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This movie stands as a textbook case of misusing a good cast. The film had two leads who were simply not used properly.
The film originally started as a vehicle for Carol Heiss, who was a recent Olympic Gold Medalist in figure skating. This was an attempt by Twentieth Century Fox to make her the next Sonja Henie (who had made a number of successful films for the studio a couple of decades before).
Unfortunately, they forgot that Sonja's films were mainly tailored made to show off her skating. This film was taking the plot of "Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs" but did not alter the plot to fit the skating. Thus, the skating seemed just thrown in. Worse, Carol had no acting experience, and this was giving her a major role. Henie's earlier films kept her roles smaller than this.
Once the studio realized that Carol couldn't carry the film as it was, they could have rewritten the film to fit the skating and not relied on her acting. But they didn't want to go that far, so they tried to compensate with one of the most brazen acts of Stunt Casting in film history. They brought in The Three Stooges to take the place of the seven dwarfs.
That could have worked, but they still didn't rewrite the script, and while the Stooges had a lot of screen time, it started late in the film, and had barely any Slapstick. You read that right. A trio whose career was based on slapstick, had almost none. Not to mention being called upon to do some serious pathos, for which the Stooges were clearly unsuited. This is why the film was turned from a decent, if passible, film into something loathed by their fans.
If you aren't a big fan of the stooges, you may enjoy this film, though. It's otherwise a nice, frothy film.
This film contains examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: The inclusion of Count Oga, for one. Probably the prince got the best deal in this movie. He actually has a role in the story instead of just a cameo, and he even gets to take part in an action-packed climax. The actor playing him even had a healthy acting career after this.
- Canon Foreigner: Count Oga
- The Dragon: Count Oga
- Dream Ballet
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: Snow White's skating dress on her birthday is loaded with sequins.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Count Oga takes a header into a cauldron filled with boiling oil and is shown sinking out of sight with an utterly agonized look on his face. If the movie wasn't so full of Narm this would surely count as some sort of Nightmare Fuel.
- Gorgeous Period Dress
- Hey, It's That Voice!: The Prince's ventriloquist dummy Quinto is voiced by Mel Blanc using his Bugs Bunny voice.
- Jail Bake: With a sandwich instead of a cake.
- Non Actor Vehicle: Carol Heiss
- Old Shame: Okay, not the old part, since this was late in their careers, but The Stooges didn't like to talk about this film afterwards. (Moe Howard used to refer to it as "our Technicolor mistake.")
- Parental Abandonment: Snow White's mother, of course to have the king remarry, and her father dies on her birthday.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Snow White's skating dresses.
- Pretty in Mink: The film had a number of dresses with fur trim, including the white skating dress Snow White wears, and she gets an ermine muff for her birthday.
- Prince Charming: Actually named that.
- Princess Classic
- Rule of Three: The magic dagger Count Oga wears grants three wishes, but they can only be used for good.
- And of course, 3 Stooges.
- Slapstick: There was some, just not enough.
- Stunt Casting: The Stooges
- Whole Costume Reference: Show White's skating dress was reused in Land of the Giants.