This is a Special Edition of Our Mutual Friends. In addition to being about a fabulous movie, this week’s post is written by a special guest, friend and fellow aspiring author Lucy Morgan-Jones.
I can’t resist saying a few words about the movie, but then I’ll be quiet and let Lucy do the talking.
Liz on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Red heads! Seven of them! That’s enough to make this a great movie. The catchy songs, great dance routines, and fun storyline are extras. The movie just makes me smile—“Bless your beautiful hide,” alphabetized brothers, Frankincense, Sobbin’ women, the bride kidnapping.
Interestingly, this movie also helped me with connect with one of the members of my critique group. I recognized the influence of this movie on her story and mentioned it. We then discovered we had a “mutual friend” in classic movies, particularly musicals, and I decided it would be fun to have her on the blog. So, without further ado,
Lucy on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
“Bless you beautiful hide, wherever you may be. We ain’t met yet, but I’m awilling to bet—she’s the gal for me!”
Not exactly words a gal dreams of hearing from hunky hero. Yet there is a certain appeal in his honest quest for a hardworking wife to love forever… er, make that cook and clean for his six other brothers.
I love this movie. Lovely scenery. Ratbag brothers who clean up rather well, exquisite dancing, fun, as well as melancholy singing (who could forget the wood-chopping scene and the song “Lonesome Polecat”) as well as the fun scenes where the remaining brides are abducted from town and later when they fall in love with the brothers and don’t want to be returned home.
I have a love for all things musical and this subconsciously influence my writing. When I wrote a novel last year it was influenced by Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. In a conversation with someone who also appreciates movies, this person said that Seven Brides for Seven Brothers had no plot. No plot! Of course it has a plot! Movie feathers ruffled, I sat down and began writing my story. It has definite overtones of a certain musical or two—and a plot… I hope. The idea of a hasty marriage, a home life that isn’t expected (finding out your new house is occupied by numerous extra men and it needs a through clean) and still having a happy ending… now that intrigued and inspired me in my writing.
Some random facts:
The brothers have been named alphabetically from the Old Testament and in chronological order are: Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank (short for Frankincense, the Old Testament having no names beginning with F), and Gideon. All of the brothers have red hair and are well over six feet tall, except Gideon, who is younger and shorter than his brothers.
MGM was much less interested in Seven Brides than it was in Brigadoon which was in production at the time, even cutting its budget and transferring the money to the Lerner and Loewe vehicle.
The dresses worn by the female cast were made from old quilts that costume designer Walter Plunkett found at the Salvation Army.
To perform the electrifying dance numbers and grueling action sequences, choreographer Michael Kidd cast four professional dancers, a gymnast and even a baseball player as Adam Pontipee’s six rough and tumble brothers. All seven of the brides were played by professional dancers.
Because there was no way of distinguishing between the Pontipee Brothers on the one hand and the Town Suitors on the other, the studio decided to make all of the Pontipee Brothers red-headed.
Even more amazing is the fact that this movie was filmed in only 48 days… and each scene filmed twice (one for widescreen) and one normal so it would play at all cinemas. So if you watch this on DVD in widescreen you could be seeing footage that is rarely seen before!
Lucy is a follower of Christ, passionate reader of books and mum of four precocious children. She makes her home in north central Victoria, in Australia and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Christian Writers Downunder.
You can typically find her enjoying a cuppa while she teaches her children school, reading awesome stories, critiquing awesome stories, or lurking on facebook.
So, which brother do you think is the baseball player? And which song or dance scene is your favorite?