Sweet, Spirited, and Stirring Voices in The Sound of Music (1965) and Change of Habit (1969)
Chapter 4 begins by proposing that the longstanding disagreement between the film critics who hated The Sound of Music and the large general audience who loved it stems from the film's volatile blend of the beautiful, the sublime, the kitsch, the playful, and the sacred. While the nuns in The Sound of Music have been lambasted as silly, saccharine stereotypes, the chapter provides an alternative reading by focusing on the relationship between Julie Andrews's novice Maria and Peggy Wood's Mother Abbess, their solidarity in time of trial, and their spirit of transcendence through fortitude, exertion, and self-giving in the great women's song “Climb Every Mountain.” The chapter concludes with Change of Habit and suggests how the upbeat message that Maria expressed in the songs of The Sound of Music is no longer articulated by the film nun protagonists, but rather by Elvis Presley's male lead who conducts a chaste but melodious romance with Mary Tyler Moore's activist Sister Michelle.
Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.