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The magic of The Sound of Music lives on in the minds and hearts of everyone it has touched. Now, 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.Charmian Carr played eldest von Trapp daughter Liesl in the mega-successful film version of The Sound of Music, and judging from her earnest memoir, the story's sentimental wholesomeness rubbed off on her permanently. It's a "great movie," she avers, acknowledging that the critics thought otherwise; she was "honored" to be part of it, and her onscreen siblings became her lifelong friends. Carr's reasonably interesting chronicle of shooting the film is interspersed with personal narratives by people who love it: a nine-year-old boy who found comforting parallels between the distant but ultimately loving Captain von Trapp and his own recently deceased father; a girl who got the video for Christmas just after her brother had surgery; and so on. The author tempers all that sweetness and light with frank accounts of her parents' divorce, her mother's alcoholism, and later conflicts with the studio over financial remuneration for promoting the movie. Adult costars Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews come across as consummate professionals less enthralled by the experience than their youthful supporting cast. But in general the book is determinedly upbeat and definitely not for the cynical. Those who share Carr's rapturous regard for The Sound of Music and even those who don't but are willing to be touched by sincere emotion will enjoy her stroll down memory lane. --Wendy Smith