Farewell, Baroness

We're gifted with so many great characters and roles, but one of my very favorite performances of all-time, forever and ever, is Eleanor Parker as the Baroness in "The Sound of Music."

I mean, I was a little obsessed with the Baroness growing up (and I was a lot obsessed with the entire movie, and still am).

And do I sometimes do Baroness impressions at family dinners? You bet. Pulling back my shoulders, I gimlet my eyes and purr "Darling, haven't you ever heard of a delightful little thing called boarding school?"

So I pause to bid farewell to Eleanor Parker, the actress who brought the Baroness to delightful, pearl-sporting, Maria-envying, Captain Von Trapp-wanting life. She died on Dec. 9 at age 91.

There's so many things I adore about the Baroness, but mostly this: She sets her scenes on fire, even though she doesn't have a ton of screen time. A little bit villain, a little bit of a schemer, and the sad-eyed person who ultimately tells Captain Von Trapp "somewhere out there is a lady who I think will never be a nun. Auf wiedersehen, darling."

I wanted her to go away, as a teen obsessed with this film, so the Captain and Maria could be together, and yet, every time she spoke that line, my heart broke for her, too. And I admired her for being big, in the moment.

Tying whatever I write about here back to the Wilfair world is something I like doing, and I can only say that "The Sound of Music" is a movie I'm a million-percent enamored with and always have been. My cousin and I watched it every day the summer my family got its first VCR, and played all the parts, Rocky Horror-style, in front of the television.

By the way, in case you're wondering? I'm an excellent Captain Von Trapp. Sorry to brag.

There's a cheerfulness, too, that I love in "The Sound of Music," a cheerfulness and optimism that I try to bring to what I write. And am I interested in mild villains who have a chance at redemption? Yes. Am I interested in people with money and people without money falling in love? Hell yes. And am I interested in marionettes? Hell yes!

Oh, wait. No marionettes in Wilfair. Somehow, someway, I need to correct that oversight.

Goodbye, Baroness, and thank you.


bess said...

Oh my goodness, the Baroness! When my sister was little she just couldn't understand why the movie wasn't about her! I think she was overwhelmed by her glamor. She was confused when the Baroness leaves the movie. Wanting to ship the kids off to boarding school aside, I do think she's a wonderful, rich character and you can't deny that her gold gown with the big shoulder pouf isn't amazing. Her goodbye to the Captain is so classy too! Just what you would want to say in that situation but would never be able to pull off in real life.

Wilfair Book said...

The gold gown!!! Yesssss. With the shoulder detail. That's like a dream dress, for me.

Your sister is the cutest. Love this story, Bess.

And agreed. That was a classy way to end it with the Captain. Brava, Baroness!

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