An ex-husband and wife team star in a musical version of 'The Taming of the Shrew'; off-stage, the production is troublesome with ex-lovers' quarrels and a gangster looking for some money owed to them.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture. See more »
The movie was set in 1850, but there was a portrait of Abraham Lincoln hanging in the cabin by the stairs. Oregonians in 1850 would never have heard of Lincoln, much less have had his portrait hanging up. See more »
What do you call her?
I was thinking of some name like Hannah or Hagar or Hephzibah, picking up where your mother left off.
I got to thinking up at the cabin, about the baby. How I'd feel if someone came creeping in and carried her off. I'd string him up the nearest tree. I'd shoot him down as I would a thieving fox.
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Howard Keel died yesterday bringing a lifetime of energetic and fun films to a close. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was one of those films. It had catchy memorable tunes with strong hooks that stay in the brain for days. It took full advantage of brilliant color, fabulous choreography, and even managed to have that one thing that too many musicals eschew... a plot... complete with character arcs. Adam Pontipee is the eldest of seven brothers who decides that living in a squalor with six other scroungy bachelors and horrible cooking has gone on long enough. When Milly agrees to marry him on the day they meet, everyone's in for a shock.
Adam finds that a wife is more than a cooking and cleaning slave and that his actions can effect others far more than he ever thought. Milly learns that expectations and dreams don't always work out the way you hope, but they can still work out. The six brothers learn that there's more to life than chopping wood, that Adam isn't always right and that you can't just take what you want. And six young women (the brides) discover that there are more choices than the ones people put in front of you.
The movie asks some hard questions and doesn't answer all of them. Initially the brides are all quite take with the brothers, until the bachelors in town chase them back into the mountains. When the bachelors decide to kidnap the brides we have to ask ourselves how such an act could work out well. Before we heap indignities on the writers, we should also ask whether the townsfolk should be allowed to chase off anyone who might contend for the affections of the girls they have their eyes on. That's one of the finest points of this movie. These aren't matters of black and white. This is a story of humanity and of men and women. But mostly, this is a fine musical and part of Howard Keel's enduring legacy.
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