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Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – Lonesome Polecat

An evening pause: This song, from the 1954 MGM classic musical, was one of the first evening pauses I posted back in 2010. As Diane and I recently rewatched the musical, I think it time to repost it. As I said then,

This haunting song from the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is notable not only because of the beauty of the music and dancing, but because the entire number is shot as one take, no cuts. Everyone, from the actors with their axes to the crew moving the camera on its dolly and crane, had to be right on cue for everything to work.

Having spent almost twenty years in the movie business, I can promise you that this is not easy.

The 2010 evening pause uses the original voice of red-haired Matt Mattox, which was dubbed for the movie.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

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"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Alex Andrite

    Volume could be ticked up a notch or two Mr.Z.
    Same with most of the pauses.
    My end is maxed out all around with the majority of the, especially, vocal or musical pauses.

  • Kevin R.

    That was a good one. Loved that movie.

  • Alex Andrite: If the volume for you is too low, and you can’t correct the volume level on your speakers, then I think you need to adjust some settings in your computer. The volume for me is fine.

  • Alex Andrite

    Mr. Z.
    Ack and thanks.

    Mixer and relatives are now at max. More homework next.

  • Icepilot

    Those 2-man crosscut saws are a lot easier to work when they don’t have any teeth …

  • Phil Berardelli

    With your permission, Bob, I’m posting my capsule comment on the movie from my compilation, “Phil’s 2nd Favorite 500” (Amazon:

    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    1954 – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
    If you learn the plot of this delightful, Oscar-winning musical out of context, you might be appalled. Adam Pontipee (Howard Keel), a backwoodsman in mid-19th century Oregon, meets and quickly marries Milly (Jane Powell), a pretty young townswoman who has instantly fallen in love with him. But after Adam brings her home to meet (and cook and clean for, and live with) his six, B-to-G alphabetically named brothers, their ill-mannered behavior and the sheer untidiness of the place horrify her. But the plucky Milly rolls up her sleeves and takes on both the household and the brothers. She wins them over, to the point where they all soon get to hankering for women of their own. The longings become worse when they meet six fetching young ladies from the town. So, just before winter makes the mountain road impassible, the brothers head out and kidnap the women, ensuring that the seven couples – hence the title – will all be spending the long months of isolation under the same roof. Based on Plutarch’s story, “The Rape of the Sabine Women,” which the brothers use to justify their group abduction, it’s completely innocuous. It also features one of the most exuberant dance routines ever filmed, the “Barn Dance.” Created by Michael Kidd, it’s a six-minute masterpiece of choreography and acrobatics, an interpretation of romantic rivalries (the brothers versus the women’s six suitors from the town) that throbs with testosterone. And it all leads to an ending that involves an “I am Spartacus” moment played for laughs. Stanley Donen directed. [Trivia notes: 1) Seven Brides… remains one of the few movies shot entirely – and separately – in two different formats; in the then-standard screen ratio of 1.33:1 and in CinemaScope, which at 2.66:1 was twice as large. The reason? The widescreen format was brand new, and many of the country’s theaters weren’t yet equipped to accommodate it. 2) Donen practically begged Kidd to stage the musical numbers. Kidd, who initially hated the premise, finally agreed – but only if he wouldn’t have to choreograph any dancing! 3) MGM’s executives didn’t think the movie would do well, so they balked at budgeting for location shooting and confined the production to the studio’s sound stages and back lot. Serendipitously, the resulting painted backdrops for the town and the Pontipee brothers’ cabin were huge and gorgeous, and they actually enhanced the movie’s romantic mood. And despite the studio’s pessimism, Seven Brides… became one of the biggest box-office hits of the year. 4) Costume designer Walter Plunkett needed to differentiate the brothers from the townsmen for the “Barn Dance” and other crowded sequences. So, he turned the seven actors into redheads and dressed each of them in a differently colored bright shirt while confining their counterparts to black hair and grey and drab outfits. It worked. The Pontipees stand out smartly]

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