Why don't the Germans / Austrians like Sound of Music?
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Author:  thatdress [ Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:54 am ]
Post subject:  Why don't the Germans / Austrians like Sound of Music?

Has anyone else found this? I would be very interested in hearing anyone’s experience of visiting Austria / Germany and experiencing attitudes towards Sound of Music, or if anyone knows anyone German / Austrian or is from these countries and could help explain why it is that everybody from Salzburg seems largely unaware of the story which, to outsiders, defines their town? Do Germans like musicals in general. Would be so grateful for any input as am trying to write an article. :)

Author:  High-baritonne [ Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:48 am ]
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I may be wrong, but I've been told that German language countries has more musical productions a year than the English speaking countries. I think you may have had bad luck and met some of the few people who doesn't know anything about musical theatre.

Author:  degrassifan [ Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:33 pm ]
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1. The whole Nazi issue, especially in Germany. So bad that when it was first released there, a German producer cut everything after the wedding and some of Herr Zeller's scenes.

2. The Austrians just didn't think it was authentic and hated the Hollywoodization of their country, clothes, and culture.

3. The Germans and Austrians couldn't get over the fact that the Americans had remade one of their favorite movies ever, Die Trapp Familie, which was as popular there as The Sound of Music is popular over here.

I, honestly, think that the Austrians and people from Salzburg should be very grateful for having The Sound of Music. It basically put them on the map.

Author:  Salome [ Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:45 am ]
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i can agree with their distain considering al lthe fiction that people take as fact in the sound of music.

Author:  bittenbythetheatrebug [ Sat May 08, 2010 7:03 am ]
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Salome wrote:
i can agree with their distain considering al lthe fiction that people take as fact in the sound of music.

This is very true. I read an article several years ago with the Von Trapp children complaining about how a lot of the things that happened in the movies never happened in real life. I can see why a fabrication on a local story would be enough to make Austrians mad.

And the Germans have always been very touchy about the Nazis in WWII. This is also unsurprising.

Author:  Brock07 [ Sat May 08, 2010 7:42 am ]
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So what is fiction and what is real?

Author:  disneyprincess [ Sat May 08, 2010 8:56 am ]
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bittenbythetheatrebug wrote:
And the Germans have always been very touchy about the Nazis in WWII. This is also unsurprising.

mhm. It's actually illegal to to/have anything nazi- related. At musical practice one year a kid was jokingly doing the "heil Hitler" sign,and a German exchange student said he would have been arrested if he did that in Germany.

Author:  bittenbythetheatrebug [ Sat May 08, 2010 9:40 pm ]
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Brock07 wrote:
So what is fiction and what is real?

All the info can be found here: ... rapps.html

Author:  Brigantine [ Sun May 23, 2010 9:01 am ]
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I've been to Austria and Salzburg and did the whole Sound of Music tour... it's not that all Austrians hate SOM, but they don't like how Hollywood twisted the story, and that Americans believe it all to be true. They may not like that aspect of it, but I'm sure a lot of people in Salzburg are glad for the tourism business.

Author:  Linaaa [ Mon May 31, 2010 1:15 pm ]
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I don't think Germans dislike the movie or the show. Most Germans simply don't know the Sound of Music. People don't grow up with the movie. Adults don't know it so they don't show it to their kids....

There are a lot of movies about the Third Reich in Germany and there will always be. That's good because especially younger people have to know about history. But therefore I don't think that Germans don't like the show because it refers to Hitler. DOn't forget that most of the people living today did not have anything to do with it and they only know about the Third Reich because teachers or movies have told them (just as everywhere else in the world). I don't think people are that touchy anymore - might have been different when the Sound of Music was released.

By the way...
-yes Germans like musicals in general (not all of them of course ;) )
-and no there aren't more German musical productions than English ones.

and: the Sound of Music ranks high on but people there also say that nearly noone in Germany knows the movie.

Author:  chgfr [ Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why don't the Germans / Austrians like Sound of Music?

Here is the perspective of a German:
Before I moved to the US I had never heard of the "Sound of Music", but I did know about Die Trapp Familie (as mentioned in another post, an Austrian movie from the 50s). When I first saw the Sound of Music I utterly disliked it and with this opinion strangely offended everyone around me. Quickly, the assumption is made, that Germans cannot deal with being reminded of their dark past. Completely beside the point. The reason why the movie caused this reaction in me is quite simple: the music does not fit to the images. The music is just too American. The sound of this music together with images of the Alps and people in Dirndl and Lederhosen just does not go together - it is just like a Western movie with Bollywood music or Chinese opera if you will. It's not just the language. If you think my comparison is too exaggerated then imagine Mary Poppins singing Bach chorales or German/Austrian folk songs - it just wouldn't fit the movie and it's setting.
So for that reason the Sound of music was never popular in Germany or Austria. Simple as that. I'm sure Die Trapp Familie was more popular, but just one of a gazillion "Heimat-Filme", the popular movie genre of the time.

Author:  EricR [ Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why don't the Germans / Austrians like Sound of Music?

I'm puzzled by the fact that most negative comments about the movie seem to emanate from Germans, not Austrians. They have a complete right to their opinion, but this is a movie pertaining primarily about Austrians. That said, obviously the movie is stylized, romanticized, heavy on stereotypes, etc. However, it is entertainment, a fantasy with some historical roots, but not a travelogue nor a documentary. In any event, the movie is popular here in the States largely because of the music, not because of stereotypes.
I've noticed that German speakers never comment on that aspect of it.

Also the WIKI article on the film states that the Austrian/German Governments initially cut off the parts of the picture after the marriage scene, presumably because the later portion dealt more with the Nazi takeover. I find it hard to believe that was a coincidence.

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