Well, bless my beautiful hide! Director Stanley Donen invests this rollicking musical with a hearty exuberance. Howard Keel, with his big-as-all-outdoors baritone, stars as a bold "mountain man" living in the Oregon wood... more »s who brings home a bride (plucky songbird soprano Jane Powell) to his six slovenly brothers. Taming the rambunctious brood, Jane proceeds to make gentlemen of them so they can woo sweethearts of their own. But old habits die hard: their flirting gives way to fighting in the film's celebrated barn-raising scene, a lively acrobatic dance number exuberantly choreographed by Michael Kidd. Big brother chimes in with his own brand of advice--an old-fashioned kidnapping! Donen manages to get away with such a politically incorrect plot by investing the boys with a innocent sweetness, most notably the youngest brother played with genial earnestness by Rusty (Russ) Tamblyn (pre-West Side Story). This modest production became a huge hit and remains one of MGM's best-loved musical comedies, an energetic, high-kicking classic. --Sean Axmaker« less
Jeannie H. (beachlover) from PENSACOLA, FL Reviewed on 7/17/2008...
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Yes the scenery is fake but the music and the choreography is top-notch! They just don't make movies like this anymore. A true classic and not to be missed!
Shim F. Reviewed on 2/5/2008...
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is cute.
IT's a good movie to watch IF you need a smile on your face.
It's funny. The brothers are just plain silly.
The brides are pretty funny themselves.
One of the Best Musicals of All Time
Robin Currier | 08/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My husband doesn't even like musicals, but he likes this one!
What could be better than singing by Howard Keel and Jane Powell? The music is great, the colors bright and vivid, the choreography wonderful.
To our modern eyes, the story of this 1954 musical seems a little outdated--the attitudes towards women are somewhat distasteful. Howard Keel's character, Adam, needs someone to clean and cook for his household of 6 wild brothers, so he just goes into town and "acquires" a wife, poor Millie (Jane Powell) who has no idea what is in store for her.
When the boys decide they need wives, they just go into town, kidnap a batch of girls, beat the girls' boyfriends insensible, and spend the winter snowbound with the girls who miraculously fall in love with them. OK, well then...
But, the charm of this musical somehow allows us to overlook all of this, and Millie's sheer spunkiness in trying to tame these wild men redeems them somehow. So everyone learns his lesson and all ends well.
This musical is also interesting in that it showcases several young talents who became better known in later years: The character of Dorcas is played by Julie Newmeyer (a young Julie Newmar, Catwoman in the TV series Batman in later years), Russ Tamblyn (future star of West Side Story), and Ruta Kilmonis (later semi-celebrity Ruta Lee). Even in this very early outing, Julie Newmar's distinctive voice and looks make her stand out.
The director, Stanley Donen, directed some of the best musicals in the 50s, including Damn Yankees, Singing in the Rain, Kismet (uncredited), and Royal Wedding. Inexplicably, in his later career, he directed such bombs as Saturn 3 (1980).
Singin' & dancin' & sobbin'
Edward | San Francisco | 05/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A "sleeper" when it was released in 1954, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" is still one of the freshest musicals ever made. With a pretty, spirited score by Gene de Paul and Johnny Mercer and rambunctious but carefully-controlled choreography by Michael Kidd, this modestly-budgeted movie surprised everyone by becoming an enormous hit, even being nominated for Best Picture. Based on a short story by Stephen Vncent Benet called "Sobbin' Women" (which was the film's working title), it tells the story of a frontier woman Millie (Jane Powell) courted by a backwoodsman Adam (Howard Keel). He takes her off to his rustic home, neglecting to tell her he has six untamed brothers to care for. Undaunted, Millie sets about domesticating the household, complete with readings from classical history, including the story of the Sabine women, which the boys take to heart. The musical was filmed in AnscoColor and CinemaScope, and the wide screen is utilized to great effect, especially in the barn-raising sequence. Letter-box is mandatory. DePaul and Mercer wrote some effective songs ("Wonderful Day", "When You're in Love", "Sobbin' Women") and the numbers blend into the story perfectly under Stanley Donen's smooth direction. Dresden-doll coloratura Powell and strapping baritone Keel make such an attractive couple it's odd M~G~M never co-starred them again. (Evidently a musical version of "Robin Hood" never got past the drawing board.) The brothers include New York City Ballet star Jacques d'Amboise and a non-dancer, the mysterious Jeff Richards, who may have been the handsomest man ever to appear on the screen, Rock Hudson notwithstanding. Among the brides is Julie Newmar, who a couple of seasons later would stupefy Broadway in "Li'l Abner".Bright and pleasantly aggressive, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" is right up there with Metro's best musicals."
RIP Howard Keel, Legendary Musical He-Man
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 11/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dear Mr. Keel, while we respected you and cheered you on in your late-life comeback as Clayton Farlow on TV's DALLAS, we loved you best in the MGM musicals that made you a star. My mom and dad used to say they had seen you on Broadway taking over John Raitt's old parts and giving them new luster in CAROUSEL and OKLAHOMA, but for me I used to see you on the Late Show many times, always playing the he-man, swashbuckling Errol Flynn type, but with a difference, your magnificent voice that rang out through a dozen musical movies, everything from Kiss Me Kate (in 3D, with you singing "Where Is The Life That Late I Led" in the middle of the audience, perched on a piece of scenery like a gargoyle or angel), to Calamity Jane opposite the tomboyish Doris Day. Many years passed before we saw you on VHS as Frank Butler in the George Sidney version of Annie Get Your Gun, one of your very best parts, delayed for eons due to legal complications with the Berlin estate. And only recently thanks to the miracle of DVD have we seen the second, "flat" version of SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, the movie in which you played Adam Pontipee and made us laugh and cry out for more, your signature role.
We liked you in SHOWBOAT and JUPITER's DARLING and so many more, and even in your non-singing parts like The DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (scary!) and THE BIG FISHERMAN (kind of religious, and the very first movie I remember ever seeing). It's a sad day for the movies today, but thank God we are blessed with so many chances to live out your greatness once again, the sparkle and eclat you gave to so many roles, and the thrill of your voice lives on forever. "
As Sassy as can be!
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 01/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A movie like this was made for Sunday mornings. It's full of catchy songs and great dancing in the grand tradition of musicals. The wide screen format is very nice, and allows for the full spectacle to be seen. This is one of the first musicals to incorporate the music and dancing into the story line, as oppossed to random numbers. The barn raising scene is classic. The DVD itself is very worthy, and includes a "making of" documentary. Great interviews with Julie Newmar (Catwoman) and other cast members."
Get the Widescreen Version
Zack Davisson | 05/02/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, I agree with all the glowing reviews. Our whole family, including young boys, LOVE this movie. We've watched it many times. However, we bought the regular VHS version, and they lost a lot in the formatting. You frequently hear actors speaking who are not on screen.So our advice: buy the widescreen so you can see all seven brothers at the same time.Our family has decided to buy a DVD player just so we can get this film in the DVD version.SG"