SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS REVIEWED

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” is kinda idiotic. Loosely inspired by an old Roman tale, this is a movie about brothers being jealous of their older brother. So, they head into town to force women to marry them. What’s crazy is how Donen staged all the dancing around simple farm chores. Raising a barn or chopping wood could become fodder for a dance number. Hell, it’s really telling when you have to color code the Brothers to tell them apart.

Naturally, it’s not the most cerebral musical, but it offers up something you don’t see much anymore. It’s a man driven musical romp with a Manic Frontier Pixie Dream Woman who inspires heart songs. Given how the nature of the material has fallen out of favor with today’s theater inclined audiences, I love that Warner Brothers is releasing this via Warner Archive. People forget that this was a Best Picture nominee and I’m glad to see this chunk of history being saved.

Still, it’s almost a musical testimony to how dumb men can be in 1850 or now.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Commentary
  • Donen Musicals Trailer Gallery
  • Documentary
  • Newsreels
  • Vintage Short

A/V STATS

  • 2.55:1 1080p transfer
  • DTS-HD 5.1/2.0 master audio tracks

RELEASE DATE: 6/5/18

  • 95%
    Video - 95%
  • 94%
    Audio - 94%
  • 95%
    Special Features - 95%
  • 92%
    Film Score - 92%
94%

The Plot Thus Far

In Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Adam (Howard Keel), the eldest of seven brothers, goes to town to get a wife. He convinces Milly (Jane Powell) to marry him that same day. After they return to his backwoods home she discovers he has six brothers — all living in his cabin. Milly sets out to reform the uncouth siblings, who are anxious to get wives of their own. Then, after reading about the Roman capture of the Sabine women, Adam develops an inspired solution to his brothers’ loneliness… kidnap the women they want from the surrounding villages.

Dismissed by studio executives during production as a ‘second-tier musical’, the film suffered budget cuts during production that precluded location shooting. Overcoming these circumstances, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was an obvious hit in the making when previewed, and opened to great reviews at huge box office success at New York’s famed Radio City Music Hall. This film was so successful that it was theatrically re-issued for many years thereafter, and holds the achievement as one of the highest-grossing musicals ever produced by M-G-M’s “dream factory”. The unique story behind the making of the film is well chronicled by director Donen’s commentary, as well as the comprehensive documentary on the disc, hosted by star Howard Keel, and including interviews with co-stars Jane Powell, Tommy Rall, Russ Tamblyn, and Jacques d’Amboise, as well as director Donen, choreographer Kidd, and Musical Supervisor Saul Chaplin (who earned an Oscar for his contribution), among others.

Fans can purchase at www.wbshop.com/warnerarchive or any online retailers where DVDS and Blu-rays are sold.

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