Insidious Communist Propaganda
The film begins in an Austrian nunnery, a natural setting given the well-documented totalitarian sympathies of the papacy at the time. Julie Andrews plays Maria, another version of the singing nanny that she made famous the year previously with Mary Poppins, which is another lasting legacy of communist propagandists.
Of course, the singing nanny character in and of itself is essential to the film's propagandist goals. Presented as a harmless and innocent lover of children, the character's origin as a novice nun and position as governess serve as a perfect cover for infiltration and indoctrination of the family children. She embarks immediately upon a campaign of subverting the discipline of the children, destroying the carefully cultivated rigor instilled by their father. The resultant seduction of Captain von Trapp serves two goals: First, it deprives the enemy of an experienced U-Boat captain. Second, there is powerful symbolism to the social destruction of the wealthy von Trapp and his Baroness fiancé by a penniless interloper, an exquisite example of the class warfare at the heart of the communist ideology. The film is practically a primer on the destruction of western capitalism from within.
The communist ideology rooted in the film's celebrated music could hardly be more thinly veiled. "The hills are alive," not with the sound of music but with hordes of revolutionary partisans and "Climb Every Mountain" further spells out the anticipated universality of the uprising. "My Favorite Things," inventories cheerful materialistic joys, but in a minor key malevolence hinting at the nationalization of all private property in the course of the revolution. "Sixteen Going on Seventeen," seems at face value to be about the maturation of a girl into womanhood, but is little more than a clever play on words, a symbolic suggestion that the west is on the verge of its own nineteen seventeen.
The systematic breaking down of the previous world view of the children, its replacement with revolutionary slogans and chants that they are encouraged to sing loudly and spread like a virus, and the turning of the children against their father's discipline are conventional methods of communist indoctrination. It is thus hardly a surprise to learn that the scale defined in "Do-Re-Mi" can also be used for L'Internationale.
Having subverted the children and the formerly valiant Captain von Trapp, Maria leads them into a music festival, to publicly broadcast their ideology to as wide an audience as possible. The fascist authorities try to clamp down upon the family to stop the broiling revolution, but are foiled by the sabotage of their vehicles by a cabal of commando nuns. The tiny guns of the Nazis, combined with their utter incompetence, suggests that the paternalistic fascist state is impotent when confronted by the power of the maternalistic communist state.
At first glance, the film suggests that the von Trapps are innocent victims seeking refuge in neutral Switzerland. However, as any atlas of the period reveals, Salzburg was not situated along the Swiss border, but along the German border, meaning that the mountains into which the family hikes at the conclusion will lead them not to neutral Switzerland, but directly to the Eagle's Nest, Hitler's personal retreat. Far from escaping to freedom, the vicious von Trapp clan was merely turning their honed guerrilla techniques upon the loathsome right wing German state, climbing the mountains in order to begin building a revolutionary apparatus in the next nation, then the next, then the next. The film ends as if on a happy note, with the promise of revolution ringing an ominous chord in any true supporter of freedom.
Tragically, The Sound of Music was added to the Library of Congress's National Film Registry in 2001. This is a horrific blow to the cause of western freedom, and damning evidence of the influence of communists in the very highest echelons of our library system.
*The fact that a VHS copy of The Sound of Music was the only tape in the author's third grade class room, and thus was shown piecemeal approximately seventeen times that academic year, in no way whatsoever influenced the author's opinion of the film. If anything, it granted ample opportunity for the careful study of this malignant tumor of cinema.
Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at www.burningviolin.com. You can email him here.
Get entertainment, celebrity and politics updates via Facebook or Twitter. Buy Pajiba merch at the Pajiba Store.