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Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Two-Disc Special Edition)

4.8 out of 5 stars 1,185 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: 50th Anniversary Edition (Dbl DVD)

Howard Keel and Jane Powell are rapturous newlyweds who tame his six rowdy bachelor brothers in the wild Oregon backwoods in this Best Score Academy Award(R)-winning song-and-dance-filled comedy.

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Additional Features

Home-theater lovers won't have to think twice about upgrading to the two-disc special edition of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The new transfer is anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TVs (unlike the two previous DVDs), and the new commentary by director Stanley Donen is fun, although he falls silent for most of the second half. He recounts how he had to fight with the producers to let the men dance and to use original Gene DePaul-Johnny Mercer songs rather than traditional songs, mentions that the famous barn dance was shot in four days without editing, and even briefly sings along a couple of times. Since the film was MGM's first in CinemaScope, Donen explains it was shot twice, once in CinemaScope and once in conventional "flat" format in case theaters weren't equipped for the new process. The rarely seen second version is included on the second disc, at a 1.77 aspect ratio (compared to the CinemaScope's huge 2.55 ratio). It's of interest because the performances and the framing are slightly different (the songs, though, were lip-synced to the same recordings), but if any musical needed the room for its huge cast and wide open spaces, it's Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, so it's hard to imagine wanting to lose any of the widescreen version. (Note, however, that the 1.77 version was framed by Donen, and is not a ruthless "pan and scan" cropping done without the involvement of the creators.) The alternate version also suffers from inferior mono sound and a greenish tint to the picture.

Because most of the second disc is taken up by the alternate cut, the rest of the bonus material is less substantial than has been provided for some of Warner's previous two-disc classic musicals (e.g., Singin' in the Rain, Meet Me in St. Louis), but the fine 1997 documentary "Sobbin' Women: The Making of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (which was included on the last DVD release) has been slightly expanded to add new interviews with Jane Powell and Jacques D'Amboise. There's also some newsreel footage and a 1954 short (also in CinemaScope) of the MGM orchestra playing famous songs from its films. --David Horiuchi


Special Features

  • All-new digital transfer (16x9 2.55)
  • Soundtrack newly remastered for Dolby 5.1
  • Donen musicals trailer gallery
  • Rarely screened alternate widescreen version in flat (1.77) aspect ratio (16x9, mono)
  • Behind-the-scenes documentary "Sobbin' Women: The Making of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" hosted by Howard Keel and updated with new interviews of Jane Powell and Jacques d'Amboise
  • New York premiere and MGM 30th-anniversary celebration newsreels
  • "MGM Jubilee Overture" vintage short

Product Details

  • Actors: Jane Powell, Howard Keel, Jeff Richards, Russ Tamblyn, Tommy Rall
  • Directors: Stanley Donen
  • Producers: Jack Cummings
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 13, 2005
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,185 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002OXVCS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,007 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My husband doesn't even like musicals, but he likes this one!

What could be better than singing by Howard Keel and Jane Powell? The music is great, the colors bright and vivid, the choreography wonderful.

To our modern eyes, the story of this 1954 musical seems a little outdated--the attitudes towards women are somewhat distasteful. Howard Keel's character, Adam, needs someone to clean and cook for his household of 6 wild brothers, so he just goes into town and "acquires" a wife, poor Millie (Jane Powell) who has no idea what is in store for her.

When the boys decide they need wives, they just go into town, kidnap a batch of girls, beat the girls' boyfriends insensible, and spend the winter snowbound with the girls who miraculously fall in love with them. OK, well then...

But, the charm of this musical somehow allows us to overlook all of this, and Millie's sheer spunkiness in trying to tame these wild men redeems them somehow. So everyone learns his lesson and all ends well.

This musical is also interesting in that it showcases several young talents who became better known in later years: The character of Dorcas is played by Julie Newmeyer (a young Julie Newmar, Catwoman in the TV series Batman in later years), Russ Tamblyn (future star of West Side Story), and Ruta Kilmonis (later semi-celebrity Ruta Lee). Even in this very early outing, Julie Newmar's distinctive voice and looks make her stand out.

The director, Stanley Donen, directed some of the best musicals in the 50s, including Damn Yankees, Singing in the Rain, Kismet (uncredited), and Royal Wedding. Inexplicably, in his later career, he directed such bombs as Saturn 3 (1980).
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A "sleeper" when it was released in 1954, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" is still one of the freshest musicals ever made. With a pretty, spirited score by Gene de Paul and Johnny Mercer and rambunctious but carefully-controlled choreography by Michael Kidd, this modestly-budgeted movie surprised everyone by becoming an enormous hit, even being nominated for Best Picture. Based on a short story by Stephen Vncent Benet called "Sobbin' Women" (which was the film's working title), it tells the story of a frontier woman Millie (Jane Powell) courted by a backwoodsman Adam (Howard Keel). He takes her off to his rustic home, neglecting to tell her he has six untamed brothers to care for. Undaunted, Millie sets about domesticating the household, complete with readings from classical history, including the story of the Sabine women, which the boys take to heart. The musical was filmed in AnscoColor and CinemaScope, and the wide screen is utilized to great effect, especially in the barn-raising sequence. Letter-box is mandatory. DePaul and Mercer wrote some effective songs ("Wonderful Day", "When You're in Love", "Sobbin' Women") and the numbers blend into the story perfectly under Stanley Donen's smooth direction. Dresden-doll coloratura Powell and strapping baritone Keel make such an attractive couple it's odd M~G~M never co-starred them again. (Evidently a musical version of "Robin Hood" never got past the drawing board.) The brothers include New York City Ballet star Jacques d'Amboise and a non-dancer, the mysterious Jeff Richards, who may have been the handsomest man ever to appear on the screen, Rock Hudson notwithstanding. Among the brides is Julie Newmar, who a couple of seasons later would stupefy Broadway in "Li'l Abner".Bright and pleasantly aggressive, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" is right up there with Metro's best musicals.
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Format: DVD
Excellent new `Special Edition' of the musical masterpiece SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, featuring both versions of the film plus a generous array of extras.

Set against the backdrop of settlement-era Oregon, the story concerns Adam Pontipee (Howard Keel) who takes a wife in Milly (Jane Powell) before delivering her to his mountaintop ranch. The honeymoon comes to an abrupt end when Milly learns she must also keep house for Adam's six unruly - and uncouth - brothers! But after Milly teaches them the finer points of "Goin' Courtin'" they go and and find brides of their own...with diastrous, hilarious and heartwarming results.

The cast is simply amazing. Among the `Brothers' are Russ Tamblyn, Broadway dancer Marc Platt, New York City Ballet star Jacques d'Amboise and KISS ME KATE's Tommy Rall. The `Brides' include Broadway's Virginia Gibson, B-movie beauty Ruta Lee (in her film debut) and future `Catwoman' Julie Newmar.

The score has become one of the most beloved ever written and elevates the on-screen story into the high heavens. Gene DePaul and Johnny Mercer's flavoursome tunestack includes Milly's jubilant "Wonderful Wonderful Day"; her moonlight aria "When You're in Love" and the soaring "June Bride" with the girls dancing in corsets and bloomers. Adam isn't overlooked music-wise, his numbers include "Bless Yore Beautiful Hide", the syncopated and irresistible "Sobbin' Women" and the brothers' plaintive "Lonesome Polecat". Choreographer Michael Kidd's routines in this film are among his all-time best, including what many consider his Magnum Opus, the showstopping "Barn Raising Ballet". With so many talented dancers among the `Brothers' and `Brides', it's no wonder that this film is so rich in musical numbers.
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seven brides for seven brothers
Looks to be the 2000 version 1:77 or 2.35 letter boxed. To display full screen on a 16:9 you have to change settings on TV and DVD player to display full. 2004 version (2 disks) both 1:77 & 2.35 and will play full to 16:9 automatically (Enhanced). There were 2 versions on release, CinemaScope and... Read More
Jun 26, 2009 by Lawrence W. Stephens |  See all 2 posts
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