Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

4.8 36
Director: Stanley Donen

Cast: Howard Keel, Jeff Richards, Russ Tamblyn


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Based extremely loosely on the Stephen Vincent Benet story Sobbin' Women, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is one of the best MGM musicals of the 1950s. Most of the story takes place on an Oregon ranch, maintained by Adam Pontabee (Howard Keel) and his six brothers, played by Jeff Richards, Russ Tamblyn, Tommy Rall, Mark Platt, Matt Mattox, and Jacques


Based extremely loosely on the Stephen Vincent Benet story Sobbin' Women, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is one of the best MGM musicals of the 1950s. Most of the story takes place on an Oregon ranch, maintained by Adam Pontabee (Howard Keel) and his six brothers, played by Jeff Richards, Russ Tamblyn, Tommy Rall, Mark Platt, Matt Mattox, and Jacques d'Amboise (it is no coincidence that five of those six boys are played by professional dancers). When Adam brings home his new bride Milly (Jane Powell), she is appalled at the brothers' slovenliness and sets about turning these unwashed louts into immaculate gentlemen. During the boisterous barn-raising scene, the brothers get into a scuffle with a group of townsmen over the affection of six comely lasses: Virginia Gibson, Julie Newmeyer (later Newmar), Ruth Kilmonis (later Ruth Lee), Nancy Kilgas, Betty Carr, and Norma Doggett (yep, most of the girls are dancers, too). Yearning to become husbands like their big brother, they ask Adam for advice. Alas, he has been reading a book about the abduction of the Sabine Women (or, as he puts it, the Sobbin' Women); and, in order to claim their gals, Adam explains, the boys must kidnap them--which they do, after blocking off all avenues of escape. Vowing to remain on their best behavior, the boys make no untoward advances towards their reluctant female guests--not even during one of the coldest winters on record. Comes the spring thaw, the angry townsfolk come charging up the mountain, demanding the return of the stolen girls (who, by this time, have "tamed" their men). A happy ending is ultimately had by all in this delightful if politically incorrect concoction.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Two discs for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers! Fans of Stanley Donen's rowdy, lusty MGM musical will kick up their boots for this truly special edition. It contains not only a close approximation of the original CinemaScope version but also the rarely seen full-screen version that MGM insisted Donen make simultaneously, so it could be shown in theaters that lacked the then-revolutionary widescreen equipment. Howard Keel stars as Adam, an Oregon mountain man in the market for a bride. Jane Powell is Milly, who accepts the proposal, only to find herself playing cook and maid to Adam and his six boisterous, brawling brothers. She attempts to civilize her new husband and her lovelorn brothers-in-law, all of whom want wives of their own. Adam proposes a more direct approach than "goin' co'tin" -- kidnap the prospective brides! According to Donen's commentary and an entertaining documentary about the making of the film, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was budgeted as a B-movie by MGM, forcing Donen to film on sound stages rather than on location. But it endures as one of the last great MGM musicals, and one of the most beloved. The high-spirited performances are infectious, especially during the classic barn-raising extravaganza, and the Saul Chapin-Gene de Paul score, while it did not produce any hits, remains a delight, with such tunes as "Bless Your Beautiful Hide" and the haunting "Lonesome Polecat." A decided improvement over previous pan-and-scan versions, this features-laden set is the one to have and to hold, from this day forward.
All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is one of the screen's most exuberant musicals -- no small feat considering that the stolid Howard Keel plays the male lead. Fortunately, Keel is looser and livelier here than in many of his roles. Whether it's the part or director Stanley Donen, he seems inspired to have fun, whether cockily blustering through the town looking for a bride or sulking after a good reprimanding. He's well matched by Jane Powell, who achieves a fine blend of perkiness and motherliness. Both leads sound great, with Keel's rich baritone bursting forth in "Bless Yore Beautiful Hide" and Powell's soprano trilling nicely in "Wonderful, Wonderful Day." What makes the film, however, is the dancing. Michael Kidd's choreography is among the most athletic and exciting on film. The barn-raising sequence in particular is a rousing classic, with leaps, turns, and log rolls that leave the audience thrilled. Special mention must also be made of the lovely, gentle "Lonesome Polecat" ballet, in which minimal movement is used for maximum impact. The screenplay is solid and well-constructed, although contemporary audiences may find aspects of the story dated. Donen, already respected for such earlier musicals as Singin' in the Rain and On the Town, would go on to direct It's Always Fair Weather and Funny Face.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Full Frame]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by director Stanley Donen; Donen musicals trailer gallery

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Howard Keel Adam Pontabee
Jeff Richards Benjamin Pontabee
Russ Tamblyn Gideon Pontabee
Tommy Rall Frank Pontabee
Marc Platt Daniel Pontabee
Jane Powell Milly Pontabee
Matt Mattox Caleb Pontabee
Julie Newmar Dorcas
Howard Petrie Pete Perkins
Jacques D'Amboise Ephraim Pontabee
Nancy Kilgas Alice
Betty Carr Sarah
Virginia Gibson Liza
Ian Wolfe Rev. Elcott
Earl Barton Harry
Dante DiPaolo Matt
Kelly Brown Carl
Matt Moore Ruth's Uncle
Dick Rich Dorcas' Father
Marjorie Wood Mrs. Bixby
Russell Simpson Mr. Bixby
Tim Graham Father
Lois Hall Girl
Jarma Lewis Lem's Girl Friend
Phil Rich Prospector
George Robotham Swains
Russell Saunders Actor
Terry Wilson Actor
Walter Beaver Lem
Ruta Lee Ruth
Sheila James Dorcas' Sister
I. Stanford Jolley Father
Anna Q. Nilsson Mrs. Elcott
Larry Blake Drunk

Technical Credits
Stanley Donen Director
Saul Chaplin Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Alexander Courage Musical Arrangement
Jack Cummings Producer
Gene de Paul Songwriter
Adolph Deutsch Musical Direction/Supervision
George Folsey Cinematographer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Frances Goodrich Screenwriter
Albert Hackett Screenwriter
Hugh Hunt Set Decoration/Design
Michael Kidd Choreography
Dorothy Kingsley Screenwriter
Urie McCleary Art Director
Johnny Mercer Songwriter
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
Ralph Winters Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
1. Credits [1:41]
2. Wife Shopping [2:21]
3. Bless Yore Beautiful Hide [2:30]
4. Determined to Marry [4:36]
5. Echo Pass Elation [2:01]
6. Wonderful Wonderful Day [3:20]
7. Brothers From A to G [3:58]
8. Slopping the Hogs [2:25]
9. Milly's Terms [2:21]
10. When You're in Love [3:21]
11. Brothers Bare All [3:09]
12. Trouble in Town [1:52]
13. Goin' Co'tin [5:04]
14. Mannerly Men [2:11]
15. Bernraising Dance [6:34]
16. Barnraising Brawl [5:24]
17. Wounded [1:22]
18. Lonesome Polecat [2:47]
19. Sobbin' Women [5:17]
20. Creative Kidnapping [4:20]
21. Pursuit and Avalanche [2:56]
22. Can't Abide [3:46]
23. Poor Little Dears [3:51]
24. Cat Fight [3:14]
25. June Bride [2:33]
26. Spring, Spring, Spring [4:04]
27. Brotherly Baby Watch [2:37]
28. Open Pass, Open Heart [3:30]
29. Search and Rescue [3:20]
30. Shotgun Weddings [3:13]
31. Cast List [1:10]


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Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a Hollywood made musical. The songs are forgettable. The only thing enjoyable to watch is actually the dancing especially the men.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Growing up with movie made me appreciate the "underdog" and seeing it as an adult knowing my niece will grow up with it on dvd is awesome. The songs and the dancing were magical and now knowing that these kinds of movies don't get made with the same kind of story and feeling, it is worth it to watch it and watch it and watch it. =D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite movies of all time its definatley on my top ten list, even though I'm only 14.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy comedy, romance, and a quiet evening at home this is a must see.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is not only a classic, but it's a movie that EVERYONE can enjoy! My mother showed this movie to me as a little girl and I plan on showing it to my little girls! The best part about it is the fact that no matter how many times you watch it, you'll always love it! Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was one of the best movies that I have seen in a long time I just want to watch it over and over again the dancing and songs were great as well as the guys and girls that played the parts of the Brides and Brothers I don't like many movies but this is one of my favorite thanks for making it
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this was exciting..I love musicals and all the awesome songs get stuck in your head and can sing them over and over...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oh my god how I loved this movie it is so funny and yet so romantic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie for the first time when I was camping. It was a terrible day outside and we were in a camper watching the movie. I am also an Athletic Training student that often works with Dancers so the movie was especially interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have watched this movie over and over and I still love it. The dancing is incredible and the singing melts your heart away.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been watching this movie only once and I can tell everybody that i really took to like it I really enjoyed this movie and I'm trying to get one on dvd so I recomended that great movie for everybody... Peace
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best movie! The acting and singing is so cute! I was brought up on this movie and have just bought the DVD to make sure I never lose it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 16 and our school, just today did the play, ''Seven Brides, for Seven Brothers'' despite some bad acting, I thought the scheme, plot, and the whole setup of this wonderful movie, is outstanding. I just found out today as well, that we have the movie, which I have yet to see, so that going to be my next movie I see.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just bought the dvd and I am glad I did. It reminds me of a simpler time. The characters make you wish you were apart of the action. I think the boys are cute.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this movie. I have probably seen this movie over 200 times. It is a great musical and great for the family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seven Brides For Seven Brothers is one of the best musicals that were ever made. it has a terrific cast.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My dad took us to see this at an old theatre when I was a kid. I bought it on VHS and now I'm getting it for him on DVD. It is so great and classical and gives me such a great hope in working as a team!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My dad recently purchased this movie for me and my seven brothers. We all fell in love with it immediatly; it has a certain charm to it that makes you want to see it over and over again. Actually we've seen it so many times my 7 brothers have adopted the names of the 7 brothers from the movie! It is surely a movie for all ages; my father grew up on it and enjoys it still, while my two year old sister sits facinated by the dancing and singing displayed by the extremely capable cast. I highly recommend this musical to any viewer who enjoys a purely fine film!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a delightful musical with excellent dancing. The story line is fun to watch. You never know what is going to happen next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband and I fell in love with this movie the first time we saw it! It's wonderful and we've purchased it on DVD to have in our collection for our child who is on the way. I suggest it for any with a growing family. It's definately clean and child-friendly.
amethyst88 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this movie! It is my favorite musical of all time! I've seen live versions, and though fun, they can't compare to the movie. Although there are glaring errors, particularly in the obviously fake sets, it just serves to make it more fun. Anyone who loves musicals should definately see this. Sobbin' Women and Lonesome Polecat are the best songs.
MFDB More than 1 year ago
This is a story about 7 brothers living alone on their farm and their decision to find brides. Sounds kind of boring until you hear the music and watch the awesome dance sequences. Jane Powell and Howard Keel are the leads and both give superb vocal performances. But for me the dance sequences featuring the other 6 brothers are the most enjoyable and unforgettable parts of this film. The barn raising dance has become a classic and is shown frequently on retrospective type shows. But the choreography for the dance to "I'm a Lonesome Polecat" is fantastic. Even if you aren't a fan of old Hollywood musicals I think most people can find some enjoyment in watching this film.