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Old 12-27-2003, 10:43 PM
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Relationship between Max and the Baroness in Sound of Music

I'm watching Sound of Music right now for the first time in a few years. Something that I noticed this time around is that "Uncle Max" Detweiler and Baroness Schraeder seem to be very familiar with each other. At one point, Max refers to her as "darling" I think. Anyone know more about the story that can tell me what the relationship is between these two? Are they siblings or otherwise familial?
Old 12-27-2003, 11:18 PM
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He's courting her. Presumably they've known each other for some time.
Old 12-27-2003, 11:25 PM
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I think you're mistaking Max Detweiler for Captain Von Trapp. The Captain is courting the Baroness. Max is a friend of the Captain, though like I said, also very familiar with the Baroness.
Old 12-28-2003, 01:02 AM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Plano, Texas
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I think of Max Detweiler as a professional moocher. He clearly likes living the high life, but can't afford it on his own so he attaches himself to wealthy people who can keep in the manner that he prefers. I imagine that the Baroness is wealthy and allows Max to live off of her from time to time.
Old 12-28-2003, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Originally posted by Standup Karmic
I think you're mistaking Max Detweiler for Captain Von Trapp.
Right you are. Sorry.
Old 12-28-2003, 06:32 PM
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Location: England, Britain, UK
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I've played Max twice in separate productions of TSOM - and he's much better realised in the stage show than in the film - so here's my $0.02-worth:

Max would settle down with Elsa in a heartbeat, not because he is head over heels in love with her but because he is indeed a moocher and the lure of all those millions plus the reflected glory of the Baroness's title would be irresistible. On the other hand Elsa knows the value of what she has to a nicety and there's no way she would pee it away on Max. In some ways they are kindred spirits as they are both hard-headed realists, but they both know there is no future there and they don't fret over it.
Old 12-28-2003, 09:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Iselin, NJ
Posts: 4,790
I don't think their relationship is completely one-way, though. Max D. is that sort of social fixture whose function is "to be brilliant at dinner," to quote from the movie Impromptu. He gets around, his networking cuts through several social strata, he's a witty conversationalist, glib, flirty, fashionable, and full of the latest gossip. As played by Richard Haydn, he's also not physically or sexually threatening; his flirtiness, such as it is (he could also very well be gay) is more reassuring than serious, so women love him and men don't find him a competitive threat. To the idle (and very often dull) rich, having a few Max-types around helps keep things lively and interesting.
Old 12-29-2003, 01:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 36,258
As I'm sure Malacandra could tell (or sing) you, Max and the Baroness have two songs together in which the relationship is a bit clearer. In the first, he shows his affectionate contempt for the wealth of his friends, wondering what on Earth can keep the love alive for two people who don't have to struggle. In the other he expresses his contempt for the Nazis but at the same time joins with Elsa in urging Georg not to resist them and to collaborate, because "up against a shark what can a herring do?"

I see him not so much as a coward and a moocher but as a pragmatic survivor who earns his keep from his wealthy patrons. Ultimately he risks life and limb to help them escape.

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