find a list of 15 pretty good reasons to hate "The Sound of Music":

Why "The Sound of Music" Sucks

1.) Many people from abroad think that "Edelweiß" is an Austrian folk song or even the national anthem. It is not. In fact, it was composed by Oscar Hammerstein and is as well known in Austria as the rest of the movie (not at all).

2.) The Salzburg Festival is shown to be an amateur folk music competition. It is not. In fact, the Salzburg Festival is one of the most distinguished festivals of classical and orchestral music, opera and drama and a very glamorous event.

3.) The so-called "Ländler" folk dance that Maria and Kapitän von Trapp perform in the movie does actually exist. However, but is done completely differently in Austria.

4.) The real Maria was never a nun. She wasn′t a novice, either. In fact, she was more or less an "internee" in the most basic level of monastic admission, just evaluating whether or not the life as a nun would be suitable for her. Maria′s foster parents raised the girl as socialist without much religious affiliation. Later on, Maria became increasingly religious during her studies to become a teacher.

5.) Apparently it is true that Georg von Trapp had trained his children to respond to specific pitches when he blew a whistle. However, he did not hire Maria as a governess, but rather as a teacher for his second-oldest daughter, who was ill and had to be home-schooled. Her name was also Maria. This was changed for the movie-role to avoid confusion. To make things worse: Liesl was actually a man named Rupert ("I am masculine, going on feminine…").

6.) The Trapp family did indeed have to flee from the Nazis. However, they had stayed in Salzburg together for quite a while, Maria and Captain von Trapp had married in 1927, Austria was incorporated into Nazi Germany in 1938. When they left Austria, they pretended to attend a hiking trip and took a train to Italy. In the movie, they "hike" to Switzerland, which is actually about 300 kilometres away from Salzburg.

7.) In "The Sound of Music", Switzerland is played by Mount Untersberg, which is approximately 5 kilometres south of Salzburg′s city centre.

8.) The music sucks.

9.) The children can′t pronounce their own names correctly - Friedrich turns into something like "Friddrick", not even to mention the others.

10.) The plot sucks.

11.) "The Sound of Music" feeds the distorting, romanticising image of Austria that this website is trying to get around. People who visit the sites where the movie was taken might well have a good time, but usually fail to find the "real" Salzburg. It is your fault that the city turns increasingly into Europe′s biggest open-air museum that locks out all domestic life and contemporary culture!

12.) The acting sucks.

13.) Tour guides in Salzburg often say that the cemetery of St Peter′s Abbey featured in the Nazi-scenes of "The Sound of Music". This is not true, as these scenes were taken in the Universal Studios in California. It just shows you how happily the tourism mafia of Salzburg accepts misinformation as long as it keeps the tourists happy.

14.) The dialogues suck.

15.) After "Gone with the Wind", "The Sound of Music" is the second-most seen movie on Earth - stealing this title from movies like "The Life of Brian" or "The Royal Tennenbaums", which are incomparably better and would deserve fame a lot more.

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Further Reading

Musical Austria: Schoenberg and the Second Viennese School

The Viennese Classic and Romanticism

Music Conservatories of Austria