'Sound of Music' turns 50: Let's rank the Von Trapp children
It’s been 50 years since The Sound of Music premiered on movie screens—but if you feel like you were just talking about it yesterday, you’re not wrong. Aside from Lady Gaga’s tribute at the Oscars, there was the small matter of NBC’s The Sound of Music Live!, which, in 2013, put a literal exclamation point on the show’s legacy. Leading up to the big event, EW saluted Music by ranking the songs that have appeared in its stage and screen productions. We’re glad to report that the show has remained in the conversation—but at this point, what’s left to be said about it? Have we ranked all there is to rank?
Never. At least, not until we’ve ranked actual children. So, without further ado, here are Maria’s charges-turned-stepchildren—listed from Kurt to first.
You let it out, honey. Put it in the book: Kurt is The Worst. Maria forgets his name one time, and it’s fine, because he forgets about her the minute he skips a meal. The rest of the kids are mourning the loss of their beloved governess, and Kurt’s over there like, “I wonder what grass tastes like.” Eat it or be done with it, kid.
“So Long, Farewell” parting line: “I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye. GoodBYEEEE.” Okay, KURT. Just because you can hit the high note, it doesn’t mean you should.
Her pranks lack vision. Introducing herself by the wrong name five minutes after giving Maria the right one? What is she trying to accomplish here? Does Louisa ever think about the future? Her ability to climb through a window with a jar of spiders is really going to take her places.
Parting line: “I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly.” Now she’s just making up words.
He gets a point for introducing himself as “impossible,” but that’s about it. Friedrich is a mystery who doesn’t even understand what cold weather does to strawberries. And did he bite Gretl’s finger? We’ll never know, because Friedrich does not speak of such things.
Parting line: “Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you.” Even his goodbye tells us nothing about his inner life.
Hear this out: Gretl is undeniably cute, but she knows it. She acts like she’s curious about the world, but she’s really just out to get her Uncle Max to tell her that she’s important. Gretl snacks on our compliments. They make her stronger.
Parting line: “The sun has gone to bed and so must I.” And then she curls up on the stairs like a kitten, as if she weren’t completely awake two seconds ago. GRETL IS PLAYING WITH US.
Liesl is the wild card of the bunch. Your opinion of the eldest Von Trapp mostly depends on how much you hold it against her that she likes Rolfe, because when she’s not seeking the approval of a sexist Nazi, Liesl is practically perfect. She’s a nurturing big sister who leads by example, and at going-on-17 years old, she’s pretty cool about the fact that the highlight of her social life is an expensive puppet show. But then again, Rolfe.
Parting line: “I’d like to stay and taste my first champagne.” Almost there! Just take it down a notch next time.
Marta is everything Gretl should be. She isn’t playing games, and she’s not trying to be adorable; she’s just doing Marta. If she wants something for her birthday, she’ll come right out and say it, because Marta goes after what she wants. (Also, A+ wish list, girl. Pink parasol? Perfect blend of practical and nonsensical.)
Parting line: “I hate to go and leave this pretty sight.” Oh, stop it, you! It’s mutual, Marta. It is so mutual.
Brigitta is the secret queen of the Von Trapp household. She notices everything, she needs you to know that your dress is ugly (because she cares), and she will not let a stupid dog whistle interrupt her reading. Brigitta has her priorities sorted.
Parting line: “I’m glad to go, I cannot tell a lie.” She just burned all of Austrian high society in nine words. Brigitta FTW, now and forever.
The Sound of Music