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Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Director:  Stanley Donen
Year Released:  1954
Rating:  2.0

In the 19th century Pacific Northwest, Adam (Howard Keel) moseys into town and "picks up a wife" (Jane Powell) the way one would snag a sack of sugar ... except like the title says, he has six brothers, so they kidnap (!?) six single ladies and then trap them in their house until they fall in love (it's a G-rated Almodóvar). The combination of the corny song-and-dance numbers and sexism/misogyny is certainly grating - it was dated even in the mid 50's, and no amount of 'female resistance' changes the fact that the men get their way in the end - though I couldn't help but laugh at how the brothers cannot stop punching the ever-loving shit out of strangers (and even each other), foolishly fall in love at first sight (they've never seen or spoken to women before) and have IQs lower than their body temperatures. As a colorful, silly hootenanny it doesn't contain any surprises (it's based on a short story by Fountain Hill's own Stephen Vincent Benét) but does show the boys strutting and bouncing on wooden planks: now that's some damn fine choreography (and footwork!).

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