SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS
DIRECTED BY STANLEY DONEN
PRODUCED BY JACK CUMMINGS
LOWE'S/ METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER (M.G.M.)
DIRECTED BY STANLEY DONEN
PRODUCED BY JACK CUMMINGS
LOWE'S/ METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER (M.G.M.)
Information from IMDb
Adam, the eldest of seven brothers, goes to town to get a wife.
He convinces Milly to marry him that same day.
They return to his backwoods home.
Only then does she discover 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.
Written by Melissa Portell
Howard Keel ... Adam Pontipee
Jeff Richards ... Benjamin Pontipee
Russ Tamblyn ... Gideon Pontipee
Tommy Rall ... Frank Pontipee
Marc Platt ... Daniel Pontipee
Matt Mattox ... Caleb Pontipee
Jacques d'Amboise ... Ephraim Pontipee
Jane Powell ... Milly
Julie Newmar ... Dorcas (as Julie Newmeyer)
Nancy Kilgas ... Alice
Betty Carr ... Sarah
Virginia Gibson ... Liza
Ruta Lee ... Ruth (as Ruta Kilmonis)
Norma Doggett ... Martha
Ian Wolfe ... Rev. Elcott
Howard Petrie ... Pete Perkins
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
Ann Baker ... Town Girl (uncredited)
Walter Beaver ... Lem (uncredited)
Larry J. Blake ... Drunk (uncredited)
Paul Bradley ... Storekeeper (uncredited)
George Bruggeman ... Diner (uncredited)
John Daheim ... Member of Second Barn Raising Team (uncredited)
Billy Dix ... Man in Saloon (uncredited)
Millie Doff ... Town Girl (uncredited)
Michelle Ducasse ... Town Girl (uncredited)
Helen Eby-Rock ... Mother (uncredited)
Tim Graham ... Father (uncredited)
Carol Grel ... Heavy Girl (uncredited)
Duane Grey ... Rancher (uncredited)
Geraldine Hall ... Mother (uncredited)
Lois Hall ... Girl (uncredited)
Elizabeth Holmes ... Mother (uncredited)
Charles Horvath ... Member of Fourth Barn Raising Team (uncredited)
John Indrisano ... Member of Third Barn Raising Team (uncredited)
I. Stanford Jolley ... Father (uncredited)
Sheila James Kuehl ... Jenny - Dorcas' Sister (uncredited)
Bill Lee ... Caleb Pontipee (singing voice) (uncredited)
Jarma Lewis ... Lem's Girlfriend (uncredited)
Anna Q. Nilsson ... Mrs. Elcott (uncredited)
Betty Noyes ... Bride (singing voice) (uncredited)
Phil Rich ... Prospector (uncredited)
Ruth Robinson ... Mother (uncredited)
George Robotham ... Town Suitor (uncredited)
Gene Roth ... Tom ('Nobody can cook like Milly') (uncredited)
Russell Saunders ... Town Suitor (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel ... Leader of Fourth Barn Raising Team (uncredited)
Margaret Wells ... Mother (uncredited)
Terry Wilson ... Town Suitor (uncredited)
Bud Wolfe ... Leader of Third Barn Raising Team (uncredited)
Sheb Wooley ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Albert Hackett (screenplay) &
Frances Goodrich (screenplay) and
Dorothy Kingsley (screenplay)
Stephen Vincent Benet (story "The Sobbin' Women")
Gene de Paul
Adolph Deutsch (uncredited)
Conrad Salinger (uncredited)
George J. Folsey
Many of the actor's singing voices were dubbed in this movie: Matt Mattox's singing was dubbed by Bill Lee, Nancy Kilgas's singing was dubbed by Marie Greene, Julie Newmar's singing was dubbed by Betty Allen, two of the brothers had their singing dubbed by Allan Davies and Charlie Parlato, Ruta Lee had her singing dubbed by Betty Noyes, and Betty Carr had her singing dubbed by Norma Zimmer.
On the 2004 DVD commentary, Stanley Donen claims that there were two versions made of the film: one in CinemaScope and another in the standard screen ratio of the day. Each scene shot in CinemaScope had to be re-shot for the standard version. This was out of MGM's concern that not all theatres had the equipment to screen films in CinemaScope. Although the standard version was more expensive than the CinemaScope version, it was never released theatrically. However, it did play on Turner Classic Movies in the late 1990s and is featured as a special feature on the 2004 DVD.
Scenes for the widescreen version were shot in the morning and, for the normal ratio, in the afternoon.
MGM considered this a B movie - they had higher aspirations for the more expensive Brigadoon. For this reason, they slashed the budget on "Seven Brothers", forcing Stanley Donen to use painted backdrops instead of location filming.
Played at the Radio City Music Hall in New York in a slot that was originally intended for Brigadoon.
The censors weren't too happy about the line in the song "Lonesome Polecat" where the brothers lament "A man can't sleep when he sleeps with sheep". By not showing any sheep in the same shot as the brothers, the film-makers were able to get away with it.
Stanley Donen was producer Jack Cummings' first choice for director from the outset, thanks to his success with On the Town and Singin' in the Rain.
Michael Kidd initially turned down the project. He had just come off a show on Broadway and wanted a rest. He changed his mind after hearing the score.
Rehearsals for the barn-raising sequence took 3 weeks.
Shot in only 48 days.
Only four of the brothers were dancers. Russ Tamblyn (Gideon) was an acrobat, and Jeff Richards (Benjamin) was an actor. Benjamin rarely dances in the movie.
Jacques d'Amboise had to leave before filming was finished because he was still under contract with the New York City Ballet, so someone filled in for him during the last few days. You can see someone else playing Ephraim in the scene where the brothers are pacing downstairs while Milly is giving birth.
For the brides costumes, designer Walter Plunkett went to the Salvation Army, found old quilts and turned them into dresses.
The avalanche was filmed at Corral Creek Canyon, at Sun Valley, Idaho.
Because there was no way of distinguishing between them and the Town Suitors, MGM decided to make all the Pontipee Brothers red-headed.
Jeff Richards (a former professional baseball player) was one of the two "brothers" not chosen for his dancing ability. The other being Howard Keel, who was an actor/singer.
Average Shot Length (ASL) = 12 seconds (CinemaScope version)
The film was originally going to be titled "The Sobbin' Women", but MGM executives thought that audiences would not be interested in seeing a film with this title. It was first retitled "A Bride for Seven Brothers", but the censors thought it sounded too risqué, so it was altered to "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers".
The story of the Sabine women referred to in the film came from Plutarch's Life of Romulus .
MGM had waited five years to acquire the rights to Stephen Vincent Benet's short story, as Broadway producer Joshua Logan had optioned the story as a potential stage musical.
Director Stanley Donen said that producer Jack Cummings originally planned to use existing American folk songs for the film's musical numbers. After months spent searching in vain for the right music, Donen recalled, the decision was made to commission an original score.
M-G-M did not have high financial expectations for the film, and chose instead to allocate its resources to Rose Marie and Brigadoon - films that never matched this film's commercial and critical success.
Reportedly Howard Keel's personal favorite of his movies.
The "Cook Wanted" sign shown after Milly leaves is clearly written in permanent marker.
During "Going Courting", when Calebs groans, he groans longer than his mouth is open for.
When Milly is ringing the bell for dinner, she is striking it with a spoon and steadying it with her right hand. This would have muted the bell, but the sound rings true.
In the big fight and dance at the barn raising, the brothers change locations rapidly. Also, there are noticeable discontinuities during the acrobatic bits, probably because they needed some repeating.
Gideon's shirt as he's doing handstands.
Frank's flap on his red shirt changes from a v shape like Ephraim's to a square like Gideon's throughout the same scene.
When Adam climbs out of the window to get into the tree, the leg he puts out first changes between shots.
Milly's white dress is long at the barn raising and when she returns home to minister to the brawling brothers. However, when she's dancing with Frank it's a little above her ankles.
When Adam is showing Milly the house, he opens the front door twice.
During the barn dance, there is a part where Frank, Ephraim and Caleb are dancing with the girls, Frank is dancing with Alice and in the shot immediately after, Alice is standing behind Gideon at the side of the dance floor.
During the barn dance after Gideon's axe jumping, he Daniel and Caleb dance with the girls until three townsmen jump from the roof and take the girls away. In the shot immediately after, Daniel has turned into Frank when they slide underneath the wooden beam.
In several shots during the barn dance, Liza's hair comes loose from her chignon, only to be neatly combed again in the next shot.
During the "June Bride" sequence, one of the girls plucks a bunch of fresh flowers to signify a bridal bouquet from a container hanging on a post in the bedroom, but the scene takes place in the middle of winter.
Incorrectly regarded as goofs
The brothers claim that there were no F names in the Bible. While there are "F" names in the New Testament, all the names shown are from the Old Testament, so presumably that was the only part of the Bible they were referring to.
In "Wonderful, Wonderful Day" birds fly onto the set and and several crash into the painted backdrop in the background (the director acknowledges this in a documentary).
When Milly allows Adam to come back in the house he is supposed to be walking on tree limbs to get back in the window, but you can see that he is obviously stepping on flat ground.
During "June Bride", the icicles on the eaves of the porch are swaying
During most of the film it's winter in Oregon, yet in all of the outdoor scenes no one's breath is visible.
In the last scene, after all the brothers are married, and Milly and Adam are kissing, there is a picture of President Abraham Lincoln in the background. The movie is set in the spring of 1851, Lincoln did not grow his famous beard until 1860, when he was not President yet.
In the final scene, when the six brothers are marrying the girls, Gideon and Alice both look behind them for the approval of the fathers. However, there are only five fathers behind them because Alice's father is the parson and in front of them.
Obvious stand-in for Ephraim (Jacques d'Amboise) when Milly is giving birth.
Corral Creek Canyon, Sun Valley, Utah, USA
Los Angeles, California, USA
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