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The Trapp Family (1956)

Die Trapp-Familie (original title)
A novice nun, Maria, is sent to care for the unruly children of a weathy Baron. The Baron and Maria fall in love, Maria leaves the convent and they marry. Under Maria's guidance the family ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruth Leuwerik ...
Josef Meinrad ...
Dr. Wasner
Friedrich Domin ...
Gruber, Bankier
Baroness Mathilde
Agnes Windeck ...
Gretl Theimer ...
Liesl Karlstadt ...
Karl Ehmann ...
Hans Schumm ...
Joseph Offenbach ...
Ellis Island Officer
Michael Ande ...
Knut Mahlke ...


A novice nun, Maria, is sent to care for the unruly children of a weathy Baron. The Baron and Maria fall in love, Maria leaves the convent and they marry. Under Maria's guidance the family becomes a nationally-acclaimed singing group, but when the Baron is comissioned to join Hitler's army the family flees to the United States where they endeavour to become established as singers once again. Based upon the true story of the Von Trapp family. Written by Jonathan Ruskin <JonRuskin@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Happy, True, and Wonderfully Uplifting Story of the Beautiful Girl Who Left Her Convent To Give Her Love to a Man-And Her Songs to the World...All the More Wonderful Because All of It Is True...!


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Release Date:

19 April 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Família Trapp  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Maria von Trapp published her memoir "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers", Hollywood was immediately interested. However, American producers wanted to purchase the rights to the title only whereas Mrs von Trapp wished that the entire story be used and made into a film. Thus she sold the rights to producers in Germany who produced this film and its sequel The Trapp Family in America (1958) and later sold the rights to America, where a more fictionalized version was produced first as a stage musical, then as a film under with title The Sound of Music (1965). See more »


Version of The Sound of Music Live (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

29 August 1999 | by (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This is the film that started it all and via the musical gave us the film "The Sound of Music". This is the film of which Baroness Von Trapp after its premiere said: "Nothing is true, but it is wonderful". Well, wonderful it is not, but it ìs a fairly well-made, ditto scripted and entertaining film about Maria who would become Baroness Von Trapp. Ruth Leuwerik, who always would blossom under Liebeneiner's direction, is convincing as Maria and Hans Holt is the perfect Baron Von Trapp. Fine set design and as usual very good music by Franz Grothe.

It is not as saccharin as "The Sound of Music", and it should be considered a typical product of its time with its optimistic "to every problem there is a solution" premise; it may be that this premise was in the minds of the makers rather than the life of the Von Trapps. As such it was a modern fairy tale for German 50's audience with Maria as the fairy-godmother; this role is emphasized by the last shot of the film in which Maria looks straight at the viewer and says "Gute Nacht" as a kind of blessing.

Liebeneiner directs with light touch and knows how to tell the story economically, but neither he nor the scriptwriter seems very at ease in dealing with the thread of Nazism and the subsequent 1938 Anschluß of Austria; not surprising however as Liebeneiner could not have had a clear conscience on the matter. The script suggests that after their escape from Austria the Von Trapps went straight to the USA, while in fact they toured Europe and went to the USA in 1939 for an American tour; the trouble with the immigration never existed.

The film is loosely based on the memories of Maria Von Trapp, which she published in 1947; the family had already stopped with their singing. The story goes that the producer's agent lead Maria to believe that German law forbid payment of royalties to foreigners. Later she found out that this was not true, after which she received a lump sum of $ 9.000,--!. The story of the film (and its sequel "Die Trapp Familie in Amerika") was sold to Broadway producer Richard Halliday and the rest is history.

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