A young postulate, Maria, who, after proving too high-spirited for the Mother Abess and other nuns, is sent off to work as a governess to seven unruly children. The Von Trapp family is run, in military style, by the seemingly cold-hearted Captain Von Trapp, a lonely widowed naval officer. Seeing how badly he and his children need companionship, he proposes to the Baroness Schraeder, a calculating, mutual friend of beloved family friend Max Detweiler. It is the baroness who soon realizes that it's Maria--with her warmth and love for the children--the captain really loves. It is nearly bliss for the newly formed family who loves to sing together--except for the cloud looming over their beloved Austrian horizon: Hitler is ascending to power, forcing Von Trapp to decide whether to join the Nazi party--which he loathes--or force his family to leave their home forever.