Seven Slaves for Seven Gingers

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.

The End.

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.

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Seven Slaves for Seven Gingers

  1. brian

    i like the part where they build a barn.

    but it’s not the only film to have kidnapping and rape “justified” by marriage. have you ever scene that hitchcock movie marnie? that one is better. but less songs.

    • Scott likes that part, too.

      Oh yeah. Marnie! It’s been a while since I’ve seen that. I’d love to watch it again and compare it to this disaster.

      • brian

        oh yeah, i forgot. my older sister and brother-in-law are going to be in a local (clearfield?) production of seven brides for seven brothers. i think they’re playing people in the town.

  2. Ben

    Musicals can get away with anything.

    Become a hooker – great in a musical (Gigi)

    Knock up your girlfriend and rob a store – not so bad as you’ll still go to heaven (Carousel)

    Treat a girl like rubbish – she’ll love you for it (My Fair Lady)

  3. jennifer

    oh, the horror….the horror

  4. I remember my mom showing this to me as a kid when I was just getting into classic movie musicals. Even then I was like wait, let’s look past the dance numbers and see that this is an awful way to treat women, but she thinks I’m too strict when I view older classics with any kind of feminist ideal. Ugh I can look past it sometimes but not when the entire plot is effectively about domestic slavery! The same thing happened when I watched Kiss Me Kate…

    • I understand that you can’t hold older films to the same feminist values we have today, but even with the earliest films there were exceptions to the sexist ideals of the times that we can praise above the others (by pointing out how sexist everything else is). Like Pandora’s Box. Or a Sturgess film. Or anything with Katherine Hepburn. I’m on your side, man.

  5. Rob

    “six more hairy gingers,” “they would much rather wear fancy shirts and just kidnap six young girls,” wow I love this review, thank you.

    Something else I learned from Carousel was that domestic violence doesn’t hurt as long as you’re in love. Yay musicals!

  6. Hello there, tehnk you for this post it was very nice and with luck you may write more about dommes!

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