Year: 1954

Studio: M-G-M

Screenplay: Alan Jay Lerner

Director: Vincente Minnelli

Choreographer: Gene Kellly


Brief Synopsis:

Two Americans visit the Scottish Highlands and they chance across Brigadoon, a town that wakes up for only one day every hundred years. The two men spend the day in Brigadoon and one falls in love with one of the village's women. He learns about the legend of Brigadoon and he must decide if he'll stay in the town when it goes to sleep for another 100 years or if he'll return to his life in New York City. He decides on New York but then can't forget Brigadoon and the woman he loves who lives there. He goes back to Scotland to find Brigadoon and happiness.

Detailed Synopsis:

Gene Kelly is Tommy Albright, a successful New York executive, who goes on a hunting vacation in Scotland with his alcoholic friend, Jeff Douglas (Van Johnson). They get lost in the Scottish Highlands and discover Brigadoon, a small Scottish town that wakes up for one day every 100 years.

Tommy and Jeff enter Brigadoon and are puzzled by the strange clothes and behavior of the residents. They meet Fiona Campbell (Cyd Charisse), an attractive female from Brigadoon, and Tommy falls for her. Her sister is getting married that day and Tommy and Jeff decide to stay for the wedding and spend the day in Brigadoon.

As Tommy spends more time with Fiona and in Brigadoon, he becomes curious about the town. Fiona finally agrees to have the town's teacher explain the story of Brigadoon to Tommy and Jeff. Tommy suspends his conceptions of reality to accept the story, but Jeff is unable to believe it and he tries to drink away the experience.

During the evening wedding, an angry young resident of Brigadoon, Harry, threatens to leave the town. The townspeople panic because if he succeeds to cross past the town's boundary, Brigadoon will disappear forever, along with all of its residents. While everyone chases after Harry, Jeff, who has been drinking all day, thinks Harry is a bird and he shoots and kills him.

The day ends and Tommy decides that he must leave Fiona, even though he loves her, and return with Jeff to his normal life in New York. Later, in New York, Tommy cannot readjust to his former life and he convinces Jeff to return to the Scottish Highlands with him. Tommy's love for Fiona is so strong that it causes Brigadoon to reawaken just long enough for Tommy to enter and be reunited forever with Fiona.


Brigadoon was shorter than later movies that were based on Broadway plays, and it seemed to be filmed more along the lines of earlier musicals written specifically for the movies rather than as a re-creation of a Broadway play.

One unique feature of "Brigadoon" is the character of Jeff, played by Van Johnson. It's one of the few, if any, unlikeable main characters in a movie musical. He is an insensitive and uncaring character and this is rare to find in movie musicals or Broadway plays.