Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Year: 1954

Studio: M-G-M

Screenplay: Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich & Dorothy Kingsley
(based on "The Sobbin' Women" by Stephen Vincent Benet)

Director: Stanley Donen

Choreographer: Michael Kidd


Brief Synopsis:

"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," based on a story by Stephen Vincent Benet, is about seven brothers who live in a remote mountain area and long for wives. The oldest brother, Adam, goes to the nearest town to find a wife. He finds Millie and takes her home to take care of him and his mountain brothers. Millie teaches the brothers how to behave around women and they all go to a barn raising with the townspeople. Each brother finds a girl and they decide to kidnap the girls and take them back to their mountain home.

"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" was the first Cinemascope film for M-G-M and two versions of the movie were made - one in Cinemascope and one for theaters not capable of showing Cinemascope films, but the non-Cinemascope version was never used.

"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1954. In 2004, it was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry.

Detailed Synopsis:

Adam Pontipee (Howard Keel) lives in the mountains with his six younger brothers. He goes to the nearest town to find a wife who can cook and clean for them. He meets Milly (Jane Powell), a young waitress in the town, and he asks her to marry him. Milly, charmed by Adam agrees and they quickly marry and leave for Adam's mountain home. However, Adam did not tell Milly about his brothers or his real intentions for his wife and she is shocked and angered when she gets to the cabin and learns of the situation.

Eventually, Milly calms down and she decides to turn Adam's wild, rude mountain brothers into gentle, kind men. She teaches them to be clean and have good manners and how to court women.

Milly, Adam and the brothers go to a barn raising event with the townspeople. The brothers meet young women and they are challenged athletically for the attentions of the women by the young men of the town. After a fight with the townspeople, the Pontipees return home.

The lovesick brothers can only think of the lovely women they met and Adam, trying to comfort them, tells them a Roman legend about how the Romans kidnapped women they wanted. The brothers follow Adam's suggestion and they drive to town and kidnap the women. On the way back to their cabin, the brothers cause a landslide that blocks the path from the town to their home and all the women and brothers are trapped in the mountains for the winter.

Milly is outraged by what the brothers have done and she kicks them out of the cabin, including Adam, whom she blames for the kidnapping. Milly and the women spend the winter in the cabin while the brothers are forced to find other living arrangements. During the long winter, Milly has a baby, but Adam does not come to see her or his child.

By the time Spring comes, each young woman has fallen in love with one of the brothers, and, when they go back to their families, they tell them they want to marry the young men. In the end, Adam and Milly reunite and the brothers marry their young women.