It’s a minor detail, but if you watch The Sound of Music closely enough, you’ll notice that Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) keeps a whistle on him practically all the time. The whistle’s most striking use comes, of course, with the children’s thrilling entrance, the thunderous footsteps scrambling on the balcony, and then their march downstairs synchronized to their father’s command. But even when he’s returned from a sojourn in Vienna, presumably relaxed from a convertible mountain drive, he doesn’t waste a moment in reaching into his pocket to pull out his trusty boatswain’s whistle, shrilly reminding his children that tree-climbing and canoe-tipping are seriously prohibited. Of course, once the Captain hears and joins in the serene harmonies of his children singing the Alpine ode, “The Sound of Music,” the whistle no longer appears, replaced, it seems, by his own surprisingly soft and tender voice.
Read the rest of Genevieve Yue’s entry in the Reverse Shot Sounds Off symposium.
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