🎥 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – 1954
The Story …
In 1850, backwoodsman Adam Pontipee arrives at an Oregon Territory town to look for a bride (“Bless Your Beautiful Hide”).
He eventually meets Milly and proposes to her after seeing the quality of her cooking and her insistence on finishing her chores before she leaves with him. Despite not knowing him well, she accepts under the belief she is taking care of only him (“Wonderful, Wonderful Day”).
When they arrive at his mountain cabin however, she is surprised to learn that he has six brothers – Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank, and Gideon – who all live uncouth lives with him …
An angered Milly accuses Adam of manipulating her into becoming his servant, but he acknowledges that he needs her help due to how difficult living in the backwoods is and plans on sleeping outside to avoid losing face with his brothers, after Milly throws him out of the room.
She eventually lets Adam sleep inside upon seeing him crawl up to sleep in a tree, explaining she had high hopes regarding marriage and love (“When You’re in Love”).
The next morning, Milly teaches the Pontipees cleanliness and proper manners. She is later shocked to learn Adam’s brothers are unmarried as they rarely see girls and never learned how to communicate with them. Despite initial difficulties in changing their “mountain man” ways, they eventually realize they can only get brides by following Milly’s example (“Goin’ Co’tin'”).
At a barn-raising social-gathering, the brothers meet Dorcas, Ruth, Martha, Liza, Sarah, and Alice, all of whom take a fancy to each other despite the women already having suitors, who taunt the Pontipees (“Hoedown/Barn Dance”). The brothers resist the urge to fight at Milly’s request, but the suitors attack Adam, provoking Gideon to retaliate. A brawl ensues, in which the physically superior Pontipees overpower the suitors, but are expelled from town.
As winter comes and the brothers pine for the women they fell in love with (“Lonesome Polecat”), Milly asks Adam to help them. He reads his brothers “The Sobbin’ Women” and Milly’s Bible, telling them they should do whatever it takes to get their loves.
With Adam’s aid, the brothers kidnap the six women before causing an avalanche in Echo Pass to stop the townspeople pursuing them. However, the Pontipees realize they forgot to kidnap a parson to conduct their weddings. Furious at the Pontipees’ actions, Milly forces the men to live in the barn while the women stay in the house with her, sleeping in the brothers’ beds. In response, a similarly furious Adam leaves for the Pontipees’ trapping cabin further up the mountain to spend the winter alone. Gideon tells Milly, but she refuses to stop him.
Over the winter, the women vent their frustrations by pranking the remaining Pontipees and musing upon their slowly softening feelings towards marriage (“June Bride”). Spring arrives and the women and the Pontipees are paired off and happy in each other’s company (“Spring, Spring”) until Milly announces she is having Adam’s baby, causing everyone present to come together to help her.
She gives birth to a baby girl named Hannah in the spring and Gideon leaves to tell Adam. Adam still refuses to return, despite learning he has a daughter, so Gideon berates him for his selfishness and punches him before leaving, causing Adam to feel shame for his actions. After the snow in Echo Pass melts, Adam returns, as he had said he would. Upon meeting his daughter, he realizes how worried the townspeople must be over the missing women and tells his brothers they should return them.
The brothers – although heartbroken – acquiesce, and attempt to bring their respective brides back to their families, but the women run and hide rather than go back to town. After discovering this, Milly tells the brothers, who track them down only to encounter the angry townspeople, who have come through the pass intending to hang them for kidnapping the girls.
Alice’s father, Reverend Elcott, hears Hannah crying as the townspeople sneak up onto the farm. Worried the baby might belong to one of the six women, he asks the brides whose child Hannah is.
After they all answer “mine”, the fathers begrudgingly agree to give the six brothers and the six women a collective shotgun wedding.
- Directed by Stanley Donen
- Screenplay by Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich and Dorothy Kingsley
- Based on “The Sobbin’ Women” 1938 story in Argosy by Stephen Vincent Benét
- Produced by Jack Cummings
- Cinematography : George Folsey
- Edited by Ralph E. Winters
- Music by Gene de Paul, Johnny Mercer (lyrics), Adolph Deutsch (musical direction) and Saul Chaplin (musical supervision)
- Production Company : Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
- Distributed by Loew’s, Inc.
- Release Date : July 15, 1954
- Howard Keel as Adam
- Jane Powell as Milly
- Jeff Richards as Benjamin
- Julie Newmar as Dorcas
- Matt Mattox as Caleb
- Ruta Lee as Ruth
- Marc Platt as Daniel
- Norma Doggett as Martha
- Jacques d’Amboise as Ephraim
- Virginia Gibson as Liza
- Tommy Rall as Frank
- Betty Carr as Sarah
- Russ Tamblyn as Gideon
- Nancy Kilgas as Alice
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