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Forever Liesl: A Memoir of the Sound of Music

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Charmian Carr, who in 1965 captivated moviegoers as Liesl "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" von Trapp, tells what it was like to be a part of the film that has become a cultural phenomenon. It's all here: from how she got the role (and why she almost didn't) to romances on the set and wild nights in Salzburg; from the near-disaster during the gazebo dance to her relationships-- Charmian Carr, who in 1965 captivated moviegoers as Liesl "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" von Trapp, tells what it was like to be a part of the film that has become a cultural phenomenon. It's all here: from how she got the role (and why she almost didn't) to romances on the set and wild nights in Salzburg; from the near-disaster during the gazebo dance to her relationships--then and now--with her six celluloid siblings. Charmian offers stories from fans and friends and a treasury of photographs. And she reveals why she left acting, what she learned when she met the real von Trapp children; and how The Sound of Music has helped her get through stormy times in her own life. Forever Liesl celebrates the spirit of the movie and what it stands for: family love, romance, inspiration, nostalgia, and the joy and power of music.


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Charmian Carr, who in 1965 captivated moviegoers as Liesl "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" von Trapp, tells what it was like to be a part of the film that has become a cultural phenomenon. It's all here: from how she got the role (and why she almost didn't) to romances on the set and wild nights in Salzburg; from the near-disaster during the gazebo dance to her relationships-- Charmian Carr, who in 1965 captivated moviegoers as Liesl "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" von Trapp, tells what it was like to be a part of the film that has become a cultural phenomenon. It's all here: from how she got the role (and why she almost didn't) to romances on the set and wild nights in Salzburg; from the near-disaster during the gazebo dance to her relationships--then and now--with her six celluloid siblings. Charmian offers stories from fans and friends and a treasury of photographs. And she reveals why she left acting, what she learned when she met the real von Trapp children; and how The Sound of Music has helped her get through stormy times in her own life. Forever Liesl celebrates the spirit of the movie and what it stands for: family love, romance, inspiration, nostalgia, and the joy and power of music.

30 review for Forever Liesl: A Memoir of the Sound of Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Fitzgerald

    Yesterday, my husband and I went on a special date, to see “The Sound of Music” on the big screen. He had rented out a movie theater room, and since you choose your movie, he picked that one, knowing I’d love it! (I think I’ll keep him!💜) I started this book the minute I got home. I wish all memoirs from movie stars were written like this one! Charmian Carr focuses on her experiences of playing “Liesl” on screen, and how that role affected her life in every way since.

  2. 4 out of 5

    John

    Critics say "The Sound of Music" is schmaltzy, overly sentimental and corny. All of which is true. It's also one of my favorite movies. Charmian Carr's "Forever Liesl," has some of the same qualities as the movie, and for someone who's a fan of the movie it's great fun. Carr played the part of Liesl, the oldest of the von Trapp family children, in the movie. She was 21, not 16 going on 17, when she played the part. About half of this short memoir focuses on the process of making the movie, the re Critics say "The Sound of Music" is schmaltzy, overly sentimental and corny. All of which is true. It's also one of my favorite movies. Charmian Carr's "Forever Liesl," has some of the same qualities as the movie, and for someone who's a fan of the movie it's great fun. Carr played the part of Liesl, the oldest of the von Trapp family children, in the movie. She was 21, not 16 going on 17, when she played the part. About half of this short memoir focuses on the process of making the movie, the rest on everything that came after. It must be an unusual life to realize that nothing else you will ever do will quite match what you did when you were 21 -- although Carr perhaps came close when, many decades later, she was Michael Jackson's interior designer. The fun of a book like this, of course, is the bits of trivia you pick up along the way, such as: ... The real Maria von Trapp appears ever so briefly in the movie, while Julie Andrews is singing "I Have Confidence." (I checked, though, and you can't possibly really see her.) ... Among others who tried out for Liesl were Mia Farrow and Patty Duke. ... Among those who tried out for the parts of the boys were four of the Osmond brothers. ... Nicholas Hammond, who played Friedrich, grew 6 inches during the seven months the movie was being filmed. "Forever Liesl" is gossipy in a nice way. Carr seems to not have an unkind word to say about anyone. Although she never made much money from the movie, she seems filled with gratitude for the part she played in the story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A quick, easy, and heartwarming read. It was so thoughtful of Charmian to share her memories of The Sound of Music with its many fans around the world. Despite some hardships in her life, she seems like a positive, grateful, and down-to-earth person. You should read this if you're a fan of the movie! A quick, easy, and heartwarming read. It was so thoughtful of Charmian to share her memories of The Sound of Music with its many fans around the world. Despite some hardships in her life, she seems like a positive, grateful, and down-to-earth person. You should read this if you're a fan of the movie!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mom

    I just loved reading this book! It was fun not only reading about Charmian's life, but also all the little bits of information that she includes about the other actors/actresses she worked with. Charmian shares the whole experience and impact that The Sound of Music had on her life. After finishing this book, I want to put the movie in right now and watch it!! I just loved reading this book! It was fun not only reading about Charmian's life, but also all the little bits of information that she includes about the other actors/actresses she worked with. Charmian shares the whole experience and impact that The Sound of Music had on her life. After finishing this book, I want to put the movie in right now and watch it!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    KatieMc

    You will always be 16 going on 17 #CharmainCarr, love a Sound of Music superfan. PS - yes I have read this book and actually own the hardcover which proudly sits on my bookshelf.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tirzah Eleora

    When I first saw the Sound of Music I was seven years old. Naturally Marta, who announces that she will be seven on Tuesday (and wants a pink parasol) was my favourite. Then, when I got a little older I favored Brigitta. She was pretty and sassy and first appears on screen with a book in her hands. But from the start I always greatly admired Liesl, and she eventually made it to tops. She was so beautiful in those dreamy costumes that I coveted and I loved her soft, ladylike voice. I loved that s When I first saw the Sound of Music I was seven years old. Naturally Marta, who announces that she will be seven on Tuesday (and wants a pink parasol) was my favourite. Then, when I got a little older I favored Brigitta. She was pretty and sassy and first appears on screen with a book in her hands. But from the start I always greatly admired Liesl, and she eventually made it to tops. She was so beautiful in those dreamy costumes that I coveted and I loved her soft, ladylike voice. I loved that she was friends with her siblings and played pranks on the governess with them. I loved it so much when she ran off after dinner to dance with an admirer and I loved that she was strong and moved on after he disappointed her. Learning all the little details about how that Liesl came to life was fascinating! Chairman Carr tells about how she was cast for the part and became friends with others working on the film. She tells all sorts of fun stories about filming in Austria. I especially loved reading the part where she described how they filmed that long "Do-Re-Mi" scene. And I hold the gazebo dance (favourite part!!! Well maybe it's second to the wedding....idk, how am I supposed to pick??) in even more awe now that I've learned she performed a good portion of the scene with a BROKEN ANKLE!!!!!! The girl had serious stick-to-ittivity!!!!! Awesome book if you're a fellow Sound of Music fan!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tonks Orey

    A wonderful book full of information I never knew! Not only does it go into detail about Charmian's own life, but it takes you behind the scenes of the making of the movie. It grips you and makes you want to watch the movie all over again. I was a true fan of the movie and now after reading this book I am even more so a fan. If you haven't read it and loved the movie I suggest you read it! A wonderful book full of information I never knew! Not only does it go into detail about Charmian's own life, but it takes you behind the scenes of the making of the movie. It grips you and makes you want to watch the movie all over again. I was a true fan of the movie and now after reading this book I am even more so a fan. If you haven't read it and loved the movie I suggest you read it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Picked this up at a Free Little Library in Monterey, CA. Loved reading about some of the fun stuff that happened while filming The Sound of Music. It makes me want to go back and watch the movie again to see if I can spot some of the little tidbits that "Liesl" writes about in this touching memoir. Don't be expecting juicy gossip though. Picked this up at a Free Little Library in Monterey, CA. Loved reading about some of the fun stuff that happened while filming The Sound of Music. It makes me want to go back and watch the movie again to see if I can spot some of the little tidbits that "Liesl" writes about in this touching memoir. Don't be expecting juicy gossip though.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Felicity

    Update February 2021. I felt like re-reading this as I was run down and a little emotional after watching The Sound of Music for the umpteenth time during lockdown. I still enjoyed it but I noticed the writing could be a little clunky in places. Thank goodness I haven't bought anything from Amazon for a long time!! RIP Charmian Carr, Heather Menzies and Christopher Plummer. I bought this book off Amazon as I'd wanted to read it for several years. I'm so glad I did. This book is about Charmian Car Update February 2021. I felt like re-reading this as I was run down and a little emotional after watching The Sound of Music for the umpteenth time during lockdown. I still enjoyed it but I noticed the writing could be a little clunky in places. Thank goodness I haven't bought anything from Amazon for a long time!! RIP Charmian Carr, Heather Menzies and Christopher Plummer. I bought this book off Amazon as I'd wanted to read it for several years. I'm so glad I did. This book is about Charmian Carr's experience of playing Liesl in The Sound of Music and also about her life before and after the film. She manages to write a memoir which isn't in chronological order successfully which is no mean feat. The book is full of warmth and amusing anecdotes about herself and other cast members during filming The Sound of Music. She also talks about the real Von Trapp family and the differences between their story and the film. She talks about her relationships with her celluloid siblings both then and up to 1998. She also tells you what each one of them were doing before and after The Sound of Music which is fascinating and is what most people will want to know! She seems to have gone through some tough times but she is very honest about this and grateful for the friends and family who helped her. A lovely warm book which almost brought me to tears in places. A must read if you are a fan of The Sound of Music!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Estella

    This auto-biography was very well-written. I am a Sound of Music fan, although not quite to the degree my Aunt Anne was, who went to the movie theater innumerable times to see it when it first came out. (No DVD's or Tivo in those days, kids!) Charmain Carr does a very creditable job of sharing her memories of those bygone days. It was fun to get an insider's view of the cast and some of the adventures on the set while the movie was being filmed. I enjoyed the book very much, and recommend it to This auto-biography was very well-written. I am a Sound of Music fan, although not quite to the degree my Aunt Anne was, who went to the movie theater innumerable times to see it when it first came out. (No DVD's or Tivo in those days, kids!) Charmain Carr does a very creditable job of sharing her memories of those bygone days. It was fun to get an insider's view of the cast and some of the adventures on the set while the movie was being filmed. I enjoyed the book very much, and recommend it to all those who love The Sound of Music!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Visited the Trapp Family Lodge and bought this book to get more background info on the Sound of Music. I couldn't put it down. The coauthor did a wonderful job editing it, and I loved the vignette letters the open the chapters. Inside info on behind the scenes, the actors, the filming, and her own voyage beyond the film. I think you have to be a fan of the movie/play to enjoy this, or of memoir and film. But I highly recommend it if you are. Fun! Visited the Trapp Family Lodge and bought this book to get more background info on the Sound of Music. I couldn't put it down. The coauthor did a wonderful job editing it, and I loved the vignette letters the open the chapters. Inside info on behind the scenes, the actors, the filming, and her own voyage beyond the film. I think you have to be a fan of the movie/play to enjoy this, or of memoir and film. But I highly recommend it if you are. Fun!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    I'm a sucker for films about the making of movies, and though only half of this book is actually about the making of The Sound of Music, it's still interesting. The second half tends to focus on what happened after the movie was finished, and there's a lot of good material there about the ongoing relationships of the 'children' from the movie, and the various people who were involved. Light reading, but enjoyable. I'm a sucker for films about the making of movies, and though only half of this book is actually about the making of The Sound of Music, it's still interesting. The second half tends to focus on what happened after the movie was finished, and there's a lot of good material there about the ongoing relationships of the 'children' from the movie, and the various people who were involved. Light reading, but enjoyable.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    The Hills are alive .... There is no greater story of love than The Sound of Music. The story of the von Trapps and their love for family, for music, for life, and for their country, is one that resonates with souls worldwide. In Forever Leisl, Charmian Carr describes how the beloved movie came to be, and what it was like to be "16 going on 17," when she was actually 21. The Hills are alive .... There is no greater story of love than The Sound of Music. The story of the von Trapps and their love for family, for music, for life, and for their country, is one that resonates with souls worldwide. In Forever Leisl, Charmian Carr describes how the beloved movie came to be, and what it was like to be "16 going on 17," when she was actually 21.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    The Sound of Music is one of my very favorite movies, and I recently had the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen for the first time. I adored this memoir. It was heartwarming and an excellent balance among the author's personal life, movie behind the scenes facts and updates on the other cast and crew. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loved The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is one of my very favorite movies, and I recently had the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen for the first time. I adored this memoir. It was heartwarming and an excellent balance among the author's personal life, movie behind the scenes facts and updates on the other cast and crew. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loved The Sound of Music.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    I keep telling people that I don't like celebrity biographies and autobiographies, but every now and then one comes along that really holds my interest. This was one of them. I loved all the off-camera details and the stories about people who have been affected by the movie over the years. I keep telling people that I don't like celebrity biographies and autobiographies, but every now and then one comes along that really holds my interest. This was one of them. I loved all the off-camera details and the stories about people who have been affected by the movie over the years.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cristy

    I. Love. this. book. Charmain Carr's (pronounced Char-mee-an Car) memoir about filming the Sound of Music and how it has changed her life is amazing, in my opinion. I. Love. this. book. Charmain Carr's (pronounced Char-mee-an Car) memoir about filming the Sound of Music and how it has changed her life is amazing, in my opinion.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Benton

    A quick, easy and charming read any Sound of Music fan will enjoy. It is filled with fun facts about the movie and insights into Charmian's life. A quick, easy and charming read any Sound of Music fan will enjoy. It is filled with fun facts about the movie and insights into Charmian's life.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Charmian Carr tells of a life on set of the ‘Sound of Music,’ parts of her personal life and the lasting effect of being in the Sound of Music. Working at a doctor’s office at the age of 21, she was cast as Liesel Von Trapp, of ‘16 Going on 17’ fame. They spent 6 months filming in California and Austria. Since she was 21 she stayed at the same hotel as other adult actors. She remembers Christopher Plummer having maybe one too many drinks, but it didn’t damper his enthusiasm for the hotel piano. J Charmian Carr tells of a life on set of the ‘Sound of Music,’ parts of her personal life and the lasting effect of being in the Sound of Music. Working at a doctor’s office at the age of 21, she was cast as Liesel Von Trapp, of ‘16 Going on 17’ fame. They spent 6 months filming in California and Austria. Since she was 21 she stayed at the same hotel as other adult actors. She remembers Christopher Plummer having maybe one too many drinks, but it didn’t damper his enthusiasm for the hotel piano. Julie Andrews was very motherly and supportive on set despite being in Austria with her 18 month old daughter and without her husband. For years Charmian was an ambassador for the movie (and Salzburg) and traveled all over the world to promote it. She eventually settled down and had a family. Her children was the reason why she stepped away from Hollywood and she considered them her greatest success. Fun facts: Charmian was very close the Nicholas Hammond who played Frederick, she sincerely considered him a beloved brother. Charmian was an interior designer who worked closely with Michael Jackson on Neverland Ranch. They went frequently to Disneyland for research until Thriller made that impossible. While working for Michael Jackson she met Jackie Kennedy Onassis who was his editor as Double Day. I can’t make this up. Last, but not least. The man who played Rolf married Charmian’s German stand in after meeting on set of the Von Trapp wedding. It was his first of three wives.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maria Copeland

    Oh goodness this book was so sweet. The Sound of Music will always have a special place in my heart, and it was really cool to see all the stories Charmian Carr collected about its impact on viewers and actors alike. Liesl's a favorite character of mine (firstborns unite!), so I loved reading about Charmian's perspective--how she got involved, what it was like working with the cast, behind-the-scenes photos. Also I appreciated how clean the book was; (view spoiler)[it's a bit disillusioning to s Oh goodness this book was so sweet. The Sound of Music will always have a special place in my heart, and it was really cool to see all the stories Charmian Carr collected about its impact on viewers and actors alike. Liesl's a favorite character of mine (firstborns unite!), so I loved reading about Charmian's perspective--how she got involved, what it was like working with the cast, behind-the-scenes photos. Also I appreciated how clean the book was; (view spoiler)[it's a bit disillusioning to see an actress sing like an angel onscreen and swear like a sailor off (which sounds super judgmental, wow. tbh though.). Perhaps because Charmian's a mother, she keeps the content at maybe a parental guidance rating (and that because of some details in her family story; nothing super explicit, but there was some sad stuff going on there, briefly referred to). (hide spoiler)] I think this book is better appreciated at 16/17+, in general, but it was a really fun quick read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Francisco Hernández Bolaños

    If you love the movie, this is as must! It's a wonderful behind the scenes story and a beautiful memoir of someone so grateful of having been part of such a wonderful story. Absolutely loved it, and of course I new like Liesl even more! Thank you Charmian Carr! RIP. If you love the movie, this is as must! It's a wonderful behind the scenes story and a beautiful memoir of someone so grateful of having been part of such a wonderful story. Absolutely loved it, and of course I new like Liesl even more! Thank you Charmian Carr! RIP.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    I learned so much from reading this book, loved every page of it. So interesting to hear her comments about her fellow cast members who became an important part of the rest of her life, along with Christopher Plummer and other notables from the film. Lots of surprises in the book that were fun to read. Sad to think she's gone. I learned so much from reading this book, loved every page of it. So interesting to hear her comments about her fellow cast members who became an important part of the rest of her life, along with Christopher Plummer and other notables from the film. Lots of surprises in the book that were fun to read. Sad to think she's gone.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    "The Sound of Music" has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I recall watching it with cousins and friends on different occasions before I was 10 years old. I love the songs and the story and the scenery and the sets. This year "The Sound of Music" celebrated the 50th anniversary of its theatrical release, and in April my sister and I were able to see it on the big screen - a most delightful experience that made the film come alive in new ways. I was at a used bookstore in early A "The Sound of Music" has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I recall watching it with cousins and friends on different occasions before I was 10 years old. I love the songs and the story and the scenery and the sets. This year "The Sound of Music" celebrated the 50th anniversary of its theatrical release, and in April my sister and I were able to see it on the big screen - a most delightful experience that made the film come alive in new ways. I was at a used bookstore in early August and when I came across this book I knew it was coming home with me. Charmian Carr, who played Liesl, gives us an insider view on the filming of this classic movie. She talks about how she landed the audition unexpectedly (she wasn't an actress and had no aspirations to become one!), what it was like working with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, and how filming was split between a Los Angeles sound stage and on set in the beautiful Austrian countryside. She shares letters from fans about how "The Sound of Music" has touched their lives, and Charmian talks much about how the film changed her life - how she traveled for years promoting the movie all over the world, and how the relationships with some of the cast and crew remain strong to this day. Along with a complete recounting of the events surrounding the film, Charmian shares her life story with sensitivity and grace. She came from a troubled home, but she and her sisters all overcame to have strong, thriving lives despite that challenge. She talks about how being recognized as Liesl all over the world was at times a burden, a second personality she could never escape, even though she had a tremendous amount of gratitude for every door "The Sound of Music" had opened for her. She writes about her marriage, her children, and her eventual career as an interior designer, including the time she spent getting to know Michael Jackson and decorating his estate. Some of my favorite parts of this memoir were when she talked about meeting the actual von Trapp family members and forging friendships with them many years after the film had released. During filming in 1964 the actors didn't really meet the von Trapps, but as reunions and special events brought the actors and the family together over the years, a connection formed between them all. Charmian gives plenty of space for talking about each of her "siblings" for the film: Nicholas Hammond, Heather Menzies, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright, Debbie Turner, and Kym Karath. Each one gets to share favorite memories and gets to tell about where the years have taken them. They have remained a close-knit bunch for half a century, bound together by their experiences on set. Anyone who enjoys "The Sound of Music" would love this book. I've barely scratched the surface describing things it contained, as it is rich with details and anecdotes. I will certainly be watching the film again soon now that I've gotten to see it through "Liesl's" eyes, and this is my invitation for you to come along with me. This review originated at http://reviewsbyerin.livejournal.com

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    How I Came To Read This Book: In the most roundabout way. I was looking up old promotions my work had done, and at one point apparently they brought in Charmian Carr to do a book signing for *this* book as well as aired singalong Sound of Music at the movie theatre. I looked it up and saw the book was relatively readily available. When Amazon choked on getting me my Mad Men calendar as an Xmas gift from my sister, I requested this as a replacement. The Plot: This memoir is a look at Charmian Car How I Came To Read This Book: In the most roundabout way. I was looking up old promotions my work had done, and at one point apparently they brought in Charmian Carr to do a book signing for *this* book as well as aired singalong Sound of Music at the movie theatre. I looked it up and saw the book was relatively readily available. When Amazon choked on getting me my Mad Men calendar as an Xmas gift from my sister, I requested this as a replacement. The Plot: This memoir is a look at Charmian Carr's experience of portraying the eldest von Trapp child, Liesl, in the classic 1965 film The Sound of Music. Bite-sized chapters leapfrog all over the place, but they always focus on what being Liesl means in each element of her life - whether talking about how she got cast, what shooting her first movie was like, her relationships with her costars, or delving into her own personal life before, during, and after her involvement with the film. In between each chapter there is a photo from the film, as well as an anecdote provided by fans from around the world that show just how much people really, truly love the Sound of Music. The Good & The Bad: This book is a pretty light piece of fluff - it's stretching itself thin in a few places to be honest. That being said, it's also a surprisingly honest and enjoyable look from someone that was basically a one-hit wonder in the movie biz and how tremendous that one experience in her life has been. There are no airs of pretentiousness as you might expect from a celebrity, instead Carr comes across as honest, proud, and sentimental of her involvement with the film. Fans will be pleased with the number of tidbits told through the eyes of Liesl - I now have an idea of the shooting schedule, and was surprised to hear about her relationships with several of the characters (a flirtation between the Captain and Liesl!?!), and loved some of the insider info you'd never guess - like the crazy accident that happened while filming the infamous gazebo scene. The little anecdotes between each chapter were also sweet, if a little extreme in some cases, but they were ultimately relatable at their core. I liked the leapfrog style of the book - having it laid out in typical "Here's my background, here's the film, here's after" would have been boring. Instead Carr puts together an interesting jigsaw puzzle of her life chapter by chapter, which was pretty cool. This is the rare book that does exactly what you want it to - focus in on the Sound of Music, and the Sound of Music alone, and how much its permeated not only the life of the author, but so many who were involved with the film and beyond. The Bottom Line: A must-read for any Sound of Music fan. Anything Memorable?: I feel like there should be something...but no. 50-Book Challenge?: Book #38 in 2010.

  24. 5 out of 5

    S.C. Skillman

    This is a fascinating book, not just for fans of The Sound of Music who adore Liesl, forever "sixteen going on seventeen" and her dance in the gazebo, but for anyone wanting to know the details of how a film is made, or seeking an insight into the consequences of sudden fame and success, and its aftermath. The story is often hard-hitting and sometimes chastening. The sheer unaccountability of unlooked-for, unexpected success seems to carry a profound message in itself. As Charmian says of the en This is a fascinating book, not just for fans of The Sound of Music who adore Liesl, forever "sixteen going on seventeen" and her dance in the gazebo, but for anyone wanting to know the details of how a film is made, or seeking an insight into the consequences of sudden fame and success, and its aftermath. The story is often hard-hitting and sometimes chastening. The sheer unaccountability of unlooked-for, unexpected success seems to carry a profound message in itself. As Charmian says of the ensuring decades: "Liesl began to feel like my evil twin, the perfect one, the one that everybody really loved." I imagine that's how Judy Garland came to feel about Dorothy, and how AA Milne's son Christopher felt about Christopher Robin; and how Alice Hargreaves felt about her own younger self who became immortalised in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Charmian Carr tells her story to ghost writer Jean A.S. Strauss and covers every aspect of the subject; the making of the film, the aftermath of its success, personal biographical details, and her relationships over the years with her fellow actors. Of particular interest and often very moving are the sections interspersed through the narrative, which describe what the film The Sound of Music has meant to different people over the decades. Some have described how the film makes them happy and lifts them from depression. Others have seen in it a reassurance that good triumphs over evil, or a renewal of faith in family relationships and love; and yet more have found spiritual resonance in it. The charge of sugariness and romanticism in the film, comes, I think from two factors; first from Julie Andrews herself who projects such a clean, pure, fresh, sparkling image, kittenish and gamine, almost a nature spirit at the beginning. Secondly the sharp editing makes the children seem like musical geniuses with the supernatural speed at which they learn singing and dancing, and in the same way the editor makes Maria seem like the most inspired and brilliant musical teacher ever. Charmian's reflections, both positive and negative, are very revealing. She is realistic and honest about people and the way they behave, noting Christopher Plummer's genuine aloofness and distance from the child actors, and the fact that she had nothing more to do with Julie Andrews after the film was made, not because of any ill feeling but because of other factors and the process of life. In addition, Charmian's frank account of her own experiences of tragic and dysfunctional family relationships (with her mother and father) are also very poignant I thoroughly recommend this honest, insightful and revealing account.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laurel Bradshaw

    I have been a fan of The Sound of Music ever since I first saw it at the age of 10 or so. I was already a fan of Julie Andrews who had starred in Mary Poppins, and songs from the movie had already made their way into the music curriculum at school. My sisters and I would sing along to the soundtrack recording, and we even used a couple of those songs in our own rendition of "Evelyn: The Musical" for my mother's 80th birthday party last year. I could also add my own tribute to those of fans inclu I have been a fan of The Sound of Music ever since I first saw it at the age of 10 or so. I was already a fan of Julie Andrews who had starred in Mary Poppins, and songs from the movie had already made their way into the music curriculum at school. My sisters and I would sing along to the soundtrack recording, and we even used a couple of those songs in our own rendition of "Evelyn: The Musical" for my mother's 80th birthday party last year. I could also add my own tribute to those of fans included in the book: the song "I Have Confidence" has been my own theme-song for many years, providing me with courage and inspiration when I have needed it. I enjoyed this book. It was a light, charming, uplifting bedtime read, easily sipped in small doses. It has a little of everything: stories about the filming of the movie, tributes from fans, what it was like to be one of the children and to keep that feeling of family through the years, a little about Charmian's own personal life (though one gets the feeling it was told with considerable restraint), and a little about the real von Trapp family. At times a little too saccharine, I would have liked more about the real life of Charmian Carr, but this wasn't meant to be an autobiography. It did what it was meant to do - make me want to go and watch the movie for the umpteenth time! Book Description: The Sound of Music is more than a classic movie. It is a cultural phenomenon. Seen by over one billion people, it won five Academy Awards, ran for almost five years in its initial release, was named one of the three most popular films of all time by the People's Choice Awards, and became the longest-running video bestseller in history. Now, one of the film's cast tells what it was like to be part of all that. Charmian Carr shares some of her favorite stories about the film, what she learned when she met the real von Trapp children, and how The Sound of Music has helped her get through stormy times in her own life. Brimming with heartwarming anecdotes and funny moments, Forever Liesl celebrates the spirit of the movie and what it stands for: family love, romance, inspiration, courage, and the joy and power of music.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is a great memoir for fans of "The Sound of Music". Just as sweet as the film, but with the same steely framework (come on - it's a story about singing children and a nun falling in love with a Naval captain, yes, but it's really a story about the horrific and unbearable reality of the Nazi occupation). Charmian (pronounced "Sharm-ee-an") Carr puts on a wide smile while masking a difficult family situations and grueling work obligations promoting the film under a 7-year contract. She has co This is a great memoir for fans of "The Sound of Music". Just as sweet as the film, but with the same steely framework (come on - it's a story about singing children and a nun falling in love with a Naval captain, yes, but it's really a story about the horrific and unbearable reality of the Nazi occupation). Charmian (pronounced "Sharm-ee-an") Carr puts on a wide smile while masking a difficult family situations and grueling work obligations promoting the film under a 7-year contract. She has collected a lifetime of stories related to memories of the filmmaking (including what it was like to work with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer) and how the movie impacted the life of fans around the world. She is forthcoming with her personal life journey and her relationship with her six "celluloid siblings", which remains strong and ongoing long after they said farewell to the film. Interestingly, she also explains the origins of "The Sound of Music", from the original von Trapp story to the evolution of the Broadway play and the eventual film adaptation (and then the return of the play to Broadway). Her interactions with the original von Trapps and their offspring are some of the most touching of the book. Mostly, Ms. Carr tells her story with an incredible sense of fun and gratitude, and so much clear and shining love for her experience as Leisl. This is great fun for any fan - highly recommended!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    I grew up watching the Sound of Music. It was my mother's favorite movie and one of my favorites. I still listen to the soundtrack. I visited many of the sites in Salzburg when I was little, but don't remember them. I enjoyed learning about the movie behind the scenes. I wish the book would have covered more of the making of Sound of Music. Only 1/3 of the book was dedicated to the actual making of the movie, the rest to its release, stories of how it affected others and then to the last 30+ yea I grew up watching the Sound of Music. It was my mother's favorite movie and one of my favorites. I still listen to the soundtrack. I visited many of the sites in Salzburg when I was little, but don't remember them. I enjoyed learning about the movie behind the scenes. I wish the book would have covered more of the making of Sound of Music. Only 1/3 of the book was dedicated to the actual making of the movie, the rest to its release, stories of how it affected others and then to the last 30+ years. I was surprised that the 7 "children" publicized the movie for 25 years without compensation. I heard before reading the book that Christopher Plummer was drunk most nights, yet still worked each day. He was also not a fan of the children. He hardly said a word to them off the sets. I was pleased to learn how the 7 children have stayed in touch and truly created a family. It was interesting to read about how the quick fame affected the children. For some of them this was their only "big" movie. I was pleasantly surprised to read a little of Charmain's midlife depression. It sounds so much like PTSD, my struggle. I love when people talk openly about their mental health issues. I can relate to her struggles with her parents and how she tries to cope with supressed memories. It was a clean easy read. Highly recommend for anyone who loves the Sound of Music.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    I have been wanting to read this ever since I played Liesl my senior year of high school. I tried to model my character on the one Charmian Carr created, and I've always wanted to know what her experience was like. Liesl was one of three characters I always wanted to play if I ever got the chance. And this book did a lot for me. Charmian talks a lot about the cast, the crew, and other behind the scenes info. Like how Christopher Plummer distanced himself from the kids. Or how Charmian almost didn I have been wanting to read this ever since I played Liesl my senior year of high school. I tried to model my character on the one Charmian Carr created, and I've always wanted to know what her experience was like. Liesl was one of three characters I always wanted to play if I ever got the chance. And this book did a lot for me. Charmian talks a lot about the cast, the crew, and other behind the scenes info. Like how Christopher Plummer distanced himself from the kids. Or how Charmian almost didn't get the part because her eyes seemed "too blue". There were lots of little things that surprised me and made me want to watch the movie all over again. I think anyone who loves the movie would want to read this. Charmian brings a different vantage point to the movie we all love, and she does it in a way that is entertaining and informative. Some parts, like the fan letters, got old after a while. Every chapter ends with one and they get repetitive after a while. But Charmy does have some interesting and unexpected people in her chapters. Yes, it's more than just about The Sound of Music. It also has other parts of Charmy's life in it, like her mother's downhill spiral after a marriage fell apart and Charmy's own divorce. But she always finds a way to bring it back to Liesl. And I liked that running theme.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elisha Condie

    This was a sweet little book, just what you would expect from Liesl...I mean Charmian. She writes about the things you want to know, going into detail about her time on the set of "The Sound of Music" and how it was to work with the other actors. Julie Andrews really was that nice, Christopher Plummer really that attractive, and the kids really that close. (....and I'm thinking "I KNEW it!") She does talk a little bit about her life after the film, but it's interesting how none of the child actor This was a sweet little book, just what you would expect from Liesl...I mean Charmian. She writes about the things you want to know, going into detail about her time on the set of "The Sound of Music" and how it was to work with the other actors. Julie Andrews really was that nice, Christopher Plummer really that attractive, and the kids really that close. (....and I'm thinking "I KNEW it!") She does talk a little bit about her life after the film, but it's interesting how none of the child actors involved in it have ever been able to totally leave it behind because fans just love the movie and THEM so much. Charmian did do some more acting and actually ended up as an interior designer for clients like Michael Jackson (...I know. What sort of alternate universe is that where Michael Jackson and Liesl hang out??) I thought this book was a great little read because I love that movie. I really do. Not as much as some of the fans she mentions in the book like the little English lady who saw it 940 times in the theater (that's every single day for years). But I do love it. And it was very fun to read nice things about how it was made, and who the people were who loved to be in it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    The stories and emotion and friendship and love in this book make it one of the best books I've read in a while. Memoirs tend to get bogged down with one rigid point of view but Charmian rounds this out by adding others' stories and memories of the some of the same moments so that everyone is included. Some of the stories are old, most are new, but all are told in a family story style so that you want to share with anyone who knows or loves the movie. :) Here's my "Sound of Music" story: It was t The stories and emotion and friendship and love in this book make it one of the best books I've read in a while. Memoirs tend to get bogged down with one rigid point of view but Charmian rounds this out by adding others' stories and memories of the some of the same moments so that everyone is included. Some of the stories are old, most are new, but all are told in a family story style so that you want to share with anyone who knows or loves the movie. :) Here's my "Sound of Music" story: It was the first show I ever saw and I saw a community theatre production that my dad took me too when I was 8. It was a big deal to be there with my dad and I remember being in awe of Liesl and loving that Rolf got to ride his bike down the aisle from the back. I knew right then and there that I wanted to be an actress. I was involved a lot with that theatre group growing up and when they did "Sound of Music" when I was 16 I was excited to play Liesl. Unfortunately I sang so well that they cast me as a young postulant in the abbey and I never got to play Liesl. But I did get to wear the pink dress from the gazebo scene when I played Winnie Tate in "Annie Get Your Gun" five years later!

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