Someday Cinema Series To Screen 'Seven Brides'
The Someday Cinema Series will screen one of MGM’s most enduring musicals, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), at Edmond Town Hall on Thursday, November 15, at 4 and 7 pm.
Tickets are $3, and the matinee will be shown with subtitles for the benefit of the hearing impaired.
The story, set in the 1850 Oregon frontier, was adapted from The Sobbin’ Women (playing on “Sabine women”) by Steven Vincent Bené, The film opens as Adam (baritone Howard Keel), eldest brother and mountain man, drives into town for two things: supplies and a wife. Once he convinces Millie (soprano Jane Powell), the two set off to his remote farm in the mountains, which he shares with his six brothers.
Millie is a strong, independent, and capable woman, surprised by how wild the brothers behave. Once they get the idea that they would also like to find wives, she molds the siblings into presentable enough men to be able to woo a wife.
Kenneth and Laura Lerman, longtime supporters of the movie series, are sponsoring the film, as it’s one of their favorites.
“Beyond the beautiful scenery and terrific singing by legends Howard Keel and Jane Powell,” Mrs Lerman explains, “look for the barn raising scene, which has been called ‘the most rousing dance number ever put on screen.’”
Michael Kidd choreographed this dance, which also includes a complex fight between the brothers and the paramours of the few young ladies in town. Kidd’s involvement in the film was crucial for director Stanley Donen, and his skills are felt throughout the film in stagings born out of the natural movements of the characters.
In 1954, much to MGM’s surprise, the picture was so appealing, even President Eisenhower urged the public to go see it. Hit lyricist Johnny Mercer was paired with Gene DuPaul to compose nine clever songs for the musical. The film won an Oscar for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical, and was nominated for four others.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was to be released in wide screen Cinemascope, but since many theaters were not equipped for that format, each scene was re-organized and reshot in the conventional flat format also, making two movies simultaneously. Ironically, it seems the conventional format was never actually released in theaters.
The next film in the series, presented by Newtown Cultural Arts Commission, will be Miracle on 34th Street, on Sunday, December 16, with screenings at 1, 4, and 7 pm. Visit tiny.cc/somedaycinema2018 for all the details of the 2018 season.
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