Posted by: distributorcap | December 30, 2008

Naming Conventions

If sitcoms can be rerun, so can blogposts – so enjoy this one from July 2007 (CBS starts rerunning their sitcoms a month into the season, I think 18 months is a good time to bring back some oldies).

This post does have relevance and also has a video update!!!!!!

The Sound of Music is NOT one of my favorite movies — but then again I really don’t despise it. But it does figure into my blogworld.

It is long, the story is kind of dumb, there is a ton of poetic license taken, the kids are annoying, they ripped off Gone With The Wind (with Maria instead of Scarlett making clothing out of curtains) and I guess at my advanced age, the movie really doesn’t hold my attention. Or maybe I just have ADHD. Or maybe I just don’t believe it is that easy to control marionettes. Or maybe i just don’t believe Julie Andrews would really let herself look like this after coming off her Oscar.

My favorite anecdote about this movie is when it was played in Korea in the early 70’s the theatre owners felt it was too long — so they cut out ALL the songs. I can only imagine Julie Andrews and those kids traipsing through the mountains without singing Do Re Mi.

But there are actually 2 redeeming qualities to this movie. It has one of the best openings (along with West Side Story) ever from Hollywood — there is NO more gorgeous scenery than Salzburg from those aerial shots. And, secondly, this move has very smart Nuns.

So here is the synopsis – Maria gets foisted off on a Austrian Navy captain (think about that – landlocked Austria having a Navy) with a seven very dull and friendless kids (though one of his kids does get a gig in Lost In Space). After it rains one night, Julie teaches them a lot of songs. Then the bonding begins as the kids prance in the mountains, have a puppet show, play ball with the completely uncoordinated baroness and have a few over-the-top emotional moments. At the same time, the Captain laments about edelweiss, realizes the Baroness is a bitch, and does marries the governess. Standard Hollywood schlock. [The Captain must have learned about aphrodisiacal effects of edelweiss from watching old Superman episodes, specifically the one where Superman has to fly all the way to Austria to get a flower to entice Lois Lane to marry him).

Captain Von Trapp – is very Austrian and doesn’t like the fact that the Nazis have taken over. But this no democracy – and he has no choice but to be commissioned in the Third Reich Navy. Julie and her gang of American Idol wannabes (So Long, Farewell) decide to use the Salzburg Music Festival (aka Austria’s Got Talent) as a diversion to escape from the nasty Germans. When called for their prize, Captain Von Trapp, his seven spoiled brats, and his Singing Nun bride (not to be confused with the Dominique Singing Nun) manage to escape the very humorless Nazis. Having no where to go – the Von Trapps head for Maria’s old haunt – the Abbey – and hide in the cemetery behind some very [conveniently] large headstones.

When they think the coast is clear – the Von Trapps emerge from the shadows and lo and behold – they run right into Liesl’s (or is it Gretl’s or Brigitha’s – all those kids sound alike, kind of like the music in the movie) Nazi youth boyfriend, Rolf (I was born in Dusseldorf, and that is why they call me Rolf – oops wrong Nazi movie). The Captain tries to talk him out of blowing the whistle — which of course leads Rolf to blowing the whistle very loudly. (boy I could write this script).

Julie and her gang run to their car where the those humorless Nazis are ‘sort of’ waiting. Enter the hero Nuns (including Marni Nixon, who found more fame singing for Audrey Hepburn, Natalie Wood and Deborah Kerr — but somehow is now relegated to a minor Nun). These Nuns are no Sister Bertrilles — they can’t fly but they know their cars.

So while Julie and the freedom loving Captain are fleeing to the Alps (and to the world of capitalism by opening a ski resort in Stowe, Vermont), the hapless Nazis (who only have 2 cars ready to chase the man they want to lead the Austrian Navy) are stuck by the entrance to the church because…

the Nuns took out the DISTRIBUTOR CAP from their cars.

Now you know etymology of the handle, from a movie that is not one of my favorite things, but found memorable enough to use for a handle. Plus my grandmother dragged me to see it at least 3x in 1965. When you are 7 going on 8, somethings never leave your mind.


  1. I liked this movie up till my teens, but like so many childhood movies, it’s just too saccharine now. I heard that the actor who played Captain Von Trapp hated the movie, and referred to it as “The Sound of Mucus.” I have no great desire to watch it again, but I didn’t think it was that bad.BTW, Julie Andrews was probably my first crush. What a hottie…

  2. The Austro-Hungarian empire had a pretty decent navy up until 1918.

  3. Marvelous! The Sound of Music was an integral part of my upbringing – as an Irish Catholic in eastern Massachusetts, my family was keen to show me wholesome Catholic-themed movies that did not involve spinning heads or spewing vomit. I think we saw every stage adaptation of that movie that showed within 100 miles of Boston. Every year when it was on TV, we’d all go to our friends’ house and make popcorn and watch in their basement den (they had this strange game called Pong, too, which was extremely cool!). I know you aren’t a fan of the movie, but it makes me like your moniker just a little bit more knowing where it came from.

  4. Whenever I get laid off from a job, I always sing the “So long, good night” song on the way out the door.

  5. i didn’t know that marni nixon was one of the nuns. i just watched west side story last night. i hadn’t seen it in decades. it’s really crappy except for the songs. the sound of music was the first broadway musical i ever saw. it was even more special, because the theater was named after my father’s cousin (whom nobody except my uncle ever met). i think anything on broadway is a special event, but the movie was pure saccharine.

  6. sung to the tune of My Favourite things:rainy day lie ins and coffee in bedlalas and back tickles, massage my head,champagne and oysters with chocolate and bling,these are a few of my favourite things.when the kids screamwhen the dog gets bitten by a bloody bastard puff adder three times and dieswhen i’m feeling sadi simply remember my favourite things like cigarettes and whisky and lashings of nina popadopalis’s chocolate cake,and then i don’t feel sooooo bad. (spinning off into another pre menstrual, hormonally induced, momentary depression and lack of reason.)

  7. You know that I am a sucker for that movie and all of its schmaltzy foolishness.That said I am more of a sucker for you.Love you Dcap – great friend and human being in both real and blog lives for me.Happy 2009.

  8. WOW, what a story! I’d rather watch the movie version of you getting your blog name than the Sound of Music. It’s always a fun movie to reference thanks to the songs and the over-the-top-ness of it, but I never want to watch it all the way through again!BTW, I too had an early crush on Ms. Andrews. Mee-yow.

  9. 1. My best friend is a hardened, worldly art director with a dry sense of humor and a smart mouth on her. I got her a DVD player for Xmas and offered to buy her her all time favorite movie.I almost crapped when she said “Sound of Music.”2. Now comes D-Cap, a native New Yorker who owns no car and undoubtedly knows less than jack about what’s under the hood, yet he names himself Distributor Cap.I always wondered why that was- now I know.I’ve seen the movie maybe once and I have to agree- I like whiskers on kittens.

  10. I love superhero origin stories! Just watch the singing next time. And leave the Nazis at home. They always eat all the chex in the chex mix.

  11. There was no one hotter than Julis Andrews in her prime. I remember wainting line to see SOB just so I could see her topless in it. Oh how I love her, even today!

  12. Thanks for explanation,I like the movie for the songs, but i always turn it off after the Captain realizes he loves Maria- the rest of the movie is blah. BTW, I worked with a girl who was married to a Von Trapp grandchild, what a nightmare that family was…..

  13. Happy New Year, DCap! I loved Sound of Music when I first saw it (soooo romantic) but the second time, my teeth curled with the sugaryness of it all.Read the book and found the Von Trapp family difficult and severe. No cuddliness about her. They didn’t go singing over the mountain either.Reality sucks.

  14. I only saw it once, when I was 10. My father and I went by ourselves to see it because my mother, no sentimentalist, cringed at the words “like a lark that is learning to sing” in the title song. She just couldn’t deal with that amount of saccharine. My dad, on the other hand, was always a huge sentimentalist and loved the movie, and I, being 10, enjoyed it without quite understanding the Nazi part.Thanks for the explanation about your handle! As Paul Harvey would say, “Now you know the REST of the story!”Happy 2009 to you and yours, DCap!

  15. I hate this movie for two reasons. I cannot stand Julie Andrews (no reason whatsoever) and I hate musicals. Enough said. But I’m glad to know how you came by your handle there DC. Most interesting.

  16. Alexis and I took Trevor to a tour of a local dairy. While we were there, a family of like 10 or 12 came in. All the boys were dressed in matching slacks and polo shirts. The girls were all dressed in matching blue denim dresses (ankle length) with some kind of white bib like thing. Alexis killed me when she leaned over and whispered “Holy shit! It’s the Von Trapps!”

  17. Just stopping by to wish you a happy new year

  18. It is a sad day when a wholesome movie like this is panned. Do you prefer Pulp Fiction????????????

  19. thanks to all of you for commenting……happy new year to all of you – and may 2009 be better for all of us (except that bush family)

  20. Happy New Year…WOW…that is some kind of Analysis of the movie- and NOW we KNOW why you have your handle- how cool….I always wondered…..( and I have always loved it and also your little Toast Avatar…..)( okay I have to confess I worked and lived in Vermont in the early 80’s…..Most of Stowe is full of the Trapp Family- they have many pages in the phone book….they are nice people…plumbers and teachers etc…but Maria lived there for many many years after the poor old Captain died….and she was in a nursing home there….and she was well, not a Do Re me happy old woman, more like swinging arms and sailor cursing,…matter of fact – she was kind of scary… I used to work for an Ambulance Company in New England…and there was nothing worse than getting called to pick up “Maria” and transport her…..the cursing that it would unleash…and people hiding from the assignment….Anyways…..the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe is beautiful year round…there are sleigh rides and good food and you can sit on the back deck in the summer and drink Wine and pretend you are in Austria…( or we did…)…..Would love to go back someday…..thanks again…

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