1937 Chevrolet Advertisement/Cinderella Story

This version of the Cinderella story that apparently served as an advertisement for Chevrolet has some odd aspects (i.e. the “fairy godmother” is a gnome dressed as Santa Claus). While there are many differences between this story and the common Cinderella tale (Perrault’s version), one that stuck out the most to me was the “bad witch.” Does including an evil witch have any significant effect on the plot of this short story? Or is the bad witch just being used as another way to represent the evil stepmother trying to oppress Cinderella?

Also, I find it interesting that Cinderella tells the prince she cannot marry him because she has no dowry.

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About Elisabeth Gruner

English professor, University of Richmond
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2 Responses to 1937 Chevrolet Advertisement/Cinderella Story

  1. kellyncampbell says:

    Although only briefly addressed due to the clip’s main focus on the race home between the coach and the Chevy, the idea that the stepsisters know it is Cinderella at the ball adds an interesting and important twist to the story. Because they know Cinderella is at the ball with the prince, they are able to attempt sabotaging Cinderella. In this case they know an evil witch (yet another twist), but even without the witch the two could have used this knowledge to try and separate Cinderella from the prince. These stepsisters are portrayed as exceedingly idiotic, but if other stories adopted this twist with more clever stepsisters, their meddling would be much more effective in ruining Cinderella’s happily ever after.

    On a side note, I was initially impressed that Cinderella was able to drive herself, but as soon as she marries the prince he takes over the wheel, reinstating the typical theme of feminine inferiority.

  2. gepstein says:

    The twists added for solely advertisement purposes, both take away from and add to the classic tale. By including an evil witch, Chevy made Cinderella’s journey into almost a battle. As Cinderella drives, all by herself, she in effect fights the evil witch. She become an active heroine who seemed to earn her happy ending. The witch was added by Chevrolet to show the durability of their cars. Ten minutes watching a car move through perfect weather conditions would hardly display any aspects of the vehicle’s endurance. Another aspect added purely for advertisement purposes was the prince’s and Cinderella’s worries about a dowery. The twist, however, takes away from the story as a whole. In no other version has a dowery been mentioned. By adding this concern, Chevy made their cars worth more than the prince’s love, and Cinderella’s ending loses much its emotional meaning. The car is as important to the clumsy prince and Cinderella herself.

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