Greetings readers, fans and friends. Today we review “Snow White and the Seven Bradys”. After season five kicked off with two fun and memorable episodes, we get this. A beginning to end viewing of the Family Night Frolics would have been preferable to this nonsense. This episode definitely ranks in my bottom five of the series. The Bradys first performed a hastily produced version of Snow White and The Seven Dwarves on September 28th, 1973. I will go ahead and let you know friends, this will be the shortest review you read on Brady Bunch Reviewed. To give a scene by scene review of the performance at the show’s end would be too painful for us all. However valued readers, so you know how much I appreciate your reading this blog, I will give you some extra reading material this weekend. There will be a Weekend Special on Maureen McCormick’s autobiography two days from now. Let us begin reviewing “Snow White and the Seven Bradys”.
The story begins with Carol and Cindy arriving home. Apparently Cindy has some troubling news to share with Mike. Cindy asks if she might phone her father the news from Florida. Carol says the news must be shared and the pair walk into the house. This scene would suggest that Cindy has done something awful for which she is going to incur the wrath of her father’s anger like never before. Maybe Mike suffered some kind of head injury since the last episode and his personality shifted. I can’t see why Cindy would be so upset to share the Bradys are putting on a play. Maybe the director of the episode told Susan Olsen to pretend that she was pitching this ridiculous episode’s script to Robert Reed.
Once in Mike’s den, the audience learns what has troubled Cindy so. Her favorite teacher, Mrs. Whitfield, is retiring and $200 is needed to purchase her a retirement gift. In today’s dollars that is just over $1130. Mike at first thinks he is on tap to contribute some money to the gift, but learns his contribution will not “cost a cent”. Cindy suggested the money be raised by she and her family performing Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Mike does not take well to the idea as he is family’s sole breadwinner and has little time to take part in a play. Carol says she was caught up in the moment as everyone was standing and clapping, she could not refuse Cindy’s suggestion. Really? Cindy’s family acting out Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was the best idea for raising money? Had nobody else in the room ever had to raise money before?
The next few scenes have Cindy asking all of her siblings to take part in the play. All of them remember Mrs. Whitfield fondly and agree to help with the play. All have just one condition; each sibling, including Cindy, wants the part of Dopey. Why the role of Dopey is so coveted is never made clear. I will admit, I have never seen (or at least never recall seeing) Disney’s animated Snow White film. Does Dopey just steal the show in the movie? The round of recruiting actors ends with Cindy asking Alice to play the wicked queen.
The dilemma of who will portray Dopey is resolved by drawing names from a hat. As the hat passes Greg, he encourages good luck with “Come on Dopey baby”. He instead draws Doc. Peter drew a scarce chuckle for the episode when he says the name he drew was “seven and a quarter” suggesting he pulled out the hat size. It is not until each kid has pulled a name from the hat and nobody drew Dopey that it is realized they are an actor short to complete the cast. Alice says they must find an outsider willing to take the role. Just then Alice’s beau Sam arrives. It has been a while since we have seen him. His appearance sees that at least one good thing can be said about this episode; it has Sam in it. Sam will portray Dopey. The hat the Bradys draw names from looks like Mike’s fishing hat from Season One’s “A Camping We Will Go”.
The next few scenes show the Bradys preparing for the play. Greg and Peter have built some plywood trees. Mike delivers a cringe worthy joke as he suggests their authenticity would need to be determined by the three poodles next door. Carol is working on sewing the costumes. Alice practices her part while preparing dinner and inadvertently stirs the soup with her mirror.
Things seem to be going really well for the production until Cindy gets a phone call from the theater owner. She gave him the wrong date for the performance and the place is all ready rented! How such a mix up occurred is not made clear. Also not made clear is why the responsibility of reserving a theater was left up to a child of twelve years old. Cindy storms off to her room, totally destroyed by the gaff she made in reserving the theater. Carol comes upstairs and gives her the shortest talking to of the series. She said she’s never known Cindy to be a quitter and encourages her to seek another venue for the play.
The scenes that follow show the attempts of Sam and Greg to secure another place to perform the play. The second and last semi-funny line occurs when Greg’s plea to the theater owner that the performance is for charity is met with a reply from the owner that “he gave at the office”. Sam shows himself the best suited for the role of Dopey as he calls Alice and suggests a warehouse full of frozen meat be used as the play’s stage. He says they’d just have to remove all the meat (but doesn’t say to where) and the let the temperature rise up 80 degrees. During all of these scenes, I could not help but wonder why the school’s auditorium was not being used. Mrs. Whitfield is retiring from the school, surely they could use the structure’s auditorium. If not that school’s, why not another’s? Apparently, Mrs. Whitfield’s retiring and the Bradys putting on a play has warranted selling tickets and renting a venue; somewhere in the school system somebody should be willing to offer up a stage.
Mike comes up with a solution to the problem. The play will be performed in the Brady backyard. If the anticipated audience for the performance can fit in the family’s backyard, any money being spent on a theater was a complete waste of funds in the first place. Carol states that Mike has a day and a half to build a stage and rig a PA system. The other preparations that follow show Marcia, Jan and Alice sewing bed sheets together to make a curtain. Alice delivers a flat joke about show business versus sew business. Peter carelessly wrecks a sawhorse with some vigorous sawing.
The big day has arrived in the next scene. Carol has jitters about performing a play in her backyard. These jitters pale in comparison to Alice’s problem. She has no poisoned apple! She ate all of the Bradys’ apples while rehearsing her scenes. This must have just been stress eating as my familiarity with Snow White has the title character munching the apple, not the wicked queen.
In full costume, Mike and Sam rush to the market. The market they visit is like no other supermarket I’ve ever seen. Whatever doctor’s office, lawyers’ office or whatever this obviously an office building once housed vacated the place and a supermarket moved in. The supermarket taking up residence has blacked out windows. Maybe this is one of those co-ops exclusive only to paying members and no passerby may see the wares being sold.
While Mike is inside the market, Sam encounters a police officer who tells him he can’t park in front of the place. He asks Sam to step out of the car and gives him a hard time about his attire. Mike exits the market and the officer observes Mike’s equally bizarre clothes. The officer sends the pair on their way, but first asks about where the show is being performed should he want to take his kid to see it. Upon learning this is a backyard performance with paid admission, he lets Mike know a permit is required to perform such.
The policeman was played by Elvenn Havard. His feature film credits include the role of Doris Miller in “Tora! Tora! Tora!”. As I recall his role was very brief in the film; it was limted to him being seen on deck firing a machine gun. Cuba Gooding Jr. would have a much larger part playing the role in 2001’s “Pearl Harbor”. Elvenn Havard also played in “Midnight Madness” and “My Science Project”. TV credits included appearances on Matlock, Murder She Wrote and Mannix. IMDB lists his final role as being in 1995. While IMDB lists no date of death for him, another webage suggests he passed away in 2000.
Back at the house, Mike and Sam’s delayed return has the rest of cast antsy. Carol comes out on stage and introduces Mrs. Whitfield to the audience. I took the time to scan the number of people there and it looks to be right around 20-30 in attendance. If ticket prices alone were covering the cost of the $200 gift, each person paid around $6.50 for a ticket. That’s about $35 in today’s dollars. Even if the cost was for a beloved teacher’s gift, I’d have felt cheated paying that much to see the performance given in this episode. Speaking of those attending, the sunglasses lady pictured above really stands out in the scene.
Mrs. Whitfield was portrayed by Frances Whitfield. She was the on set teacher for the cast of The Brady Bunch. Barry Williams wrote how much he and the other kids loved her in his book. This was her only TV appearance per IMDB. She passed away in 2005 at the age of 96.
Mike and Sam return in the nick of time and the show goes on. As stated before, this part of the episode will not be reviewed scene for scene. Bobby, playing the dwarf Bashful says he knows the way home for the wayward dwarves, but is too bashful to share such. Maybe some viewer or reader of the original Snow White tale can let us know if this absurd line was in the original story. When it comes to originality, the Bradys didn’t do much to make this show their own. Greg’s stethoscope and doctor’s headlamp were the extent of cleverness in the production. Otherwise the play is nothing original and each person’s role is so overplayed it was painful for me to watch. The play also seems really short. Perhaps there were other scenes of the play the TV audience was not subjected to. The play ends and Mrs.Whitfield’s gift is brought out on stage.
The epilogue has Alice and Sam just hanging out in the Brady’s kitchen. It was nice to see them both enjoying some downtime. Previous visits by Sam usually saw him delivering meat and once even helping Alice prepare a meal. Here the two discuss possibly being married one day and Sam says that will happen when Alice is Snow White and he is Prince Charming.
Thank you for reviewing “Snow White and the Seven Bradys” with me. If you enjoy this episode, then this review might have been hard for you to read. Please share any thoughts you have on this episode with us! All comments posted here are enjoyed, even if the opinion is much different from my own. Tomorrow, there will be the Weekend Special and then on Friday the review for “You’re Never Too Young” will be posted. I recall this being a fun episode. Have a great week!