“scorn of older society, impatience of its restraints and its ideas, and indifference to its lessons, have accompanied the frontier. . . .
Frederick Jackson Turner
“The Significance of the Frontier in American History” (1893)
Seven Brides For Seven Brothers is about a family of bachelor men who give up on the idea of courtship and kidnap the women they want to marry. Trapped in a snowbound cabin, the women wait out the winter with only Jane Powell, the wife of the one married brother, to stand between them and the loss of their virginity.
Fortunately Jane Powell had successfully defended her own virginity in numerous previous screen appearances, so she doesn’t lose her head. She guides the women through months of cabin fever and when spring arrives, the women emerge in dresses made out of reconstructed quilts, deeply in love with their captors and no worse for the wear.
We have this improbable premise to thank for some of most beautiful and extraordinary dance choreography ever committed to film. Seven Brides For Seven Brothers makes no sense. Neither does Swan Lake. But what dancing!
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is twice over an Oregon film: set in Oregon (shot in California) and starring Portlander Jane Powell.
For all you screen siren nerds, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is Julie Newmar’s movie debut – she is credited as Julie Newmeyer.