Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dancing Guys and Dolls: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

It's been forever since I've done a Dancing Doll or Dancing Guys post but watching this movie made me want to do another!

Have you seen Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? If not...go find it...NOW!!!! It's the cutest movie ever (albeit a little on the sexist side. But what 1950s movie isn't??)

There's a lot to talk about with this movie, so I guess I'll start with a short synopsis for those of you who haven't seen it. So here we go:

Adam Pontipee, the eldest of seven unruly brothers goes into town (he lives on a farm outside of town near mountains) to find a bride. He goes into a saloon where he meets Milly, a pretty waitress who is tired of constantly waiting on men in the saloon. Adam asks Milly to marry him...on the same day that they meet. Milly is lonesome and thinks Adam is handsome, so she agrees right away. On their way back to Adam's home in the mountains, Milly tells him of her hopes and dreams of belonging to and taking care of just ONE man... Then, she arrives at Adam's home where she meets his SIX brothers (who are all named in alphabetical order with Biblical names: Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank and Gideon), all of which Adam forgot to tell her about. And they all live in the same house!!

Needless to say, Milly is very upset. Not only is she surprised to find 7 men living under one roof, but the brothers are rough and love to fight! The fight over food and over who has the worst name and she is expected to cook, clean and take are of all the men. Eventually she becomes fond on the brothers and cleans them up and tries to teach them how to court girls.

One day the whole family goes into town for a barn raising. Each boy meets a pretty girl and of course sing and dance the night away. Eventually the night ends and they have to return to their farm.

On a lonely winter's night Adam tells the boys the story of The Rape of the Sabine Women (a story about Roman men who kidnap and make wives of women of Sabine families). So you can just imagine what happened next...Yes... the Pontipee brothers set out into the night and kidnap the girls they fell in love with at the barn raising!

As they head back to their farm with a wagon full of girls, they cross a gorge that is prone to avalanche. The boys purposely cause avalanche which blocks the passage back into town so that the townspeople can't come looking for their stolen girls. With that, the girls are stuck on the Pontipee farm until the snow melts in the spring.

Of course Milly is furious when she finds out what the brothers have done. She demands that the brothers stay in the barn, while the "brides" stay in the house. Adam is surprised  and offended by Milly's reaction to the whole situation and goes to live out the winter alone in a trapping cabin away from home.

During the winter the girls, who have not yet taken kindly to the brothers play the most hilarious pranks on them as revenge (as well as to pass the time). By spring, Milly has given birth to a baby girl and of course (in true 1950s musical fashion) the girls have fallen in love with the brothers.

Adam returns home when he learns of the birth of his daughter and realizes that the parents of the stolen girls must be saddened by their kidnapping. He tells the boys to return the girls. They refuse. And so do the girls. They hide so as not to be taken back home.

The townspeople are finally able to pass the gorge and plan on seeking vengeance.  Of course a misunderstanding occurs and the townspeople think the girls have been violated and a fight starts. During the fighting one of the girl's father, who is a minister, hears the baby crying. He asks who the baby belongs to and all the brothers and their "brides" claim the baby is theirs. Since he is not sure he orders all the brothers to be married to their girl in six shot gun weddings.

Whew...that's a long one!

In between all of that are the amazing songs and beautiful dance numbers!! Some of the best in musical history. And that's not just me saying that! Every time I see a TV special on dance and Hollywood musicals this one always comes up. It even has one of my favorite male ballet dancers in it as brother Ephraim (Jacques d' Amboise). And Jane Powell stars as Milly!

The cast is made up of other well known actor dancers of the day including Julie Newmar and Russ Tamblyn (from West Side Story)

Its a great movie! It has a million laughs in it! The songs are great and have that iconic 1950s musical sound. It's just an all around good film and was an Oscar nominee in 1954.

 Try to find it and snuggle up with some snacks and enjoy! You'll thank me later!!


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  1. It's so sad that they don't do big musical movies like this any more. There are so many talented dancers out there (you perhaps?) that have so few places to show their talent.

  2. I love this movie! So much fun. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Love it! One of my top movies! Love all the dancin and singin xox

  4. This movie is such rollicking good fun! It was a fave as a child, and remains one to this day! I've probably seen it ten time and am sure many more viewings are bound to happen over the years, too. :)

    ♥ Jessica

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