Review: ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’

This is a happy, hand-clapping, foot-stomping country type of musical with all the slickness of a Broadway show. Johnny Mercer and Gene de Paul provide the slick, showy production with eight songs, all of which jibe perfectly with the folksy, hillbilly air maintained in the picture. Howard Keel's robust baritone and Jane Powell's lilting soprano make their songs extremely listenable.

This is a happy, hand-clapping, foot-stomping country type of musical with all the slickness of a Broadway show. Johnny Mercer and Gene de Paul provide the slick, showy production with eight songs, all of which jibe perfectly with the folksy, hillbilly air maintained in the picture. Howard Keel’s robust baritone and Jane Powell’s lilting soprano make their songs extremely listenable.

A real standout is the acrobatic hoedown staged around a barn-raising shindig, during which six of the title’s seven brothers vie in love rivalry with the town boys for the favor of the mountain belles.

With tunes and terping taking up so much of the footage there isn’t too much for Stanley Donen to do except direct the story bridges between the numbers.

It’s the story of seven brothers living on a mountain farm. The eldest gets a bride and the others decide likewise, steal their maidens and after a snowed-in winter, the girls’ parents mastermind a mass shot-gun wedding.

The long and the short of the teaming of Keel and Powell is that the pairing comes off very satisfactorily, vocally and otherwise. The brothers are all good, with Russ Tamblyn standing out in particular for performance and his dance work.

1954: Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.

Nominations: Best Picture, Screenplay, Color Cinematography, Editing

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Production

M-G-M. Director Stanley Donen; Producer Jack Cummings; Screenplay Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich, Dorothy Kingsley; Camera George Folsey; Editor Ralph E. Winters; Music Adolph Deutsch (dir.); Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Urie McCleary

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1954. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Howard Keel Jeff Richards Russ Tamblyn Tommy Rall Jane Powell Julie Newmar

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