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Seven Brides For Seven Brothers Blu-ray Review

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“Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” is a classic musical.

Set in Oregon in the year 1850, “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” begins with Adam Pontipee strolling into town to find a bride. He manages to find one when he encounters a spunky young woman named Milly. The two decide to elope even though they don’t know each other. Milly also doesn’t know that Adam lives with six uncivilized brothers in a secluded forest and that she now has to cook and care for them too. Obviously, this isn’t the dream marriage she was hoping for. Hoping to change things, Milly decides to clean up the Pontipee home, teach them all some manners, and perhaps teach the brothers how to find a bride of their own. Of course, as much as she teaches them, they still manage to do wrong.

First things first, it’s clear “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” has an inherently problematic story with hints of sexism, Stockholm Syndrome, among other issues (although there are certainly a number of empowering moments for the female characters here). If you can look past those issues, however, you’ll find a rather joyous piece of cinema. Directed by Stanley Donen (the man responsible for helming one of the best films ever made with “Singin’ In The Rain”), ‘Brides’ is a musical film about relationships, family, gender roles, ignorance, and entitlement, but it’s not the story that makes the film stand the test of time. It’s the soundtrack and the dancing that have people playing this movie time and time again.

Let’s start off with the songs. Virtually every song here is a classic such as “Wonderful, Wonderful Day,” “Goin’ Courtin’,” “When You’re In Love,” “Lonesome Polecat,” and “Sobbin’ Women.” Of course, the biggest hit here is “Bless Your Beautiful Hide” which is easily one of the catchiest songs in musical history. Don’t be surprised if it gets stuck in your head…a lot.

As for the dance number, I think we can all agree that the lengthy barn raising dance sequence choreographed by Michael Kidd is an absolute show stopper. It is perhaps one of the great dance numbers ever put to film and I don’t say that lightly.

Performance wise, the entire ensemble cast is on point, but it’s Howard Keel and especially Jane Powell that steal the show. Powell really makes the layered character her own and it doesn’t hurt that she does her own exquisite singing to boot.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.55:1 1080p. How does it look? Aside from a weirdly blotchy opening credit sequence, this is a spectacular transfer. The colors (and there are a lot of them) really pop in hi-def.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Swell! The song numbers are especially noteworthy here.

Extras: * Trailer * An alternate version of the film presented in 1.77 widescreen * “MGM Jubilee Overture”- A short concert film celebrating MGM studios. * “MGM’s 30th Anniversary Newsreel”- The title says it all. * “7/22/1954 Radio City Music Hall Premiere”- 2 minutes of footage from the NY premiere with audio clips from cast and crew members. * “Sobbin’ Women: The Making Of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers”- An archival 43 minute featurette (with Howard Keel hosting and narrating) that contains film clips, tons of behind-the-scenes stories, interviews with cast and crew members, and more. Easily the best extra here. * A bland solo commentary by director Stanley Donen.

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August 23, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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