The Sound Of Music Goofs
The guitar played throughout the movie is a Goya guitar from the Levin Company of Sweden in the early 1950s.
During the opening credits (for Screenplay, Associate Producer and Director), the Hotel Europa Salzburg can be seen in the distance to the left of the Collegiate Church that is in the foreground. The Hotel Europa Salzburg was built in 1957 and is obviously more modern than the surrounding buildings.
When Maria sings "My Favorite Things" to the children during the thunderstorm, the Captain comes in and stops the fun. As she watches the children running into line, she says something like "Wha-" after finishing the song, but her mouth doesn't move.
When Maria and the Captain meet the children after their honeymoon, when the children are telling Maria they are going to sing, Friedrich approaches her and he obviously tells her something but there is no sound of it.
Before Maria teaches the children how to sing "Do Re Mi," she tunes the guitar. She turns the peg which tunes the high "E" string, but a lower pitch being tuned is heard against the high "E."
After Maria's wedding there is a sequence of ringing bells. In the last shot of only one deep bell ringing, you can clearly hear the bell ring well ahead of the clapper actually striking the bell's rim on screen.
When Maria eats her first meal with the von Trapps, they all use their eating utensils the American way, i.e. with the fork in their right hand.
When Rolf gives the telegram from Berlin to Liesl, his black feldmutze still has the Austrian red-white-red roundel on it.
When the family is hiding in the abbey, Friedrich has a small smile on his face.
During the wedding of Maria to Captain Von Trapp, "Uncle Max" Detweiler approaches the altar and genuflects (kneels) onto his left knee, rather than the proper Catholic genuflection onto the right knee.
During the "my favorite things" number, Briggitta is seen covering her head in fright a second BEFORE the lightning and thunder.
The first time Maria goes to see the Reverend Mother, Sister Margaretha tells her she can go in and puts a hand on her arm. She takes her hand away and walks out the door. In the next shot, from inside the Reverend Mother's office, she still has her hand on Maria's arm and then walks away again.
In the opening scene, when the helicopter camera zooms in on Maria, it's bright and sunny, but when it switches to a regular camera, the sky is suddenly cloudy.
Capt. von Trapp's hair
When the children welcome Maria and the Captain home is a brownish color and in a different style from the rest of the film.
Bandage (covered with makeup) visible on Liesl's ankle in "16 Going on 17" but not in the surrounding scenes (she sprained her ankle while rehearsing part of the sequence, after other parts had already been shot). The bandage has been erased on the DVD.
Prior to singing "Edelweiss" in the drawing room, when Maria first offers the Captain the guitar, he is holding a glass of port in his right hand, he begins to raise his left hand to gesture. The scene cuts to a wider shot and the glass is in his left hand as he raises his right to gesture.
At the party, Herr Zeller meets Captain Von Trapp and the Baroness and then moves on his way. After him are a lady and gentleman who greet the hosts. However, as Herr Zeller is walking away we see the lady and gentleman greet them again over his shoulder.
When Maria goes to see the Mother Abbess (after "Maria") the chair is at the end of the desk as she enters the room. But when the Mother Abbess tells her to sit, it is in the middle.
During "Do, Re, Mi", Maria's hair is blowing in the wind in the long shots but is perfectly combed in the close-ups.
Just before the Captain first sings "Edleweiss", he reaches for a glass, but in the next shot there is a bottle in his hand.
When the Nazi troops are marching through the town square, the building shadows change position in relationship to the horse and carriage.
In the song "Do Re Mi" when Maria and the children are riding in the carriage, you see the same store fronts several times as the carriage passes by.
At the beginning of the movie (just after it tells us we're in Salzburg, Austria), the nuns are shown walking through the Abbey on their way to mass. Two nuns are shown beginning to rise from kneeling in front of what may be icons. In the next shot they are no longer there.
When the children are singing "So Long, Farewell" during the party, the rug moves about 18 inches so the children's feet are lined up
During the thunderstorm, when Gretel runs into Maria's room, she throws open the door and we hear and see it bang on the opposite wall. However in the next shot, a close up of Gretel we see it bang against the wall again in the background but no sound is heard.
The front exterior of the house has two rows of windows, yet when you enter the house, there are no windows at the front of the house.
When Maria capsized the rowboat full of children prior to meeting the Baroness, the rowboat turns sideways and nearly fills with water, sending two-thirds of the sinking boat under the waterline. Seconds later, the boat only contains about ten gallons of water and is floating safely again.
Every time that the children are all together forming a straight line they manage to keep a straight line of heights, from the eldest to the youngest. But throughout the rest of the film, the five eldest children appear to have different heights from one scene to another.
During Maria's 'I Have Confidence' song there is a field with a horse behind her to the right and as she continues singing she goes down a path that puts that would put that field on her right. In the next shot of her singing there is a long building on her right with no sign of the horse or field.
The outside of the Von Trapp house is clearly not the same house as the inside. The front of the house from the outside has tons of windows on all levels but when Maria walks in the front door there are no windows in the two story foyer - just the giant staircase and a plain windowless wall around the front door from the inside.
When the children begin to sing "My Favorite Things" to cheer themselves up, they hear Maria's voice joining in the singing. As the children hug Maria, she pulls Friedrich's hat over his eyes and he grabs her guitar case, then seconds later his hat is back on top of his head without him adjusting it.
Louisa is standing at the stern (next to Liesl) and Gretl is standing at the bow (next to Maria) of the rowboat before it capsizes. After the rowboat capsizes Louisa swims away and yet seconds later is seen carrying Gretl out of the water.
When Capt. Von Trapp hugs the children after they sing to the Baroness, Gretl seems to disappear from the group for a few seconds only to reappear to present the Edelweiss to the Baroness.
In the wedding scene, as Maria is walking down the aisle, daylight is streaming through the windows. When her and the captain kneel at the altar it is pitch black outside the windows.
Captain Von Trapp's car demonstrates a dual personality - at least, the convertible top does. In some scenes (e.g. when the kids drive up to meet Von Trapp after his honeymoon with Maria), his exquisite convertible has a black top. In other scenes (e.g. when the family is caught by the Nazis in mid-escape while pushing the car away from their home), the car has a white top.
In the wedding scene as Maria is walking down the aisle she has clearly covered half the distance of the length of the aisle in the first shot. In the next shot she suddenly is in the back of the church again, slowly progressing and passing for the second time the same pillars she has passed just before, in the first shot.
In the 'My Favorite Things' sequence, Friederich's hair color is much darker and closer to his natural hair color than when Maria meets the children the first time earlier in the day. This is because the first scene shot for the film was 'My Favorite Things', before the color bleaching of his hair was completed.
Crew or equipment visible
When Maria and the Captain are outside the gazebo, there's a stage light visible in a few shots.
In the final scene of the film, the rippling of the grass shows that there is a helicopter hovering above.
Errors in geography
Salzburg is on Austria's German (not Swiss) border. (In real life the von Trapps simply traveled 100 km to the Italian border for a supposed mountain-climbing vacation, crossed openly, and did not return. The border closed the very next day.)
At the beginning of the film where Maria is dancing on the top of the mountain and she hears the bells of the convent ringing, firstly the mountain is so far away that there is no chance that she would hear it, even with bionic hearing. Secondly, she runs down the mountain to the cathedral in minutes when it's about 20 miles away.
Captain von Trapp drives a RHD vehicle, while Austrian cars drove on the right side of the road. No indication that he would drive an English made car.
Numerous discrepancies of insignia on the German uniforms.
At the wedding, Captain Von Trapp wears a uniform with 3 gold sleeve stripes and a circle. This is the insignia of a senior lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian Navy. His sleeve should have had 1 wide stripe with 1, 2 or 3 narrow stripes plus the circle, depending on how senior a captain he was at his retirement.
In the subtitles (in English), the German word "Fräulein" is consistently rendered as "fraülein" (i.e., impermissible umlaut use, creating a non-word).
Incorrectly regarded as goofs
The claim that an orange crate says "Product of Israel" despite Israel not existing at the time the film is set is false. Though the crate and its label are clearly visible in a publicity still taken during the filming of that sequence, the crate is not visible in the completed film.
Georg von Trapp was an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Imperial Navy in World War I, commanding ships based from Yugoslavian ports on the Adriatic Sea. In 1918, the Empire was dissolved, leaving Austria a landlocked country to this day--and von Trapp out of a job in the process. "Austrian Navy" sounds like an oxymoron to viewers unaware of the historical context.
The Mother Abbess tells Maria that Captain von Trapp's wife died "several years ago". A distressing number of people have heard this as "seven years ago" and wonder how she can have given birth to the five-year-old Gretl.
Liesl tells Maria that she and her siblings do not know how to sing when it shows her and Rolfe singing "16 Going on 17" in a previous scene. However, Liesl is indicated as being a rebellious teen that doesn't want the rest of her family to know (her romance with Rolfe, for instance, isn't known to the rest of them), so there is every chance that she knew how to sing. Besides, being the oldest, she most likely remembers her mother singing.
When, on their first day out, Maria asks the children what songs they know. Friedrich responds that they 'don't know any' songs. Later when the guitar is offered to Captain von Trapp and he is deciding what to sing, Friedrich can be heard saying 'sing us something we know'. Given, however, that they haven't had much music for at least 5 years, it's likely some wouldn't remember how to sing, but would still know some songs as they listened to it. The fact that Friedrich asked for "something we know" is, in fact, proof of that.
Do Re Mi. The children learn the song while wearing their play clothes. They are later seen in other clothes then back to their play clothes. However, it is obvious from the various scenes that they are singing this song over the course of several days, hence the clothes changes.
During the thunder storm, when Liesl supposedly climbs up to Maria's room, we see her outside, running over to the window. She then tells Maria she climbed up. She could have climbed up elsewhere and made her way along a ledge, but when we look outside there's no evidence of a ledge wide enough to facilitate her running.
When Maria arrives at the von Trapp house, she has two shadows at 90 degrees to each other. There should only be one shadow, as it is broad daylight.
When Captain von Trapp and Maria come back from their honeymoon, he pulls a Nazi flag down from above his front door. As he does so, he is obviously searching for the correct place to tear the flag and eventually finds a slit which has been marked by the prop people. You can also see the slit going down into the flag.
When Maria and the children come back from their day of play and are singing inside, they decide who is next to sing; Captain Von Trapp. When Maria hands the Captain her guitar, it has no strings on it. While he is playing and singing, the strings will appear then disappear.
When the Nazis are searching for the family on the roof of the abbey, one of the actors shines his flashlight accidentally toward the "mountains," and it throws a beam of light on the painted wall, revealing the fact that the Alpine scenery is painted, not real.
When the Nazis are searching for the family when they are hiding between the wall and the tombstones, one shines his flashlight through the locked gates. When the shot goes to the light panning around the enclosures, the beam is not that of a flashlight, but of a spotlight (non-defined edges, lighter/darker parts of the beam, vs. defined edges, bright circle).
The exterior front door of the Von Trapp villa, shot in Salzburg, is a double door, maybe 7ft high, with a semi-circular glass fan-light above it. The interior of that same door, shot at Fox's studios in California, has a similar double door below, but with double height solid wood paneling continuing above it. No fan-light to be seen anywhere. It's interesting to note that the back door of the villa, opening onto the rear terrace, and again seen at various points during the movie, is also a 7ft high double door with a fan-light above it, but the interior and exterior versions of this do match up.
When Maria first leaves the convent, one of the bars in the iron gate is visibly cut away to make room for the camera.
During the opening credits, watch very closely at the bell tower. Sometimes you see a full complete swing on the bell and sometimes the bell appears to have hit a brick wall and suddenly reverts back the other direction only completing a half swing.
Immediately after 'Do-Re'Me' as the children finish their stair run, you will see Kurt trip slightly on the stair. As the camera fades away, the actor can clearly be seen looking at a crew member (possibly the director) and grinning sheepishly as if recognizing his mistake.
When Maria is singing "My Favorite Things" to the children the first time, during the first verse and chorus, one of the girls, Marta, is seen miming the words to herself - especially the last line of the chorus, "... so bad!"
The Captain and Maria return to Salzburg early from their honeymoon when they hear about the annexation of Austria to Germany. They pull up to their home, and the Captain quickly tears up a Nazi flag that has been displayed there. It is clearly warm and there are leaves on the trees - late spring or summer. The annexation of Austria took place on 13 March 1938, and it would therefore have been colder, grayer, and there would not have been any leaves on the trees.
When they return from their honeymoon, the Captain and Maria are not wearing wedding rings.
The 1996 video fits the movie onto one VHS cassette by removing the Intermission screen as well as the Entr'acte.
35mm prints of the film removed the "Filmed in Todd-AO" credit from the main titles (Todd-AO was the widescreen format "The Sound of Music" was filmed in).
When this was first released in Germany, the film ended with Maria's wedding and the final third of the film cut off due to its Nazi overtones. Furious, Fox later restored the finale.
Originally, when NBC showed the movie on television, it was shown at its full length, leading to a more than four-hour running time because of all the commercials. In 1987, an NBC version of the film was aired. This version of the film cut out the following moments - the end of "I Have Confidence In Me" is cut, going to commercial right after Maria says "Oh, help". Also cut was the part where Captain Von Trapp tells his children at the dinner table he is going to Vienna the next day. It goes from Liesl asking to be excused right to her running out the door towards Rolf. Also cut was the scene where the nuns sing the "Alleluia", editing it from the scene in the chapel right to the nun running to tell Mother Abbess that Maria is missing. Another cut includes the Captain and Baroness walking in the hall during the ball. Instead of seeing the children doing the "cuckoo" introduction to "So Long, Farewell", we see the children beginning the song in a straight line. Finally, the scene where the Captain rips the Nazi Flag is cut, going right to Liesl talking to Maria.
The edited NBC version ran 140 minutes, deleting over 35 minutes of scenes in order to fit a 3-hour time slot with commercials. The current NBC Televsion airings delete the scene where Maria juggles with fruit, the scene where the children tell the Captain they went berry picking, and the scene in which the children return home in Max's car.
A scene showing Maria and the Children standing in front of fruit crates is rumored to be on some television airings. It is also said that it has some musical numbers not included in the home video and theatrical versions.
A "Sing-along" version of the movie - uncut, but with sub-titles of the song lyrics - is in limited theatrical release.
Another scene cut in the NBC version is the scene where the children ask their father about Maria leaving. The entire part about the pink lemonade is edited out.
Most television airings also delete part of sequence in which the von Trapps hide in the abbey cemetery, specifically, where Gretl asks Maria if they should sing at that moment. In addition, the scene in which the Captain and the Baroness call off their engagement omits all of the dialog leading up to the Captain saying it's no use.
Some TV prints shorten the family's "So Long, Farewell" performance during the final concert sequence.
The 2001 Fox Television version deletes the entire wedding sequence to save time.
When the film was originally released in France, the sequences of the nuns singing "Maria" and the Mother Abbess singing "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" were cut as it was felt by the authorities that nuns singing non religious songs was disrespectful. These two musical numbers were therefore only heard in their "reprise" forms at Maria's wedding (Maria) and the final scene of the film (Climb Ev'ry Mountain). On the 2005 40th Anniversary DVD, the French Singalong version omits subtitles for these two songs.