Die Trapp-Familie (1956) and Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika (1958), with Music by Franz Grothe

If Die Trapp-Familie looks familiar to American audiences, it’s because 20th Century Fox‘s The Sound of Music shamelessly ripped off its costume and set design, its color palette, and many of its scene compositions. But what the American movie lacked was the Viennese charm and humor of the original, as well as its two immensely glamorous stars, German-born Ruth Leuwerik (1924-2016) and Austrian-born Hans Holt (1909-2001).

Its sequel, Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika, however, although filmed in location in the States, is wonderfully unfamiliar and well deserves a viewing: New York’s Lower East Side and the rich melting pot of immigrant life, as idealized by post-war European filmmakers. The struggle of the von Trapps as penniless political refugees isn’t ignored, but for the most part their story is told lightheartedly.

Die Trapp Familie in Amerika (1958)Above Hans Holt and Ruth Leuwerik: Franz Grothe’s opening credits music to Die Trapp-Familie that signals this film is going to be a flirtatious romp with only a few Nazis.

Pay attention, as well, to the music, especially in Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika. Grothe, a popular composer in Germany (he remained in Germany throughout the war, a reluctant Party member) composed a creditable Gershwin-like score for this sequel, particularly in the underscoring of a quiet scene between Georg and Maria gazing out at the Brooklyn Bridge while worrying about their family’s future (21:22). In German and English.

Click here for Die Trapp-Familie (1956) and Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika (1958) in their entirety.


Free pdf of my memoir re the Gyllenhaals A POET FROM HOLLYWOOD here.
Free epub of my 2014 Hollywood-based comedy mystery COLD OPEN here.
Free pdf of my book JOHN WILSON: AN ENGLISH CONDUCTOR here.

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Les Demoiselles de Rochefort par Jacques Demy, Michel Legrand et Alain Boublil, 2003

My favorite favorite favorite European musical, adapted from Jacques Demy’s 1967 film starring the bright sisters of my moviegoing youth, Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac. French-Armenian singer/songwriter/actor/music producer Essaï Altounian produced this at the humongous, deep-staged Palais des Congres de Paris (near Porte Maillot). This is, by the way, the show where that lovely “Chanson de Maxence” comes from.

Les Demoiselles de Rochefort.jpegLes Demoiselles de Rochefort (2003, stage, en francais) is available in its entirety here.


Free pdf of my memoir re the Gyllenhaals A POET FROM HOLLYWOOD here.
Free epub of my 2014 Hollywood-based comedy mystery COLD OPEN here.
Free pdf of my book JOHN WILSON: AN ENGLISH CONDUCTOR here.

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