After almost seeing Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and hearing the opening number ‘Bless Your Beautiful Hide’, it seemed that I needed to find out how the musical ended.
Directed by Stanley Donen and featuring music by Saul Chaplin and Gene de Paul as well as lyrics by Johnny Mercer, this is one of the most rousing and energetic musicals to appear on screen.
The story begins as Adam Pontipee (Howard Keel) arrives in town to search for a wife. He soon meets Milly (Jane Powell) and persuades her to marry him. Little does she know that he has seven brothers that he requires her to look after (i.e. cook and clean for) but can she help the other brothers become gentlemen and find wives to look after them or will she be stuck looking after them all?
The plot might be slightly weak and filled with plenty of gaps, but these gaps are filled with great and catchy songs such as ‘Going Courtin’ and ‘Bless Your Beautiful Hide’ that really capture the uplifting spirit of the musical as well. But it isn’t lacking in sentiment either particularly during ‘When You’re in Love’ and there are plenty of scenes that show how the characters develop and change throughout.
Choreographer Michael Kidd came up with some brilliant and memorable sequences – in particular the Barn Dance sequence – which contains some of the most energetic and extraordinary moves that have been featured in one particular part of the film.
Is it a musical that deserves to be better known? Yes it is because despite its flaws there is plenty to recommend it – the sense of humour (even if some of the ideas are a little bit outdated) won’t fail to charm and put a smile on your face, the music is rousing and uplifting and the characters all add something different to the film.
If you haven’t seen it then give it a chance because from watching it, it feels as though it is an underrated film.