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Trappings: The Cold And Elegant Estate Of Captain Von Trapp

March 18, 2015 2 min read

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of “The Sound of Music,” and tonight ABC News will run a special on the film.

I come from a musical family — at least in the sense that my parents put my sister and I into song and dance at an early age. When “The Sound Of Music” would play on TV each year (probably on a Sunday), it was the one night they would let us stay up late with school the next day.

As with our Indiana Jones post last week, Masculine Interiors has given me reason to look at films I’ve seen countless times for a fresh perspective, not only on visual details, but on how character is revealed through set decoration. Even if you don’t like musicals, “The Sound of Music” is still a great movie with dramatic tension and character arc set against the backdrop of the rising Third Reich, which always serves as cinema’s ultimate villainy.

So here are a few screen shots and notes. At the top we have the captain at home on a stormy night in requisite smoking jacket. Such an estate all but requires that relaxing evenings be spent in velvet.

Below, Maria’s arrival. Note the wide shot showing the cold, restrained orderliness of the home. How stern, she wonders, must be the man who lives here.

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This shot shows the room from the second floor, emphasizing the magnificent split staircase that greets you when you enter the estate. In this case, for the ball scene.

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted a ballroom. Also to be used for fencing and table tennis. Perhaps not so baroque, however:

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The film is set in that brief time and place when half the guests would arrive by automobile and half by horse and carriage:

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“We have to get out of Austria. And this house. Tonight.”

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Many of the exterior shots were filmed at Schloss Leopoldkron, which is presently a hotel. And  in 2008 the real Von Trapp house also became a hotel.


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