Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Snow White: who's the grimmest of them all?

Posted By on 04.03.12 at 01:04 PM

Snow White:as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window frame
  • Snow White: "as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window frame"
I hadn’t read the Brothers Grimm tale “Snow White” for years. But when a new edition published by Harper Design, gorgeously illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia, arrived at the office, I thought it would make for nice bus-ride-home reading.

Wow, is it good. I’d forgotten how grim—and gruesome—the story actually is.

If you’re unfamiliar with the fairy tale, “Snow White” is about an evil queen who’s jealous of her stepdaughter, who’s more beautiful than she. So the vain queen conspires to have Snow White murdered. (Wikipedia has a decent synopsis.)

Maybe you’re familiar with “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

But how about:

“Bring me her lungs and liver as proof that you have killed her.” Not quite as catchy.

And the ending! I asked our film editor, J.R. Jones, who’s seen the recent film adaptation Mirror Mirror, if the movie ends as the book does. His one-word answer: no.

Here’s the queen crashing Snow White’s wedding to the handsome prince:

“The wicked woman let out a curse, and she was so paralyzed with fear that she didn’t know what to do. At first she didn’t want to go to the wedding feast. But she never had a moment’s peace after that and had to go see the young queen. When she entered, Snow White recognized her right away. The queen was so terrified that she just stood there and couldn’t budge an inch. Iron slippers had already been heated up for her over a fire of coals. They were brought in with tongs and set up right in front of her. She had to put on the red-hot shoes and dance in them until she dropped to the ground dead.”

And, scene.

I think it would have been cool to see Julia Roberts as the queen dancing in red-hot shoes until she dropped dead.

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