Filmsite Movie Review 100 Greatest Films
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
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The Story (continued)

After their supper in the cottage, the dwarfs put on an entertaining show with "The Dwarfs' Yodel Song." Dancing, singing, accordion playing, yodeling, and merriment accompany the music. The woodland creatures watch through the open window, moving to the rhythm. In one of the amusing segments of the entertainment, Dopey comically balances himself on Sneezy's shoulders, making them tall enough to dance with Snow White, but unwieldy when Sneezy explodes with a sneeze.

After the music, they ask her to tell them a story. She remembers when she met the Prince: "Once there was a Princess...and she fell in love...Anyone could see that the Prince was charming, the only one for me...There's nobody like him, anywhere at all." Snow White breaks into song, "Someday My Prince Will Come":

He was so romantic, I could not resist.
Someday my Prince will come
Someday we'll meet again
And away to his castle we'll go
To be happy forever I know
Someday when spring is here
We'll find our loved one
And the bees will sing
And wedding bells will ring
Someday when my dreams come true

All the dwarfs are mesmerized by her, except for Grumpy, who sits by himself in a corner, murmuring: "Mush."

When it comes time to settle down for bedtime, Doc offers Snow White their beds upstairs, assuring her that they will be comfortable downstairs. She says goodnight to them: "You're sure you'll be comfortable? Well, pleasant dreams." After Snow White has left, they all grab for the only pillow, fighting for it and tearing it to shreds. Snow White kneels at her bedside and says her prayers: "Bless the seven little men who have been so kind to me. And, and may my dreams come true. Amen. Oh yes, and please make Grumpy like me." Grumpy complains about sleeping in the kettle by the fire: "A fine kettle of fish!"

The wicked queen, now disguised as an old stooped hag, prepares the poisoned apple, dipping an apple into a boiling brew in a steamy cauldron. When it is withdrawn, a skull appears on its surface:

Let the Sleeping Death seep through.
Look on the skin, the symbol of what lies within.
Now turn red to tempt Snow White
To make her hunger for a bite...
When she breaks the tender peel
To taste the apple from my hand
Her breath will still, her blood congeal
Then I'll be fairest in the land.
But wait! There may be an antidote. Nothing must be overlooked. Oh, here it is. The Victim of the Sleeping Death can be revived only by Love's First Kiss. Love's First Kiss. No fear of that. The dwarfs will think she's dead. She'll be buried alive. Ha, ha, ha...

As she leaves her dark and shadowed workroom and descends another stone staircase, she passes a whitened skeleton which forever reaches for a water pitcher just beyond its reach. She laughs sadistically, asking: "Thirsty?" and then kicks the pitcher toward the figure, imploring: "Have a drink!" The impact of the pitcher breaks the brittle skeleton into many pieces - a red-bodied black skeleton crawls away from the inside of the pitcher. The old hag pushes off in a canoe down a mysterious underground waterway or subterranean river, with the glowing red apple in her basket ready for Snow White's bite. In the fog and mist, she makes her way to the dwarf's cottage, thinking: "The little men will be away, and she'll be all alone."

The next morning before they leave for work, each of the dwarfs are concerned about Snow White's safety: "Now don't forget my dear, the, the old Queen's a sly one! Full of witchcraft, so beware of strangers." Snow White innocently replies: "Don't worry. I'll be alright." When they leave, she kisses each of them goodbye (Dopey comes back more than once!). The last to leave, Grumpy warns:

Grumpy: Now, I'm warning you. Don't let nobody or nothing in the house.
Snow White: Why, Grumpy! You do care!

Vultures follow the old peddler woman on her journey. She is intensely wicked in her entire characterization. Her shadow covers Snow White when she looks in the dwarfs' kitchen window. The old hag asks Snow White:

Old Hag: All alone, my pet?
Snow White: Why yes, yes I am, but...
Old Hag: The, the little men are not here?
Snow White: No, they're not.
Old Hag: Uh. Mmmm. (smelling) Makin' pies?
Snow White: Yes, gooseberry pie.
Old Hag: It's apple pies that make the men folks' mouths water. Pies made from apples like these (holding out the red apple)
Snow White: Oh, they do look delicious.
Old Hag: Yes. But wait till you taste one, dearie. (laughter) Like to try one, hmm? Go on. Go on. Have a bite.

The vigilant woodland birds attack the hag, pecking at her until Snow White stops them, "shame on you for frightening a poor old lady," and apologizes. The old hag picks up the apple, realizing she still has a chance to deceive Snow White: "Oh, my heart, Oh my, my poor heart. Take me into the house and let me rest. A drink of water, please."

The ever-helpful animals sense danger and race to warn and fetch the dwarfs that the Queen has threatened Snow White. The dwarfs at first think the animals are just pestering them. The old hag continues to offer Snow White the luscious, but deadly poisonous apple:

Old Hag: And because you've been so good to poor old granny, I'll share a secret with you. This is no ordinary apple. It's a magic wishing apple.
Snow White: A wishing apple?
Old Hag: Yes! One bite and all your dreams will come true.
Snow White: Really?
Witch: Yes, girlie. Now, make a wish and take a bite.

The danger at the cottage is cross cut with the scene at the mine. Sleepy casually says: "Maybe the Queen's got Snow White." All the dwarfs realize what he has said is true. Grumpy cries out: "The Queen'll kill her! We've got to save her!" The dwarfs are carried on the backs of deer to rush back to save Snow White.

The old hag tempts Snow White even further, approaching ominously toward her:

Old Hag: There must be something your little heart desires. Perhaps there's someone you love.
Snow White: Well, there is someone.
Old Hag: I thought so. I thought so. (laughter) Old granny knows a young girl's heart. Now take the apple dearie, and make a wish (placing the apple in Snow White's hands)
Snow White (holding up the apple with her eyes closed): I wish, I wish...
Old Hag: That's it. Go on, go on...
Snow White: ...and that he will carry me away to his castle where we will live happily ever after.
Old Hag: Fine! Fine! Now, take a bite!...Don't let the wish grow cold!
Snow White (after biting into the apple): Oh, I feel strange, oh, oh...
Old Hag (expectantly rubbing her hands together): Her breath will still. Her blood congeal.

Snow White falls to the floor, the image of her hand extended as the bitten apple rolls on the floor. She faints into a sleeping death, locked in a deep sleep only the kiss of love can break. The old hag is jubilant with cackling laughter as lightning flashes: "Now I'll be fairest in the land."

The dwarfs are too late to save her - Snow White has already bitten the poisoned apple and entered into a deathlike sleep. In a classic confrontation between good and evil, they pursue the Queen up into the mountains just as a raging storm breaks out. Thinking she is trapped on a rocky crag ledge, she attempts to send a large boulder crashing down on the dwarfs. Amidst lightning and thunder bolts, lightning strikes the crag she is perched on and it gives way. She plunges to her death in the memorable death scene. The two ominous, macabre vultures lurk above, follow the path of her fall, swoop off their perch and circle down to her crushed body.

The heartbroken dwarfs place the lifeless body of Snow White on a bier, and hold a bedside vigil for her to the sound of organ music - the forest animals keep vigil outside. They are unable to part with her, so they build her a crystal coffin or casket and place her in it. The coffin's clear glass top foils the Queen's assumption that the beautiful Snow White would be buried and unable to be seen - or kissed:

...so beautiful, even in death, that the dwarfs could not find it in their hearts to bury her...they fashioned a coffin of glass and gold, and kept eternal vigil at her side...The Prince, who had searched far and wide, heard of the maiden who slept in the glass coffin.

She remains there through a full year, a cycle of seasons, as they stand around it grieving. Finally, her Prince comes and is relieved to find the ragged maiden that he had fancied at the castle. He gently kisses her cold red lips for farewell, not knowing that his Love's First Kiss will awaken her from her deathlike slumber. With great joy and cheering in the forest, Snow White goes off with the Prince on his horse - "and they lived happily ever after," but not before she kisses each of the dwarfs goodbye. Her Prince has indeed come, and the song "Some Day My Prince Will Come" is heard celebrating his arrival.

Also Worth Considering:
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)


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