Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1954. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich, Dorothy Kingsley, based on the story The Sobbin’ Women by Stephen Vincent Benet. Cinematography by George J. Folsey. Produced by Jack Cummings. Music by Gene de Paul. Production Design by Cedric Gibbons, Urie McCleary. Costume Design by Walter Plunkett. Film Editing by Ralph E. Winters. Academy Awards 1954.
A young woman (Jane Powell) living in the Old Wild West meets a handsome fella (Howard Keel) and after one day takes up his offer to come and live with him in the mountains and be his wife. Once she gets there she discovers that not only does she have to cook and clean for him in his run-down shack of a home, she also has to look after his six unruly younger brothers. Not one to run away from a challenge, she proceeds to smarten the dirty, ragged bunch up and make them marriageable for women in the town. Unfortunately, the more she succeeds with them, the more she is distanced from her increasingly stubborn husband. This delightful musical ended up being one of MGM’s biggest hits of all time, winning an Academy Award for its excellent music that features a bevy of memorable, original songs. The central piece, a dance involving a barn-raising, is stunningly choreographed by Hollywood dancemaker Michael Kidd.