Vital Stats: Year: 1954 Director: Stanley Donen Stars: Howard Keel, Jane Powell, Russ Tamblyn, Julie Newmar (Catwoman in the 1960s Batman), Tommy Rall Choreographer: Michael Kidd Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Summary: Backwoodsman Adam Pontipee comes into town one day shopping for lard, molasses, chewing tobacco, and something he can't find behind the store counter: a wife. Amazingly enough, he gets a hard-working woman named Milly to agree to marry him, although he fails to mention to her that he has six other scroungy (slummocky, in the version I grew up watching) brothers back home. It's not long before she has them all cleaned up into mighty good-looking boys, ready to catch the eyes of the girls in town. But it's not only the girls' hearts that the brothers end up stealing away.
The choreography really shines in the energetic, acrobatic dance at the barn raising. The tension built up between the brothers and the townsmen as they vie for the girls' attentions climaxes in a pretty funny fight scene.
What I love about it: The wonderful Johnny Mercer lyrics in songs such as "Bless Yore Beautiful Hide", "Lonesome Polecat" ("Can't make no vows to a herd of cows.") and "Sobbin' Women".
I also find it amusing trying to choose a favorite brother out of the seven. My pick used to be the cute baby brother Gideon, but I'd say now he's just too young for me. Who's left? I find it hard to pine for Adam since he's taken so early in the movie. (Also, despite his nice singing voice, he seems a bit selfish and arrogant.) I'm afraid Benjamin belongs in the pretty but dumb category. Caleb, Daniel and Ephraim all kinda blend together for me -- two of them sport facial hair that is too reminiscently backwoodsy, and the clean-shaven one of the three is rather bland and boring.
My pick would have to be Frank. Although he does seem to have a bit of a temper (mostly seen in his sensitivity to being teased about his name) he's also the best at the handshake-wrestling-on-wood-boards thing. And he's got a chin dimple. I like chin dimples.