Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

You learn something every day…

broadwaybanner51Yep, there’s always something new. I mean, can you believe that only recently (I’d say late last year, early this one) I discovered that there was actually a Broadway production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? The movie I’ve been watching ever since I can remember (it comes tie with the number of times I’ve watched The War Wagon, also ever since I can remember). I absolutely adored this musical when I was young (and still have a very soft spot for it now), especially Milly (Jane Powell) and her wonderful dresses. Not to forget her fluttering eyelashes and that wonderful voice.

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So, one evening, fairly recently as I’ve mentioned, I was wondering what else Jane Powell and Howard Keel starred in together (and was also curious about all the other brothers and sisters of said movie) while surfing (or rather, trawling) the web, as is bound to happen,  along came a webpage with characters that didn’t look familiar. Huh? What’s this? Ah, not a remake or such but a stage production. Broadway in 1982. And various others too.

When the Broadway Bound Blogathon came along I got all excited to enter this movie but, alas, looking at it in a bit more detail, I read that it wasn’t really successful on Broadway or subsequently in London. Well, I guess the “original” was (is) special so, while I’m sorry that the live performances didn’t make it, in a way I’m also relieved that my precious childhood movie treasure stays exactly that…special. Although, not all is bad – the Broadway version did receive a Tony nomination for best musical score.

I’m not going to go into the story…I’m sure you all know it by now. So, at risk of warbling on and on, I’ll keep this one short and sweet. Rather head on over to Taking Up Room  over here to read up some more Broadway entries…or read my second entry in this Blogathon, a personal little gem called Proof, over here.

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Genre Grandeur: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Musical Movie)

Absolutely no doubt, the grandeur musical for me is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954). I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched it – many, many times as a young girl and since I’ve bought it on DVD, quite a few times as an adult.

It has Adam (Howard Keel), one of 7 brothers living a way out of the closest town, wanting a wife. Where better than to start than the nearest (yet far) town? Looking over many prospects, he finally casts his eye on Milly (Jane Powell) who, quite an independent woman for her time, decides she is ready to marry. And Adam is it. Ceremony over, they head back to Adam‘s place where she is introduced to the reality – 7 backwoodsmen living in a right old mess with little manners. While she changes the situation, the remaining six brothers decide they too would like wives and head off to town to get some (unwilling ones though). What better situation than an avalanche and a snowy winter to keep the ladies from getting back to town…and keeping them close to the brothers. Of course, by the end they’re not keen to leave.

With some wonderful songs that I’m humming right bow (“Bless your Beautiful Hide”, “Wonderful Day” and “Goin’ Courtin'” always stand out), this musical is a delight. It has some bittersweet moments too. Adam’s return to his home always has me a little teary-eyed. The barn scene is absolute pure fun.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was nominated for 5 Oscars of which it won one: “Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture”. The remaining nominations were: “Best Picture”, “Best Writing, Screenplay”, “Best Cinematography, Color” and “Best Film Editing”

While it may be criticised these days for the theme, don’t think too much. Just enjoy it for what it was back then. Sit back, hum along and have fun.

Head on over to MovieRob to see the other Genre Grandeur entries for this month. The genre was chosen by  Audrey of 1001 Movies and Beyond. Next month’s choice of genre comes from Ghezal of Ghezal Plus Movies with Film Noir.