Thursday, March 08, 2007

Seven Brides for Seven Rapists

I have always had a love for musicals, and when I was younger I really LOVED the movie, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."

Thanks to TCM I was able to watch it again earlier this week and come to several new realizations about the film I had loved so much as a child.

A song came on before the boys went to go kidnap the seven girls from the main town, encouraging the boys to remember the Sabine "Sobbin,'" women and what the Romans did.

"Tell ya 'bout them sobbin' women
Who lived in the Roman days.
It seems that they all went swimmin'
While their men was off to graze.

Well, a Roman troop was ridin' by
And saw them in their "me oh my",
So they took 'em all back home to dry.
Least that's what Plutarch says.
Oh yes!

Them a woman was sobbin', sobbin', sobbin'
Fit to be tied.

Ev'ry muscle was throbbin', throbbin'
From that riotous ride.
Oh they cried and kissed and kissed and cried

All over that Roman countryside
So don't forget that when you're takin' a bride.
Sobbin' fit to be tied
From that riotous ride!

They never did return their plunder
The victor gets all the loot.

And you've never seens so,
They tell me, such downright domesticity.
With a Roman baby on each knee
Named 'Claudius' and 'Brute.'"
I was astonished--were they raising men to be rapists back in 1950? Yea sure the men get admonished later for kidnapping the girls, but even the kidnapped girls romanticize the Rape of the Sabine women, asking to be read the passage in the bible again and again so they could hear the story. I don't think it was a full blown case of Stockholm syndrome--but every time I watch an old movie it surprises me how much things have changed. This sort of reference in a modern movie would cause an uproar.

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