'The Trapp Family' is certainly one of the German movies which had the most after-effects in Hollywood. Now a remake tells the story of the singing 'Sound of Music' family from a different angle. Will it work in 2015?
In 1956, the film "The Trapp Family," directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner and starring Ruth Leuwerik and Hans Holt, became one of the most popular films in post-war Germany. The film also had a sequel, "The Trapp Family in America," which was released in 1958.
Most notably, the story of this singing family became a legend in the US, as it was turned into a Broadway musical and an extremely successful film, both called "The Sound of Music."
"The Trapp Family" was based on the memoir of Maria-Augusta von Trapp, "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers," which describes how the family escaped from Austria during Nazi rule to live in the US. The book became a bestseller.
A few years later, Broadway producers became interested in the story. The musical "The Sound of Music" premiered in New York in 1959. It ran for almost 1,500 performances. Then a London production of the musical was just as successful. The story has fans in many other countries, too, especially in Asia.
The most memorable and famous version of this story comes from Hollywood. The film director Robert Wise adapted the musical, casting Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in the lead roles. The nearly three-hour musical drama obtained five Oscars and smashed box office records in several countries.
Fifty years later, a German remake is being released, and premiered Monday (02.11.15) in the Gloria Palast in Munich, which is where the original film was also screened for the first time.
Filmmaker Ben Verbong tells a slightly different version of the well-known story. In the original film in 1956, the memories of the Maria von Trapp led the narrative: This time it is the oldest daughter, Agata von Trapp, who is at the center of the story. The emotional core of the film remains similar to the original - a remix of kitsch sentimental drama.
This remake will probably not be as successful as the original version. In the 1950s, moviegoers in Germany were yearning for entertainment after the war. This new movie was filmed in the style of a German evening soap - directly in English. The film apparently aims to conquer an international audience - but it can hardly fulfill the modern expectations it has developed over the last 60 years.
The film "The Trapp Family - A Life of Music" directed by Ben Verbong, starring Matthew Macfayden, Eliza Bennett, Yvonne Catterfeld, Cornelius Obonya, and Rosemary Harris is released on November 12 in Germany. A worldwide release is expected for the Christmas holidays.