Franz has told someone about this! As soon as the family leave the front gate they’re ambushed by a group of Nazi soldiers led by none other than Zeller himself. He mockingly asks whether there’s something wrong with the Captain’s car to which Von Trapp, in all seriousness, replies that yes, yes there is – the engine won’t start. Zeller sends a Nazi named Karl to “fix” the car, which the soldier does by simply turning the ignition key. Busted, Von Trapp!
Zeller announces that he has orders to personally escort the Captain to the naval base at Bremerhaven. Immediately. Von Trapp, encouraged by the last successful lie he told about the engine, tells him it won’t be possible since the whole family, including himself, has to sing at the festival tonight. In fact, they’re on the way to the festival right now and the reason everyone is wearing travel clothes is because they’re costumes. Wow, Von Trapp is on a roll. I don’t see how anyone could see through this.
Zeller quite clearly sees through this, but announces that the family will in fact sing at the festival tonight. They will do so to show Austria that nothing has changed and also “Heil Hitler”. He will personally escort the family to the festival and then take Von Trapp to Bremerhaven right afterwards. The Captain meekly tries to refuse this escort, but Zeller insists. He may be a flag-loving Nazi, but he’s not entirely retarded.
We skip to the festival scene. The theatre is packed with people watching the children sing. There are Nazi sentries all around the theatre, so it’s clear that all precautions have been taken to ensure nobody attempts to escape. When the song is over the theatre explodes with applause. Even Zeller forces himself to clap.
The Captain steps onto the stage and sings an emotionally-charged version of “Edelweiss”. He is joined by Maria and later all of the anti-Nazi Austrians in the audience, because the song loosely translates as “Fuck you, Germany”. Max steps up to the family and whispers: “I think it’ll work”. Apparently they have devised a clever plan to escape.
Max tells the audience that the winner of the festival will be announced shortly, but before that the Von Trapp family will sing another song. Maria, the Captain and the children take the stage again and begin to sing a modified version of the “Goodbye” song the children sang the night of the party. Just as the first time around, they sing “Goodbye” in different languages and leave the stage one by one.
Max takes the stage again and begins announcing the festival winners. He announces the third place and second place winners, who take turns to step onto the stage and bow to the audience. Then, Max finally announces the first place winner – The Von Trapp Family Singers. There’s a storm of applause as Max points towards a hallway from which the Von Trapp family should arrive to claim their prize. Nobody’s there. Then we see Karl (the engine-fixing Nazi) run out and yell in a panicked voice: “They’re gone!”.
Unbelievably, The Von Trapp family escape plan involved simply walking out of the theatre swarming with Nazis. Even more unbelievably – it worked! This is because it exploited a little-known Nazi weakness that prevents them from pursuing anyone who escapes while singing.
New scene – the Abbey. Zeller and a bunch of Nazi soldiers pour out of two patrol cars. Inside, Reverend Mother tells the Von Trapp family she has a place for them to hide and leads them through a side door. Outside, Zeller yells at Sister Berthe to open the front door. Once inside, he quickly splits the soldiers into smaller groups and gives them instructions to search the premises.
Reverend Mother and the family make their way through an enclosed graveyard. The plan is to borrow the caretaker’s car and drive to the hills and cross the border on foot. They just need to hide out until the Nazis are gone. Reverend Mother unlocks a gate to a crypt full of tombstones and lets the family inside, locking the gate behind them. The family hides behind two large tombstones.
Karl and a few Nazi soldiers walk through the graveyard, scanning the area. Then Karl makes his way to the crypt where the Von Trapps are hiding and tries one of the gates. He shakes the gate, but it won’t open, because it’s locked. He shines his flashlight onto the tombstones. He repeats this process for every gate. Apparently, violently shaking the gates is the only strategy he can try. The Nazis only had one “open that gate/door immediately” card and they’ve played it when Zeller forced Sister Berthe to unlock the front door.
Karl orders everyone up to the roof. The Von Trapp family try to leave their hiding place but are ambushed by Rolfe, who for some reason is exploring the area by himself. Rolfe is about to whistle for backup, but the Captain walks out of the crypt and towards Rolfe. Rolfe draws his gun and threatens to shoot the Captain if he makes another step.
Von Trapp keeps walking towards Rolfe, because he wrongly believes that being a former naval Captain also makes him bulletproof. Rolfe keeps shouting “I’ll shoot if you move”, but is less convincing with each step the Captain takes without being fired upon. Rolfe can’t bring himself to shoot. Von Trapp reaches Rolfe and takes the gun away from him.
Then, instead of shutting up and walking away quietly he provokes Rolfe by saying: “You’ll never be one of them”. Reverse psychology works very well on newly indoctrinated Nazis. Rolfe immediately wants to prove him wrong and begins to whistle and yell for backup. The Von Trapp family hurries outside and into a car. They speed past the two parked Nazi cars. Just a few seconds later all of the Nazis run outside and jump into their cars.
Inside the Abbey Sister Margaretta and Sister Berthe confess to Reverend Mother that they have sinned. “What is this sin, my children?”, Mother Abbess asks. The two Sisters show her some spark plug wires and some other car ingredients. Ah yes, the eleventh commandment – “Thou shalt not disable Nazi cars”.
Final scene. It is broad daylight and the Von Trapp family are hiking through the Alps (I told you the Alps would be important later). The “climb every mountain” song is accompanying their journey. Happy end for everybody! The Von Trapps have escaped and I’m sure those nuns have gotten some Nazi medals for aiding them.