Musical Monday: Brigadoon, Poodles!

Posted on March 05, 2007


Ah, Brigadoon. The movie that asks that age-old question, “What if the Amish lived in Scotland and had magical powers?”


Our movie starts with the charming little Scottish town of Brigadoon as its residents wake up to the sun’s rays and stroke their faces with flowers.

Trust us, it only gets weirder.

Nearby, Van Johnson and Gene Kelly, two American tourists attempting to hunt game, realize they’re lost.

Why don’t men hunt in suits anymore?

Meanwhile, everyone in Brigadoon is on their 4th cup of coffee.

Gene notices the little town and, curious as to why it’s not on the map, decides to check it out.

In town, we meet Jean and her older sister Fiona, the fabulous Cyd Charisse. We learn that Jean is getting married that day.

Fiona sings to Jean and her eight other sisters that she’s a picky bitch and that’s why she’s not married yet. Then they dance, of course. We can’t help but wonder how their parents managed to have ten adult daughters under the age of 25. No wonder their mother’s dead. Her uterus probably exploded.

Later, in the town square, Fiona meets up with Harry, who is both melodramatic and for some unexplained reason, totally miserable. She tries to compliment him on his sassy hat, but he runs off, fighting back the tears. We like him already.

Then of course, she meets Gene Kelly and totally ignores Van Johnson. We would have ignored him too. Van spends most of the movie drinking, shooting his gun in to the air, and making sarcastic comments. Pretty much a young Dick Cheney.

Anyway, they’re hungry and she directs them to the town square, where everyone stares at them like they’ve got two heads and refuses to serve them.

Then they meet Jean’s fiance Charlie, who shows off his magnificent thighs and invites the boys to stay for his wedding. Charlie wins the “Stew Pot” award, meaning, we don’t really care about his singing or dancing, we just want him to stand there naked.

Seriously, they should have given those thighs their own number.

Gene and Van utilize the most effective form of American diplomacy, tap dancing.

How awesome would it be if Condi Rice tap-danced her way through the middle east?

See? It works!

Gene’s all “This is great and everything, but where’s that girl in the funky collar?”

He catches up with her and she introduces him to the Scottish custom of gathering heather in front of enormous painted backdrops.

Then he introduces her to the American custom of inappropriate dancing.

Miserable Harry tells Fiona’s father that he hates this town and he hates everyone in it. Like a goth teenager in plaid. Really, it’s because everyone made fun of his hat.

Meanwhile, Gene, fresh from burying his face in Cyd’s crotch, excitedly heads toward the bridge for more heather. Cyd freaks out and begs him not to cross the bridge, then dramatically runs off.

Gene sings the one and only decent song in the entire movie (“Almost Like Being in Love”) to a thoroughly disgusted Van Johnson.

Gene decides to find out just what’s going on in this screwy town, so he catches up with Fiona again and she takes him to see The Old Man.

He tells them that two hundred years ago, their minister made a pact with God to protect the town from witches and so every morning when the town wakes up, a hundred years have passed. Also, no residents are ever allowed to leave the town or the whole town will disappear forever. This is supposed to protect them from the evil outside world. Yeah, we don’t get the reasoning behind that one either.

Gene’s just shocked that he’s fallen in love with a 200-hundred-year-old girl. We’re just shocked that she had the nerve to be picky about a husband when she’s only got a couple dozen guys to choose from.

Later, Charlie and Jean get married. It’s comforting to know that even 200 hundred years ago, the wedding traditions were the same. Older sisters were forced to wear ugly bridesmaid gowns…

…everyone did the Hokey-Pokey…

…and a fight breaks out.

Harry, the miserable goth in plaid, once again tells everyone he hates them for forcing him to stay in this godforsaken town. He runs off, shouting that he’s leaving the town and he doesn’t give one good Scottish shit about what happens to the rest of them.

We’re kind of on Harry’s side on this one.

The men rip off their shirts and chase Harry through the woods. Alright! Now we’re talking!

Men in skirts fighting. Is there anything more entertaining than that?

Anyway, Dick Cheney thinks he sees a grouse and fires.

Van, you moron. He doesn’t look anything like a grouse.

Harry’s dead and the town is saved through good old-fashioned American firepower. Cyd and Gene dance their delight while the body’s still warm.

Gene tells her he wants to give up everything and stay with her.

He runs off to tell Van while Cyd thinks “That’s right. That fine ass is gonna be hitting me for the next ten thousand years. Score!”

Van’s all “What are you, stupid?”

Apparently, Gene’s love wasn’t as strong as he thought because that’s all it took to get him to change his mind. They leave, and the town disappears into the mist.

Back in New York, we meet Gene’s fiance, Jane. Sure, she’s straight out of the “Big City Bitch” file in central casting, but she’s the one character in the entire film that we wanted to spend time with. She’s fabulous. We just want to smoke cigarettes and drink Manhattans with her while we make fun of all the other women in the room.

Gene’s all “To hell with these big city society girls! I want a girl who doesn’t smoke and only bathes once a week! I’m outta here!”

Van’s all “Heading back to Scotland, where I can kill a man and get away with it? Dude! I am SO there!” But of course, the town is no longer there. And also of course, it materializes just as they’re getting ready to leave.

Old Man, who should now be called “Old Man Who Pulls a Happy Ending Out of His Ass,” meets them on the bridge and says “You must really love her. You woke me up.”

What? The Fuck?

Yadda yadda yadda. You know what happens. Van shoots the old man in the face because he knows he can get away with it and Gene and Fiona disappear into the mist to live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, Gene wakes up the next day and,realizing that everyone he’s ever known or loved has been dead for 50 years, spends most of the day crying. The day after that, he wakes up and the town has materialized in the middle of a high-speed rail line, killing half the town’s inhabitants. The day after that, they’re all killed by aliens.[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

Anyway, we couldn’t find any clips to illustrate this post, but we did find the movie trailer for the completists among you:

Next week: Chin up and tits out, ladies because Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

    • Muse of Ire

      Musical Mondays are always a fabulous start to my week!

      Seriously, why are all the “classic” musicals so lame?

    • madelineanne

      Mmmm, Gene Kelly’s ass and Cyd Charisse’s legs. Sooo much pretty!
      The more I tihnk about these musicals (and really that’s just never a good idea) the more I wonder what happy drugs were floating through the studio vents at that time. And as I am stuck at work I also somewhat wonder where I can get some of whatever it was.

    • brilliant

      I think I’m beginning to understand the concept of musical theater now. The point seems to be to gloss over unbelieveably lame plots with as much signing and dancing as possible so that people won’t realize they’re watching crap.

      Alas, the magic of Cinescope wore off years ago and now rainbow colored clothing on tight asses and luscious legs are simply not enough to get by anymore.

      But luckily some things (StewPot!) will never grow old.

    • Anonymous

      i’ve never seen this one before. and now i know what to rent on my next trip to the video store. gotta tell you, the hat sold me.

    • BrianB

      You guys should know that bias cut plaid makes everything look bigger! I mean EVERYTHING!

      This is just hilarious and I would pay good money to see Condi dancing her way to a peaceful Middle East! Even if it’s just Off Broadway!

      Thank you for making this such a delightful visit to Scotland!

      BrianB

    • macasism

      Who cares about the plot? (execpt to make fun of it, of course!) It's all about Gene & Cyd dancing. Cyd was so amazing….

    • Bill

      “The men rip off their shirts and chase Harry through the woods. Alright! Now we’re talking!”

      You guys are too funny! I really have to stop eating my lunch when I read Musical Monday or I’ll end up choking to death at my desk.

      The Lerner & Loewe score from Broadway was hacked to pieces for the movie. There are easily 5 or 6 more songs in the stage version. Some of the best stuff was cut for the film. Meg Brockie is a GREAT character in the stage version and has some rather amusing and saucy songs to sing.

      The kilts and Kelly’s tailor are the only things that save this one.

      Bonus – look for George “Berrrrrrnarrrrrdo” Chakiris in the town dance numbers. If Greek Americans can play Puerto Ricans, I guess they can play Scots, too.

    • Say What?

      Did you happen to notice that TCM’s Star of the Month for March is Gene Kelly? Every Monday at 8pm they will be running Gene movies. Tonight it starts with “Anatomy of a Dancer”, followed by “For Me and My Gal” then “Du Barry Was a Lady”. “Summer Stock” and “Thousands Cheer.”

      I think they got wind of the Boys’ Musical Mondays and knew they were starting March with a Gene Kelly Movie!!

      Ok, now I have to check out the “review” of Brigadoon.

    • thombeau

      Teehee! I laughed so hard MY uterus exploded! Or something did, anyway.

      Love ya, boys! XOXOXOXOXO

    • LAP

      I love Gene Kelly and Cyd, but I really find Lerner & Loewe musicals so boring that I was in this in high school, and don't remember anything about it at all.

    • macasism

      Can’t believe you didn’t mention that this movie was directed by Vicente Minelli. Yes, that’s right, HER dad, whose credits include Meet Me in St. Louis, the Band Wagon (oh god, you have to do that movie!) An American in Paris, Gigi (another must!) and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Dude was the bomb.

    • ayla

      I love me some gene kelly. The way he has his hat on in that screencap, just jauntily perched on his head, god it makes me want to fuck him for days.

      And that’s why musicals rock. Thank you so much.

    • valpal

      Total trivia: my Mom, who would’ve been 83 this year, took tap dancing lessons from Gene Kelly when she was a little girl…long before he was famous. I hesitate to say this, for obvious reasons, but she remembered with fondness sitting on his lap.

      Having started with the master, Mom became a kick ass dancer.

    • aimee

      Wow, valpal, that is some cool family history!

      I *love* musical Mondays. I’ve seen all these films so many times, but somehow never noticed Gene burying his head in Cyd’s crotch. Thanks for giving me a new perspective, boys. Love you!

    • brilliant

      Oh, to be Cyd’s crotch….

    • Anonymous

      An elderly Lady used to give us video tapes of musicals she was tired of watching herself. She gave us “Seven Brides” (which I adored and would watch before bed almost every night) and “Brigadoon” (which to this day I have never seen all the way through. It was just so boring or weird, or something just didn’t work about it).

    • Angie

      When I was a kid before cable tv I would be so excited when a musical was the afternoon weekend movie, except when it was Brigadoon. I do like Thighs McAllister singing his Bonnie Jean song and I also like the scene back in New York but that is it.

      I want you to do A Chorus Line. Please?

    • Miranda

      But, poodles, what is next week’s musical??? I must know!

      I would love to see you do “Grease” sometime — the musical that teaches young girls that all they have to do to get the boy of their dreams is turn into giant sluts. You have to admit, it’s a valuable lesson. :-)

    • Anonymous

      i can’t wait for gentlemen prefer blondes next week! it actually happens to be on the way here from netflix so it will be fresh in my head. i was secretly hoping you boys would do a monroe film. horray!

    • ToddNY

      I love it. Musical Mondays are fabulous!

    • ToddNY

      “Bill said…

      “The men rip off their shirts and chase Harry through the woods. Alright! Now we’re talking!”

      You guys are too funny! I really have to stop eating my lunch when I read Musical Monday or I’ll end up choking to death at my desk.

      The Lerner & Loewe score from Broadway was hacked to pieces for the movie. There are easily 5 or 6 more songs in the stage version. Some of the best stuff was cut for the film. Meg Brockie is a GREAT character in the stage version and has some rather amusing and saucy songs to sing.

      The kilts and Kelly’s tailor are the only things that save this one.

      Bonus – look for George “Berrrrrrnarrrrrdo” Chakiris in the town dance numbers. If Greek Americans can play Puerto Ricans, I guess they can play Scots, too. “

      Bill, I love you…almost as much as I love the boys : – )

    • Sarah

      “Our movie starts with the charming little Scottish town of Brigadoon as its residents wake up to the sun’s rays and stroke their faces with flowers.”

      LOL. That is so funny! Love the post, boys!

    • yawningdog

      ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ is an all time favorite of mine. I can’t wait to hear your take on Marilyn’s iron clad logic on love.

    • mumblesalot (Laura A)

      Excellent, now I finally understand the plot.

      Yawningdog said
      ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ is an all time favorite of mine…”

      ditto

    • Anonymous

      You *have* to do “The Court Jester”. It may not as classic as the others you’ve analyzed, but it does have a chorus line of lavender-clad knights.

    • Clio Bluestocking

      “I want a girl who doesn’t smoke and only bathes once a week!”

      And in Brigadoon, that would be a bath every seven hundred years, whether she needs it or not!

      I re-read Musical Mondays several times throughout the week, and everytime I laugh so hard I think that I am going to sprain something!

      On a side not, would you beleive that the video store in the tiny little town where I am currently exiled has no – NO – musicals? They have the “Left Behind” series, but no musicals. That’s life in red state America for ya. Thank the powers of the internet that there is Netflix!

    • Tom in Chicago

      I’ve always hated Brigadoon–stage or movie. As the boys point out, the only good song is “Almost like being in Love” and it doesn’t even fit in with the style of the rest of the music. Ugh.

      Can’t wait for the screen caps of “Is thre anyone here for Love” from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I sense some new wallpaper for my desktop.

    • Gorgeous Things

      Yah, I have to admit, Brigadoon just never did it for me. I do love the Dick Cheney parallels though!

      Now “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”? That’s my kind of musical!

    • Anonymous

      Brigadoon proves there was crack in the 50’s. This was the most bizarre of all of the musicals. Even “The Red Shoes” and “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” aren’t this crazazy. Maybe the studio heads smoked Gene Kelly’s ass (Oh, the imagery!), lost their minds and made this flick! That seems to be the most reasonable explanation.

      PS: Valpal, in the spirit of your family history, can I touch you?

    • valpal

      Anonymous 2:09: Your comment…I am so touched! There are now, officially, only 3 degrees of separation between you and Gene Kelly’s lap (of course, that also puts you at 4 degrees of separation from Cyd’s crotch!)

    • Anonymous

      valpal said…

      Anonymous 2:09: Your comment…I am so touched! There are now, officially, only 3 degrees of separation between you and Gene Kelly’s lap (of course, that also puts you at 4 degrees of separation from Cyd’s crotch!)

      3/06/2007 8:55 AM

      YEAH!
      It doesn’t get cooler than that!

    • brilliant

      To whomever it was who mentioned TCM’s star of the month theme, THANK YOU!

      I watched the special on Gene Kelly last night and it was fabulous! It also reminded me that there are some truly wonderful musicals out there. I’d forgotten all about An American in Paris and Singin’ in the Rain.

      I will get off the crack now.

    • TLo

      brilliant said…

      To whomever it was who mentioned TCM’s star of the month theme, THANK YOU!

      I watched the special on Gene Kelly last night and it was fabulous! It also reminded me that there are some truly wonderful musicals out there. I’d forgotten all about An American in Paris and Singin’ in the Rain.

      I will get off the crack now.

      Same here. It was a great documentary!

      T&L

    • Say What?

      brilliant and Boys, you are welcome! I am trying to pay back The Boys for sharing their knowledge so if I can give them more stuff to choose from…

      I caught some of the special, but then had to go back to being the “mean old mom” and make the kids do their homework.

      Will try to catch it later in the month, though.

    • James Derek Dwyer

      An American in Paris is terrible.

      Sorry- I said it.

    • Anonymous

      Okay – I must admit this – my friends and I (since we were in college)go to local high school musical productions – just because they are (usually) so achingly bad… in a very good way.

      “Brigadoon” is one of our favorites – because we all hate the musical SO much. It is such a “WTF” from beginning to end, and you can tell that all of those HS kids, dancing their hearts out in pseudo-kilts have NO EARTHLY IDEA what this whole thing is about. However, we also sneak in snacks, because it goes on for frickin-forever.

      Yes. We are gluttons for punishment. Can’t WAIT for next week!

      profp

    • Anonymous

      we just finished this musical at my high school. i think you guys pretty much summed it up perfectly…

    • Anonymous

      Please please please PLEASE do West Side Story!!!!!

    • KingRoper

      First, I LOVE YOU BOYS!!

      Ok, now for ‘BringASpoon’ (as we always called it)… the thing I never understood was that when the Americans arrive (does that EVER turn out well anywhere in history?), poor Harry is just sick to death of being stuck in Brigadoon… but it’s only THE SECOND DAY that they’ve been enchanted! How are you sick of it – much less used to it – when it only just happened?

      But any excuse to put Gene Kelly in ass-hugging pants is good by me.

    • Vic

      Never was a Van Johnson fan. I saw him perform once in a dinner theatre play years ago and he hogged every scene. It was distasteful to witness, and I felt sorry for the younger actors who had to put up with the shenanigans of this so-called “pro.” I’ve avoided all Van Johnson movies since. Hence, I’ve never seen Brigadoon. However, you guys made the film seem hilarious. Thanks for the great read.

    • Vera

      This is the first one you guys have done that I haven’t seen, and it is officially queued on Le Netflix. I can’t wait for next Monday. Was there ever a gayer number than “Isn’t Anyone Here for Love?”? I believe not. Yes, Jane Russell (one of Hollywood’s most tragically underused leading ladies, in my opinion), why won’t all of these rippling, greased-up men in tiny shorts performing slow motion Greco-Roman wrestling give you the time of day? I wonder what it could be? Oh, they’re athletes? Is that what you kids called it back in the day? Fun fact, her younger brother is in that number.

      You guys are doing “Kiss Me, Kate” some time in the near future, correct?

    • Jessica

      I read this blog quite faithfully, though I never comment. Musical Mondays are one of my very favorite things. Just last week, I woke up with an overwhelming urge to watch some Marilyn and came back from the video store with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It was as terribly glorious as I always remembered, but there was one part that stuck out, and all the google-imaging in the world wouldn’t pull up a picture for me. So please, for the love of kitschy and kinky queers everywhere, please provide us with a screen shot of the bondage chandelier in the musical number at the end.