Film: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a musical, based on a short story by Stephen Vincent Benet, that was made into a film in 1954 and staged on Broadway in 1984. The movie focuses on Adam Pontipee and his new bride Milly on the American frontier. Adam has six rowdy lumberjack brothers, who each are also looking for a wife. Milly tries to train them into being gentlemen, but they go against that and kidnap the women they are sweet on instead of properly courting. An avalanche traps the women with the men over the winter, and they warm up to each other. The musical was in part based off of The Rape Of The Sabine Women.

Tropes used by this musical:

  • Abduction Is Love: Played with; the girls are very cool towards the brothers after their abduction at first, but by the end of the film they're fighting to stay with them instead of getting away from them.
  • Adaptation Expansion
  • Altar the Speed: Millie and Adam get married after knowing each other only a few hours.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming / Family Theme Naming: The brothers have been named alphabetically from the Old Testament: Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank (short for Frankincense, the Old Testament having no names beginning with F), and Gideon.
    • And Milly and Adam's daughter is named Hannah.
  • Angry Mob Song: The Townspeople's Lament in the stage version.
  • Babies Make Everything Better
  • Barn Raising
  • Berserk Button: Frank is incensed by people calling him by the long form of his name. Can you blame him?
  • Beta Couple: Gideon - who has the most characterization out of the six brothers by far - and Alice.
  • The Cast Showoff: Brothers C-F were played by professional dancers. All the brides were as well, which gave us "June Bride". And Russ Tamblyn, playing Gideon, had training as a gymnast.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: See Fiery Red Head.
    • Also, Gideon has a blue shirt in over half of the scenes.
  • Cool Big Sis: Millie becomes this to her brothers-in-law, and later to the girls they kidnapped.
  • Courtly Love: Described in Going Courting
  • Deliver Us from Evil: A rare male example, since the birth of his daughter makes Adam stop being a Jerkass.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The brothers not only forgot to kidnap a preacher, they also didn't stop to consider that A) the girls probably won't want to marry a bunch of guys they barely know, especially after being kidnapped in the middle of the night, and B) the girls' families and suitors are still going to come after them once the pass is open again.
  • Embarrassing First Name: The brothers' parents named them after Biblical characters going down through the alphabet. They hit a snag when they came to the letter F, so they named their son Frankincense. Let's just say he's not exactly fond of it.
  • Exiled To The Barn: Millie kicks the brothers out of the house when she realizes what they did, and gives their beds to the women.
  • Evil Plan: The six brothers consider giving Abduction Is Love a try. It doesn't exactly work as planned.
  • Fake Shemp: Jacques d'Amboise (Ephraim) had to leave before filming was finished because he was still under contract with the New York City Ballet, so an unknown stand-in filled in for him during the last few days.
  • Fiery Red Head: All seven Pontipee brothers; hardly surprising, as red hair runs in families. An interview on the DVD points out that this is a case of Color-Coded Characters, as the production team needed to signal the brothers' difference from the townsmen.
  • Flipping the Table: Done by Millie when she sees the men's atrocious table manners.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Millie remarks how handsome her new brother-in-laws are when she makes them all bathe and shave.
  • Have a Gay Old Time
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Adam and Milly.
  • The Kindnapper: All of the six brothers who are bachelors in the beginning. They kidnap the women with the intention of marrying them, but they do state that they want to "make them Sobbin' women smile" and they intend for the kidnappings to result in happy marriages. Seems like they were honestly fooled (by Adam) into thinking this is what the women really wanted and they clearly had no intention of harming them or forcing anything on anyone (except for the whole forcing them away from their homes part). They repent later on once they figure it out, and try to take them back home.
  • Marriage Before Romance: Adam convinces a townswoman named Milly to marry him, promising an idyllic life in the woods. But when he gets her home she discovers that he failed to mention his six rowdy adult brothers who would also be living under the same roof. Despite her initial anger, she starts to fall in love with him, but their romance is derailed when he decides that since kidnapping one woman worked so well, they might as well head into town and grab themselves six more. Snowed in over winter, all of the girls warm to their captors and when spring arrives and their menfolk come to rescue them, they all manage to finagle shot-gun weddings instead.
  • No Social Skills: The first time the brothers see a girl, they try to start a conversation by offering them tobacco to chew. Even after another man steps in and accuses them of insulting a lady, the brothers are still clueless.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When the townspeople show up to rescue the girls, the brothers are trying to get the girls to agree to go home. Unfortunately the girls don't want to leave, refuse to cooperate and start fighting and screaming...which accidentally ends up looking like the brothers are trying to force themselves upon them, and results in the boys nearly getting lynched.
  • One Head Taller: Adam and Millie in the movie.
  • Pair the Spares: All six of them!
  • Plank Gag: Frank is the victim of one of these during the barn-raising contest, except it was intentional and was only (poorly) disguised as an accident.
  • Plucky Girl: Millie
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation
  • Shotgun Wedding: It ends with all of the title characters having this, although by then they had all fallen in love with each other. (Each bride claimed that a baby born at the ranch was theirs, to prevent their fathers from shooting the men who had kidnapped them and whom they had now fallen for.)
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Millie embodies every ideal of femininity at the time: she's not afraid of working hard; she cooks, cleans, and sews for seven men, and yet turns a house of barbarians into a matriarchy through sheer force of personality.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: An important part of the story arc, as the story of six brothers desperate for women going into the city and kidnapping several maidens in the middle of the night and taking them back to the ranch, completely isolated for six months, has very strong subtext of lust and rape even though none of them have any intention of raping anyone. Though, it's worth noting that the girls had already met the brothers previously, and showed an interest in them.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song
  • Weddings for Everyone
  • The Wild West

Alternative Title(s):

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers