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Seven Brides For Seven Brothers

Released

Latest Home Video

Oct 11, 2004

MPAA Rating:

G


Run Time:

102

Director

Stanley Donen

Scott Benson

Cast

Jane Powell

Howard Keel

Stanley Donen

Saul Chaplin

Michael Kidd

Studio

1954 Warner Home Video

Still shot from the movie: Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.

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Reviewed by

Overall B+
ViolenceB+
SexB+
LanguageA
Drugs/AlcoholB
Run Time102

Making the Grades

When I was a teen, I befriended a family of seven brothers. As I came from a clan of almost as many sisters, my gentler, quieter upbringing just didn’t prepare me for the boys’ jovial jousting and rambunctious roughhousing. Regardless of popular opinion, I decided the two sexes were definitely not created equal!

In Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Milly (Jane Powell) is about to reach a similar conclusion. Full of romantic notions, the hardworking domestic help at a frontier inn agrees to marry a dashing backwoodsman, even though the only conversation they’ve shared is his brisk proposal. A few minutes later, the newlyweds head up into the hills towards the isolated farmstead they will call home. In the haste of the arrangements, Adam (Howard Keel) fails to explain his definition of marital bliss, which amounts to having a little woman to do the cooking, cleaning and laundry. Nor does he mention his six dependant bachelor brothers who’ll need some tending too.

“Bless her beautiful hide” (their words not mine), rather than regretting falling in love at first sight, the plucky Milly determines to fix up the pigpen of a house, and to mother her messy brothers-in law. Her effort to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear begins with teaching basic grooming and essential etiquette. Then she expands to proper courting rituals and formal ballroom dancing, with the goal of helping the young men find brides of their own.

The boys prove to be quick learners (in the dancing department as least), and take the opportunity of showing off their fancy footwork at the next community event, a barn raising. Although the few single females present are much impressed, the local competition is not! In short order a jealous brawl erupts, leveling everything including Milly’s good name.

Yet, an appeal to her husband merely convinces the recent wife that she has indeed cast her pearls before swine. Instead of smoothing out the situation, Adam persuades his lovesick siblings to kidnap the girls of their dreams. When an avalanche blocks the possibility of any of the townsfolk coming to rescue their daughters, Milly is forced to act as chaperone until spring can melt the snowy mountain pass. Sheltering the fearful victims in the house while banishing the disgraced brothers to the barn, the indignant woman gives her man the cold shoulder. However, as the winter drags on, there appears to be a thawing of the frosty feelings held by the other trapped females.

Never intended to be a thought provoking piece, the plot of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is teased along by some mild sexual innuendo and pauses regularly to break into song. The fistfights are as well choreographed as its dance routines. And with the exception of a pipe-smoking main character, parents will find the bad manners of the good intentioned brothers to be as amusing now as they were in 1954, when this musical was recorded.

As I watched I couldn’t help but remember the antics of my teenaged friends, who incidentally, claimed Seven Brides for Seven Brothers to be their family’s favorite film.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.

If you were as uninformed as Milly, would you feel obligated to assume the responsibilities she did? Do you think she shows eternal optimism or just romantic blind faith? What are your expectations of marriage? What qualities would you look for in a spouse, and how would you find out if you were compatible?

 

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
Not Rated
AB Not Rated
MB Not Rated
ON Not Rated
QC Not Rated
NB
NS
NL
PE
Not Rated

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers...

DVD Notes: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Release Date: 12 October 2004

For those of you who have grown up watching the pan-and-scan version of this movie on TV or VHS tape, it’s a good bet you’ve only seen Three Brides for Three Brothers! Thanks to the DVD release in a wide screen format, you can now see them all. This new two-disc set offers commentary by Stanley Donen (the film’s director), and a documentary hosted by Howard Keel (featuring new interviews with Jane Powell) and more.

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