Welcome to our podcast dedicated to discussing well-known movies and TV shows that one of us has never seen. In this episode Virginia is joined by special guest Andrea Grimes to talk about Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954, Rated G).
You can listen to the show by clicking here.
Here are the links to some of the things we discussed:
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers IMDb page; Andrea’s live tweets of this movie; Based on The Sobbin’ Women by Stephen Vincent Benét; The Abduction (or Rape) of the Sabine Women from Roman Mythology; Julie Newmar IMDb page; Bechdel test pass or fail?; Andrea’s podcast, Tomato Pickup; Cosmic Potato Podcast Network.
Next time, Shane will be returning and we’ll be talking about Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, so stay tuned!
Rough Transcript of Episode 17 below:
This program is part of the cosmic potato Podcast Network for more shows like this visit our website at cosmic potato a dotcom This is Virginia and this is weight. You’ve never seen a podcast dedicated to discussing while known movies and TV shows that one of us has never seen and today, share is sitting this one out.
I am joined by a special guest Andrea to discuss what you’ve never seen. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
Tell us about yourself, Andrea in My name is Andrea, I am a writer and a feminist activist and I currently live in California. But soon, I’m gonna move home to Texas.
He is a…
Yeah, I and I’m super excited to talk about this terrible movie too, so I feel like for trigger warnings and what-not, up front, it’s basically the whole movie revolves around these men trying to win these women, and then ultimately kidnap and hold them hostage for nine months.
So yeah, there’s a lot of what you would expect from an 1850s western type. Do you know what I’m saying, the into… And I think the other thing is that it’s like, we’ll get into this, I guess, in the end, it all works out, but in terms of the actual content, it’s very disturbing it’s not wacky fun kidnap time, it’s like a horrible I since with crying and yelling at a wall if that’s, if you just don’t wanna see a bunch of women be made to do a bunch of shit against their will. Is it probably not the file for you?
I would agree with that.
So tell me what had you even heard of this movie before, what were three things that you expected?
I have heard of the movie before. I was a theater kid in high school, so my musical I’m familiar with a lot of musicals, even though I haven’t necessarily seen a ton of musicals.
So what I expected it were I expected people to have better teeth that we might strictly set people litigate were in frontier in 1850, to have which correct the as a…
I expected a whole mess of racism, which actually was surprisingly, at least overtly, absent in the film when you talked about… So I don’t think that I saw a non-white face in that bunch, right, so it’s about the racism and the film is about E-Rate and not about active big excess.
And then the third thing that I expected was a sassy anachronistic lady who can only be tamed by the right man for her, which is a sort of like a 1-mile is right, so right, yeah.
So on a scale from one star to five stars what would you have given it before you watched it?
I said two stars, two stars. Okay, so you were not really expecting to like it then?
I was not a…
I would say this, even if the content was something that I particularly enjoyed I just don’t like… I am not into this genre of musical and I’m not into this era film making, so so so I just a lot on other that I was probably never really gonna enjoy but I am very happy to watch it for your sake and also to discuss it with you ’cause I’m dying to know how in the world you came to enjoy this stuff.
So before we get to that, what is your one sentence TV Guide summary, okay.
It is even men who set out to steal land from Native American people or to fucking helpless and lazy to do it all by themselves, so they seek out lives to burden with their bullshit and enlist in the grand project of white settler colonial colonialism.
Yeah, yeah, that sounds about right, yeah, I… Well, would you like to hear what I am is slightly tamer description would be yes, please a.Well, It’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers from ‘1954 surprisingly rated G.Why I…
I would want at least a PG.
It’s an hour and 42 minutes. comedy drama musical.
So I, it in eight. We’ll see, it’s wrong right off the bat because it says Oregon and not Oregon Territory, at one so it says in 1850 Oregon when a backwoods man brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married to.
Yeah, I read more, less, as without all the deals, that’s pretty much the same thing.
Yeah, I got A, A, A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A.Obviously, it met your expectations in some ways and not so much. It is the…
Yes, go ahead. Yeah, what I was like, “Well okay, so I was obviously disappointed that the central plot is about the rape and kidnapping of multiple women that suck. So that just like any other criticism I make, of the film, like obviously falls beneath that central criticism.
But I just didn’t like the music, I was really disappoint I just didn’t find any of it, particularly catchy and I was super disappointed, about that, I thought that I was at least gonna be into the, into the tunes, but they didn’t really grab me.
I will tell you I did not. I watched this last weekend and I watched it with the captions on because I watched everything with the captions on now and I will tell you, I have watched this movie so many times and I did not, so I… Some of the words to the songs until I watched it last weekend with the captions on… It’s really hard to understand some of the words sometimes… And yeah, it’s very… They like a brat-in that movie a lot. Yes, yes, yes.
Every time I… It was amazing.
So tell me, this is this movie going to join the ranks of beetle-juice with the lowly one-star after he watched it.
In fact, it’s worse than that. I after watching, I gave it negative stars.
Well, so I guess the ones… Yes, I will give it the Low E. How many in or start, I won’t say like three or four.
Okay, so a way yeah I don’t think people should watch this movie.
I definitely don’t think children should watch this movie and it’s bonkers, to me when I was live tweeting it, so many people were tweeting at me and talking about how they watched this movie as children, and loved it.
I mean dozens and dozens of people, and that’s what you came to it, right? You watch it as a kid.
Yeah, my mom had it on VHS, I believe it was, and my sisters and I and my brother is much younger than us, so him to a smaller degree, we would watch it and try to do the dances, and there’s a scene where all of the women are in the men’s bedroom because they’re staying in the house. My won’t let the boys stay in the house. And so they’re like, Doing this little… Oh, we wanna get married dance. And we would always try to do… For me specifically, it always reminds me of… Oh, those times when we were little, and we tried to do this and that net, watching it, I watched it when I was older, I maybe… I have a 20-year-old step-daughter and I remember watching it the first time with her. I had come to this realization before this, but like I watched it, I’m like, “What the fuck was my mother reading. This was what the horses like. And so when I watched it with Angelica like Okay this is fun dancing, singing, it’s all great. Okay, but this behavior is not except they should not have done this. You have to have that. She could probably quote you chapter and verse on what I tell her about that he was never… We watch it.
The USA yeah I grew up thinking that that was okay. And then when I finally had that realization, I was just, I was in shock for a while. Yeah, the thing also is that while the messages of the film, are atrocious and they do seem somewhat dated like in general the way relationships are portrayed is not wildly far off from mainstream pop culture. Ron com narratives of today. I like it, I like this creepy. Like the couple sort of doesn’t like each other at first, and maybe the guys kind of means, who are… But she ran him out or he teaches her how to loosen up and then, it’s all fine in the end, that’s all.
It’s just a kind of a saying. So he didn’t, it first.
Yeah, exactly, yeah, “you let no pain. Ten day since is a musical.
So yeah, this movie in the opening credits says that it’s based on the short story. The son women “solingen by Steven Vincent either been re-I’m not sure which, but that story itself was based on the ancient Roman legend. Of depending on who’s translating it, either the abduction of the Sabine women or the “rape of the Sabine women.
So I, I mean that kind of gives you know what you’re looking at, right there, it tells you right in the title kids, not being a or raping or both, so I… Which… Something I actually did the math this time, I had never sat down and done the math. Sorry to keep pointing all of this stuff out there. So maybe we should say, You go ahead and tell me what you thought about the actual kid not being seen. And then I’ll tell you the math of how long they were kidnapped for.
I go, “Okay let’s put it that way.
Well, okay, so the thing is, the kid mapping… That does not occur until like, I don’t know, an hour and 15 minutes into the film it’s so long before the women get it back.
And that was also a part of what I found to be so stressful about watching it was that I knew the only thing I knew about this movie was that a bunch of women were gonna get kidnap and for forced to married. Right, and I’m dreading it the whole time and it never fucking happens. And then finally, a half hour before the movie is over the pre-news and I look, I don’t care. I actually preferred the six brothers, when they were just rough and couple dip this to the dressed up, dish version of them. I give me a… Give me a shit back Edition, instead of a dancing dip it I think, Okay, so I kept waiting for the kidnapping to come and it never fucking came.
And then finally, he, it was so just viscerally awful.
The women are less forcibly it’s not their trick it is a forcible kidnapping they’re shoving a wagon they are written away in this wagon and they’re screaming and crying, and then the men are fucking singing about right and the woman just hated they are terrified, they’re holding each other it’s really, it’s actually scary. And then being pursued by the men of the village who are like, “How dare temporary right and which is another…
’cause the thing is, you’re watching them and you’re thinking, “Well I don’t want them to be kidnapped, but also do I really want them to go back to this load of dudes in the village who obviously just see them as cattle to be traded tries to get in exactly. And so then when I was watching, I was like, “Oh I hope there’s an avalanche not knowing that there actually is an ambulance coming in the thing and I was like, “Ooh team avalanche, let’s do it.
And then the Avila actually comes and prevents the women from escaping ’cause the path is blocked, and then they’re trapped for an amount of time that I think is gonna be shocking. And you’re gonna tell me now, the thing that bothered me the most about the avalanche was that it was like they said, “Okay go ahead and let them scream so that the avalanche would happen.
The ease of terror or what caused the avalanche?
Yeah, as a metaphor for victim blaming, it’s amazing, right? So, that I finally sat down and did the math this because as I was growing up the very end where they hear the baby crying and the preachers all… Oh no, anything but that… And I’m like how they have a… To me in my little girl, mine is like No mom was pregnant for a lot longer than those girls were up there, so when they do their dance in their underwear in the bedroom, she said, one of the main women characters says something like, “Oh we’ve been up here, for two months. And all it’s done a snow.
So when they start seeing the June bride song, the first month, they mentioned in November, so if you think they’ve been there two months in November, they started in September, they leave in May, that’s nine months.
Yeah, so I… That makes sense that… Oh, they would assume that the rape had occurred. One of these women had a baby.
I am saying you to you, so it’s just… And then, of course, the shot gun wedding at the end, that was a good… Yeah, you pay.
But I see these…
I sing were forcibly abducted from their home. One of the women was like, she was putting a pie in the window sill and the dude just hold it right out the window.
Yeah, oh yeah, and I made it. It’s a little bit cartoonish.
A little bit, but the thing that makes cartoons tolerable is that their car tunes, so I when you see a human man drag a woman out of a window, it’s just not funny, right?
Well, so they were forcibly abducted. Milly herself, I feel was tricked.
Oh, absolutely she was forced yeah, he conveniently left out that he lived with his six and see the thing is that no one else tell her though. I would assume someone in that town, New right, A:They have had that a little bit like… Oh, what’s Adam? Is that as “namie up there? Yeah, with six gates for sure.
Right, right, so yeah. And then I really feel for mill in this movie because okay, I… Especially when she makes them all sleep in the barn, I’m like, “You’re the best ever. Because they’re animals, that’s what they are, you’ll… So, yeah, I just… I really felt for her especially when he didn’t… He gives this perfunctory cough like he’s going to say, “Oh by the way, yeah, I have six brothers when she starts doing her big song when they’re at a… But then he never tells her No I… And just as I know she would fucking Bible she’d be like, bye or thank you, He… Because who on who would choose this life? I don’t know, that’s probably reflective of most women’s lives in that situation in that era, but still it sucks, I agree.
So did you, Eisenstein after a couple of people pointed her out, I was like, oh, that woman is.
Yeah, I yeah, I, I watched the fuck out of that man when I was a kid ’cause it was always on making and I really, really love it. So yes, also, she’s so pretty, and delightful, and I love her, she is really awesome.
How did you like the… As I prefer to call it the dance battle, I did like the dance battle. I thought that lots of people like I said when I was life coming at people were talking to me about it. Lots of people compared it to West Side Story, and I have to say, I think it might be more impressive in the West Side Story in this particular way, although obviously was in stories, the far better piece of art. Oh yeah, I love that. It’s about a fucking barn.
The it’s just, it’s… So it’s the only enjoyable to my mind is the only enjoyable part of the file and it does go on, it is like 80 or 90 minutes long, so it’s three, three quarters of the movie and then the kid name happens to the last batter.
But that’s what everybody was saying, When I was tweeting about it. They were saying how much they love, they love the dance battle. Did you try to recreate it with your solar? Oh, absolutely, absolutely. Especially the at the very beginning, where they walk up to each other and “courcy on the one that was, that was our favorite part. So absolutely I… And it’s so great right that it’s perfect that it’s a dance battle, just period. But then the upshot of the thing is that toxic masculinity prevents these assholes from building the thing that they tear right that they can’t even fucking get their shit together enough to build a God damn barn, the thing that will keep their food dry and their animals save and all the things.
Right, right, exactly.
Oh man, I such a ban.
Before we go on to the back to test, do you have anything else to add?
I just wanna say on behalf of my… I am upset that Adam fucking sat out the birth in his little had.
So this is the word. Oh my God, nobody thinks it’s weird everybody just like… Well, I got a hose in the cabin why would the dad be there for the birth of his dog in the… How fucked up is it that it’s not in the the site?
And so, it’s not until that Apple has a baby Donner he’s like, Oh, I don’t know, maybe raping women, is bad.
Right, right, exactly I… Obviously, the kidnapping thing is horrible. We’ve established… I shudder to think what mill would have gone through child birth-wise, if it had just been if it would have just been the seven brothers there, right, if no and I’m like, “Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus.
Well, in that case, I guess I’m glad in your kid at… Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. The kidnapping is bad, but let’s just recognize something there.
Yeah, so the beta test it does pass. It kind of… It kind of surprised me when Millie and the future brides are at the dance battle, when Milly first arrives, the women are like, Oh, it’s male and then they say, “oh rely… We love you, and she’s like, “Oh I was, “How are you? So then, the guys are right there, but they don’t talk about it.
Yeah, and they’re having a conversation together with named characters that aren’t about a man. That’s the beta test. But right, right, right, yeah.
And then when the women are… I kept telling shame. I don’t know why you don’t like this movie. The women are dancing around in their underwear, in their bedroom, that’s not like, but they’re even swinging around polls like…
But before they start singing about how they wanna get married and dancing around, poles and stuff, they talk about like the snow sucks and… Oh, read to us, and let me fit your dress. And so they have, I mean it’s still very domestic related conversations, but it doesn’t send her around a man so totally, yeah, yeah, which in the movie with seven men, I guess that’s something I shunting in its defense, there is that, I suppose, but the actual test is only a test of women’s characters an agency… Not about whether something is feminist. So, right, right, I… It’s the bare minimum yes, right.
I think I mentioned earlier, I feel especially bad, I don’t really feel bad because I didn’t like beetle juice, but I feel like a kindred spirit with those beetle-juice lovers now because it’s like a movie, you do love as a child and I will still watch this movie. I own it on DVD, I’m sure my sisters and I will, I will be 60 years old still trying to recreate these dance scenes, but I can understand how a new viewer such as yourself, will come in here and be like, This is the worst. This should burn in eternal fire.
I totally get it. I personally, me, I have accepted the awful-ness and will continue to walk a…
I accept your acceptance and have indefensible things that I like is what… So I appreciate the fact that you have just owned your appreciation for this terrible file. So I don’t really notice any disability because frankly you have to be this able body backwards men whatever, to be in the Oregon territory, and do, in addition to doing all of the dancing and what not, that the, the other people, I want you to do it.
So, I didn’t unless you had noticed something, I didn’t really notice anything off-hand.
No, not at all, because I knew I was looking for obviously ’cause I knew that we were gonna talk about it, but the thing that I was struck by it was just like how in general I don’t imagine 1850s America was a real fucking easy place to be living with a disability, period, but the Oregon frontier or in territory probably even worse.
I also, and I was thinking… So two weeks… Actually the weekend before I watched this one, Patrick and I, my husband had driven from, we drove from San Francisco out to Lake to on the Nevada, California, border. And in going there, you go through the daughter path.
Oh, I got… Oh, yeah. And so, we listened to all of the podcasts and stuff about the Donner Party and all of the shit and when people went on wagon trains, they didn’t ride in the wagon, they walked, which I didn’t realize. And then I’m thinking the trudging through the snow trying to get a fucking wagon up a mountain and down a mountain and around another mountain and data, there’s just no place for anybody with a disability in any this mythological Manifest Destiny, this narrative is just entirely absent of people with disabilities exactly, exactly.
So are there any… I can’t imagine that there are, but are there any pop cultural references that you now understand having seen your negative stars movie?
Well, it’s not a culture reference, but I did, I did, I was not aware of the original story. Is it plutar?
Yes, the book that she… Oh yeah, and then I do like trying to blame. So Adam tried to blame Miley for the kidnapping because the story was in her book. The TARS lives, the store has a… So yes, the book was to tar lives.
Yeah, actually I was not aware of that particular piece of canonical literature, so it did help me understand that, and I wish that I had… Yeah, sorry about that, I can not apologize on that for the…
I don’t, I think it’s… But it gives me a window into you and your personality and your childhood that I find.
It’s an interesting thing to know about you. So I, I find with that hour and 40, but it’s like I don’t need that back. It’s very enjoyable getting to talk about it with you.
Well, I’m definitely going to be linking to your life, your live tweets of this movie. Because I was dying laughing and feeling bad, at the same time.
So this one might be fine.
How would the movie, be different with today’s technology? 10-75. years later, oh my God, you must have given this some thought. I’m interested in your answer to this question. Well, I mean feminist issues aside, if there was an avalanche, you could just call the avalanche police to bring their helicopter to get you.
So I, I live in, I have lived in Texas all of my life. I have no idea what you do for an avalanche. The avalanche plan that’s all I can think of.
So they wouldn’t have been stranded up there, for nine months, most likely.
And that’s the main one that comes to mind because it’s like, if they could just get them back then, then we can deal with the more general issues. But the avalanche is the pressing issue. You know what I’m saying? We, but also in the first place. Oh, Adam could have just gone on Tinder in a round, a hook-up and he wouldn’t have had to go to town, to find the one willing woman to lie to bring her back. He could have gone on a… What’s the day website for barbers?
Oh my God, the area has called it a yes in a…
I have to look this up, I wanna call it farmers select, but that can be what it’s called “floating the list. Farmers only that Barbara he just would have got out farmers only and bow himself of woman that really wanted to…
I pitch it up and live in the wigs and chopped and care for me. Well, look, as “diptero there are those survivalist people who totally dig that sort of thing. So yeah, yeah, yeah, yes.
Oh my goodness, so I… Is there anything else you would like to discuss before we wrap it up?
What else, if there is anything else? But all I do shout-out to the ladies. They looked really good for living in a Hobhouse for nine months, their hair was adorable they’re fucking courses in panels. Were Chris and white finally came with what was on their backs?
So they’re wearing the same pan loans for nine months.
The other would have been built in a…
Oh my god, they really what it all on their periods. I didn’t even think about that, like, Well, you know, they would sink up of course they would, but I mean, how do you have that many felt style path or whatever they filed in 1815 in they didn’t even have those that they have like a… I’m sure that it was not in a fancy as a belt as a menstrual. Well, I’m sure it was just like a lot of cotton in your drawers.
Probably I need a brush up on my minstrel history.
Well, the title… Well, I’m just say they look a delightful while being abused and get taped. So there’s a, I suppose, yeah, they were all into arable there were anything else.
No, this is delightful, thank you for introducing me to this awful field.
Well, why don’t you tell? Thank you for joining me for a… Where can people find you on the interest?
Oh, they can find me on Twitter at Andrea grabs A-N-D-E-A-R-M-S, and I have a podcast of my own call tomato pick-up. It’s about Bloody Marys comes out a couple of times a month. You can go to patreon dot com to me to pick up and subscribe there.
So what I’m hearing is they should go listen to your podcast, fix themselves a little drink, and come over to our podcast. Watch little movie.
You should also that be drunk for this movie to the… At a total for this show, you invite us on iTunes and Stitcher and also on the cosmic potato Podcast Network at cosmic potato dot com episode transcripts and links to what we talked about are available on our website at weight. I’d never seen dot com. We’re on Facebook, and Twitter under weight, wines, and you can also email at weight and never seen at gmail, dot com
So there are some feedback. Let us know if you have any suggestion suggestions for movies we should watch.
That’s the show for today, next time and with e-attorney, and we’ll be watching Mr. Smith to Washington.
A good one, thanks for use.