Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is one of the popular wedding films in Hollywood. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a musical that was released in the year 1954. Directed by Stanley Donen and with its music by Gene de Paul and Saul Chaplin, the film has its lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers has marriage as its central theme prominently alluded to in its title.
Nominated in the 1954 Oscar for Best Picture, the film has entertained audiences over generations. The brief plot of the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers revolves around Adam and his six younger brothers in their quest for marriage to the women of their choice. While Adam is able to get his wife when he goes to town and marries Milly a tough barmaid who stands tall in the world of men. Milly is promised a quiet home in the countryside but eventually discovers that Adam has the six unmanageable and wild brothers. From here the film shows a gradual development and depicts the attempts of Milly to teach the brothers sophistication to win their respective women. After a reading of the Roman capture of the Sabine women, Adam is able to develop a plan to solve this problem, by kidnapping women whom they want. The comedy of the plot is apparent and is brought into exaggerated display by the small twists and turns of the plot.
The film is based on the short story, The Sobbin`s Women written by Stephen Vincent Benet. This was in turn inspired by the Ancient Roman legend of the Rape of the Sabine Women. Renowned for the unusual choreography of Michael Kidd, which is evident in such apparent irrelevant things as chopping wood or raising a barn, the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a noteworthy watch.
There are several Biblical refrains in the film. For example, the brothers have been named alphabetically in Biblical order, Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank and Gideon. Apart from this, the film also takes several suggestions from ancient myths and Roman texts. Since the whole plot is based on the question of marriage, it is in the vein of all Romantic comedies where the play ends in reconciliation, marriage signifying fertility. Another interesting element that is an adaptation from the Greek and Roman comedies are the class differences and the tensions that it inherits. This is seen in the rudimentary form when the girls in the film are kidnapped and their townsmen allegedly from a different class plan revenge.
The Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was one of the important musicals that came third in a BBC Radio 2 listener poll. The film has also become famous for being one of the few selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
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