I heard the news today that my first true crush had passed away, Christopher Plummer. A marvelous actor and the lead in my favorite movie as a child – The Sound of Music – I am saddened at the passing of this childhood hero and one of the world’s greatest actors. It’s hard to overstate how much I loved this movie. I saw it for the first time in a drive-in on Cape Cod in my pajamas. I don’t think I made it through the whole movie. I preceded to see it eight more times as a kid when seeing a movie meant going to the movies. My family took me as a treat to the Von Trapp family lodge in Vermont and it was truly a highlight of childhood.
When my niece, now 22, was 5 we acted out every scene of the Sound of Music. A highlight wonderful memory from her early years and a bonding experience of note for both of us. The fact that she too was so taken with the movie warmed my heart. My mom and I tried once to recreate “play clothes out curtains” for her as Maria does with old curtain fabric but we weren’t quite as successful. Again, another family memory for the ages. I’ll have to dig up this photos and add them to this post. This past September, my son who had just turned 6, gave me a treat and watched The Sound of Music with me. By this point, I’ve probably seen it 20 times but each time, something new strikes me. I loved everything about it. Plummer was so dashing and I am sure his standing up to the Nazis, even then, mattered to me. I love the scene when he tries to tell Rolf that he’s not one of them right before the family escapes into the mountains. I know Plummer hated the movie and would call it the Sound of Mucus but it gave me and countless others delight for many years and continues to do so to this day. Reading his obit, I realized how many other performances of his I have seen on television or in the movies. I never had the pleasure of seeing him on stage in a play which apparently was his preferred venue.
I have seen him in The Day That Shook the World about the onset of World War I; The Man Who Would Be King, with Sean Connery and Michael Caine; Must Love Dogs, with John Cusack and Diane Lane; and around 10x in the crime farce The Return of the Pink Panther,: and All the Money in the World, about J.Paul Getty and even in the thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. He was also in a tv series The Thornbirds that I loved too. Thank you Christopher Plummer for endless hours of pleasure watching your performances. May his memory be a blessing.