Continuing on the cultural enrichment project in my home, and perhaps needing a little levity, my seven children and I sat down last night to watch ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,’ the 1954 musical starring Howard Keel and Jane Powell.
As my son Solomon pointed out near the end of the film, this is in part a story about Stockholm Syndrome.
But it’s more than that. And we ought not to take this too seriously. It is a comedy, after all.
The year is 1850. Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank, and Gideon Pontipee occupy the family farm in the mountains of Oregon. When eldest brother Adam comes back from town with his bride Milly, his younger brothers – dirty, rude, and utterly devoid of all charm and grace – realize they want wives too.
Milly sets to work reforming her new brothers-in-law, cleaning them up and teaching the rough-and-tumble lot some manners.
It just so happens that when they all attend a barn-raising with the local townsfolk, the unwed brothers take a liking to some of the girls from town. And those girls take a liking to them too, what with their now-tempered confidence.
Don’t necessarily try this at home, kids. But it all ends up happy in the end when the whole lot take their vows. And I think we could all learn a thing or two about being civilized and polite, but not too-too civilized.
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