Right now I’m re-watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers for a paper I’m presenting on Thursday. The paper’s on the genre conventions of musical westerns that take the syntax of traditional westerns but use them to illustrate the semantics of the musical. But, whatever. What’s more important to me right now is how unbearably ridiculous this movie is.
Plot: Adam’s on the look out for a wife and finds one in the naive, young Millie who feels it’s her duty to help civilize the West. He takes her back to his cabin in the mountains without telling her his most pressing reason for getting married: he needs a servant to feed and tend to him and his six brothers. He just sits there in the woods and watches Millie act a fool, singing about One Man and all this nonsense. When they get back to the cabin, Millie is introduced to six more hairy gingers who leap around the farm causing a ruckus.
These redheads love their new servant and quickly get used to her doing all the house work, since she starts cleaning and cooking the minute she gets inside. But what they’re especially interested in is the wedding night – hubba hubba – when they sit outside the door and grin at what they think are boning noises but are actually Millie singing to Adam, who she has made to sit in a tree as punishment for basically kidnapping her.
Don’t worry, it only takes the length of one song for Millie to forgive Adam and invite him back into bed. The next morning she makes all the gingers shave – which only makes them look more like crazy hobos – and then takes them all into town. Back in town the gingers get a hankering after boobs. Millie does her best to teach them how to go a “courtin'” (aka: flirt in the corniest ways possible) but they would much rather wear fancy shirts and just kidnap six young girls (even though some of the gingers could very well be nearing 40) and force the giggling girls to spend the winter with them.
At first Millie is disapproving, but you have to imagine she’d be pretty excited to have some extra servants for the house…plus, she probably just nearly avoided being the sexual slave of 7 ugly redheads. Now, at least, she has some estrogen backup.
Don’t worry, it only takes a few weeks for the girls to start getting randy enough to marry the gingers.
How is a plot like this even possible? When you put it all down like that, instead of getting wrapped up in the all-dancing all-singing extravaganza, the horrors of a Stockholm Syndrom supporting film like this are laid bare.