Hands down; “The Sound of Music”! I have a few other favorites, but to choose just one, the Von Trapp’s win every time! I watch it, at least, once a year.
The biographical plot of love, set to gorgeous scenery, adorable singing children, religious overtones, a score which repeats in hearts and minds forever… pushes this movie over the top for me.
Edelweiss. Julie Andrews is one of my premiere favorite singers, ever, but Christopher Plummer (Captain Von Trapp) crafts “Edelweiss” into a heart stopping epic. He lovingly caresses the lyrics and melody. At this moment in the movie, I actually believe, the children seated in front of him are biological. He convinces me, he is deeply in love with Maria (Julie Andrews) based on facial expressions and vocal tenderness alone. Goosebumps.
A close second: “The Sound of Music”. I have, more than once, imagined myself atop the Austrian Alps twirling with arms open, accompanied by an orchestra, singing this song in top voice. It is an extraordinary opening to the movie; rapturing me to new places. If I lived there, I would twirl in those hills, often.
Third favorite song: “Climb Every Mountain”. This one fits my voice and range the best. Lyrically, it’s a subtle gut-punch reminding me to live my life with purpose, intention and passion.
I recall, as a young girl, going to the movie theatre and watching this on the big screen. It was quite an experience for this black/white-fuzzy-TV-girl. Wow! It wrapped around my heart and hasn’t let go.
Someday, I long to see Austria and take the Sound of Music tour. Standing on the Alps while belting out these songs would be a dream. If there, I won’t care who is watching or listening, even if, I am old and feeble.
I’ve had the privilege of visiting the Von Trapp’s Vermont home in Stowe: where they settled after escaping to America. It was as heart-warming and inspirational as the movie. I have to admit, I didn’t expect that. An absolute MUST, if you visit, is to watch the “Real Maria Story.” It is a documentary of Maria, in her 80‘s, telling her story in her words. Her expressions and demeanor speaks volumes. This movie can only be viewed in Vermont: it was a highlight. I left the room in awe of her devotion and love for God. It totally inspired me. I, also, found her autobiography in the book store. I snatched it up; each page grew my admiration for “Maria”.
Growing up an orphan: her mother died when she was young. Her father couldn’t handle the loss of a second wife. So, he handed her over to a cousin. She saw her father periodically. He died in her teens. After years of thinking she was too smart to believe in God, she had a dramatic turn and found faith in God and Jesus to be true and real, during college.
Here are her own words:
“This started a completely new life for me, because now, I was on the threshold of a new journey where Jesus the Heavenly Father, the Holy Spirit and our grown-up brothers and sisters “the saints” had suddenly turned from fiction to fact, from legend to reality, and my heart was eager to learn. Once again, God was back in my life.”
After college graduation, Maria and a group of classmates embarked on a week long hike in the Alps.
“We had a whole week of hiking a distance between 2,000-3,000 meters across the ice fields and glaciers, enjoying the most unforgettable scenery, especially the sunset. One has to have experienced the sunset on a glacier to realize how deep it impresses one’s soul. It happened that I was the last to stand there and watch the sinking sun turning to pink and red casting shadows on the snow.
Suddenly, I had to spread my arms wide open and shout, “Thank you God, for this great wonderful creation of Yours. What could I give You back for it?”
At that moment, it crossed my mind that the greatest thing I could give to God was the very thing I was so greatly enjoying. In other words, give up mountain climbing, give up hiking, give up living out in nature, and bury myself in a convent which, to my recollection, was a dark place of medieval character.
With the generosity my young heart I said, “Yes, Lord, here it is.”
Immediately, she left her friends, walked down the mountain, found the strictest convent available and surrendered herself to God completely, in the best way, she could think to carry it out!
As her life unfolded, she spent two years in the convent, leaving to become a wife and mother. The Von Trapp children had a mother who died, just as Maria’s had. Can you imagine how well she tended their hearts, as few others could?
It is a God-story from many perspectives.
I am convicted by her passion, surrender and total abandon to God… instantly, when prompted. Maria’s life and love for God challenges me in wonderful ways.
The big screen introduced the Von Trapp family and left an indelible impression on my heart. Their “real lives” cemented their testimonies in my soul.
What’s your favorite movie? Why?
The Hills Are Alive … ,
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