This behind-the-scenes documentary includes interviews with people who were directly involved in the MGM classic musical 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers'. Those interviewed include actors ... See full summary »
Fred and Lilly are a divorced pair of actors who are brought together by Cole Porter who has written a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. Of course, the couple seem to act a great ... See full summary »
Tom and Ellen Bowen are a brother and sister dance act whose show closes in New York. Their agent books them in London for the same period as the Royal Wedding. They travel by ship where ... See full summary »
Billy Bigelow has been dead for fifteen years, and now outside the pearly gates, he long waived his right to go back to Earth for a day. But he has heard that there is a problem with his ... See full summary »
Adam, the eldest of seven brothers, goes to town to get a wife. He convinces Milly to marry him that same day. They return to his backwoods home. Only then does she discover he has six brothers - all living in his cabin. Milly sets out to reform the uncouth siblings, who are anxious to get wives of their own. Then, after reading about the Roman capture of the Sabine women, Adam develops an inspired solution to his brothers' loneliness. Written by
Melissa Portell <email@example.com>
Despite the extra work that shooting two different versions created, the cast had a marvellous time and Stanley Donen embraced the challenge of CinemaScope. He thought that with seven brides and seven brothers, the story itself lent itself perfectly to the medium since so many characters often had to be onscreen at the same time. He utilized every inch of the frame to maximize the visual impact of the new technology. The studio, who was being extremely tight with the budget, wound up having to put more money into the production anyway, despite trying to cut every corner. "I had to shoot and cut everything twice-restage scenes, put in a different set of marks, light it differently, loop it," said Stanley Donen. "We had two cutting rooms going, and it cost the studio another $500,000, which was a lot for then." See more »
Milly's white dress is long at the barn raising and when she returns home to minister to the brawling brothers. However, when she's dancing with Frank it's a little above her ankles. See more »
When are you gonna marry me Milly?
Oh, next week Sam.
She's gonna marry me, ain't you Milly?
What would your wife say Tom?
See more »
All Singin', All Dancin', All Fighting, All Lovin' Musical
How can "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" be such a wonderful musical? While the songs are lovely, they are mostly forgettable. The characters of the six brides and five of the brothers are almost hopelessly underwritten. Credit director Stanley Donen, choreographer Michael Kidd, cinematographer George Folsey, and a perfect cast led by Howard Keel and Jane Powell for creating one of the all time great musicals and an unforgettable motion picture experience even 50 years after its release. "Brides" has never been surpassed for ensemble performance, and that includes "West Side Story". This is largely due to Michael Kidd's choreography and the Donen/Folsey scene composition. Kidd exploited the best elements of each character's dance style (one brother is a ballet star; another, an acrobat) and created the most bravura ballroom/freestyle dance number in motion picture history, the barn dance sequence which formally introduces the "brides" to the "brothers". Kidd's work would have been in vain, however, had not Donen and Folsey so skillfully composed the scene. "Brides" is the best example of scene composition of any wide screen musical I've ever seen; every frame is filled with something visually interesting. Donen frequently, but subtly uses Jane Powell's tiny stature for comic effect by surrounding her with the tall brothers in submissive poses. Powell is clearly always in control, but her size and generally cheery temperament prevent her from ever seeming a bully. Donen also carefully chose to dress the brothers in bright, distinctly colored shirts, which enables the audience to clearly distinguish the characters during key scenes.
The movie also has a subtle feminist slant. Powell is clearly younger than her husband, Howard Keel, but she is also clearly a more mature and dominant character. For the time, "Brides" was also daring in its depiction of "good" women looking forward to enjoying sex. Prior to one song/dance number, bride Julie Newmarr poses on a bed in a position clearly representing "missionary position" sex, legs up and astride an imaginary lover's back.
Though the brides don't get as much screen time or individuality as the brothers, each looks as if she would be a great partner. Both the brides and the brothers get a satisfactory showcasing as couples in the last song, "Spring, Spring, Spring".
I'll leave others to explain the plot. I would like to mention that Donen had an uphill battle with the studio while making "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". The studio had so little faith, they continually cut "Brides" budget to put more money into the lumbering "Brigadoon." Sets and even cast members were loaned out to other movies. Brothers Russ Tamblyn an Jeff Richards, as well as part of the set can be seen in "Many Rivers to Cross." Instead of Technicolor, the studio used Ansco color. Thus, "Brides" looks about as good as "Wizard of Oz," but no where near as good as "Harvey Girls" or "Meet Me in St. Louis." That's quite an achievement being the best photographed, best choreographed and best ensemble acted musical of the last 50 years. I think it's also the most entertaining. I give "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" a "10."
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