In full 70mm splendour!
Hello again friends, it’s time for Musical Mondays again. I thought it would be nice to continue the trend of Howard Keel and sexist movie posters by writing about 1954’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Starring Howard Keel and Jane Powell, SB4SB (that’s easier!) was considered by the studio to be a ‘B’ movie, so despite a stellar cast which included some of the greatest dancers of the day, and despite being directed by Stanley Donen, very little money was attributed by MGM towards sets, so you can easily see the backdrop and the crepe paper flowers. Almost sixty years on, however, these little touches serve to add charm to the film, and let you concentrate on the wonderful music and lyrics.
Based on the book “The Sobbin’ Women”, which in itself was about the old Roman tale of The Sabine Women, the oldest Pontipee brother Adam, a backwoodsman, charms the lovely Milly from the nearby (but still very remote) town. He forgets to let on that he has six younger brothers: Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frankincense and Gideon. She eventually teaches these wild men some manners and, of course, how to dance, and soon they want a wife of their own. So the boys go and steal their women (like the Sabine women), everything is terrible, but then in a stunning occurrence of Stockholm Syndrome, all six captive women fall in love with their captors and everyone ends up happily married.
Sounds racy, but it’s wonderfully told and the singing and dancing are so incredible that they have turned Seven Brides for Seven Brothers into a long-lasting classic that MGM never foresaw.
The cast also featured Tommy Rall (another Kiss Me Kate alum), Russ Tamblyn (who went on to star in West Side Story) and Julie Newmar, who became Catwoman. That’s enough chat from me, it’s time for some music! I hope you enjoy this selection of songs and dances – Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is an absolute classic.