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Seven Chances

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Overview

Buster Keaton plays a young lawyer who will inherit $7 million at 7 o'clock on his 27th birthday--provided he is married. Long before discovering this, Keaton has pursued a lifelong courtship of Ruth Dwyer, whose refusals have become ritualistic over the years the passage of time is amusingly conveyed by showing a puppy grow to adulthood. He proposes again, but this time she turns him down because she thinks mistakenly that he wants her only so that he can claim his inheritance. The doleful Keaton is thus obliged...
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Overview

Buster Keaton plays a young lawyer who will inherit $7 million at 7 o'clock on his 27th birthday--provided he is married. Long before discovering this, Keaton has pursued a lifelong courtship of Ruth Dwyer, whose refusals have become ritualistic over the years the passage of time is amusingly conveyed by showing a puppy grow to adulthood. He proposes again, but this time she turns him down because she thinks mistakenly that he wants her only so that he can claim his inheritance. The doleful Keaton is thus obliged to spend the few hours left before the 7 PM deadline in search of a bride--any bride. He has no luck whatsoever until his pal T. Roy Barnes prints the story of Keaton's incoming legacy in the local newspaper. As a result, literally hundreds of women, bedecked in veils and bearing bouquets, chase Keaton through the busy streets of Los Angeles. When Keaton's producer Joseph M. Schenck bought the film rights to the Roi Cooper Megrue stage play Seven Chances, Keaton opted to forego most of the play's plot complications, devoting his energies to the bride-hunting vignettes and the climactic slapstick chase. The final scenes originally laid an egg with preview audiences--until the sequence was saved by "three little rocks." During the closing moments of the chase, Buster accidentally dislodged three small stones in the ground, which rolled after him as he escaped the thundering herd of would-be brides. The audience laughed immoderately at the tiny rocks, thereby inspiring Keaton to reshoot the ending, utilizing scores of huge, rolling boulders. The extra effort worked beautifully; while not his best silent feature, Seven Chances contains one of Keaton's most hilarious finales. Watch for Jean Arthur in a bit as a receptionist.
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Special Features

Audio commentary and conversation by film historians Ken Gordon and Bruce Lawton; A Brideless Groom (1947, 17 min.). a Three Stooges short that recycles the premise of Seven Chances, co-written by Keaton collaborator Clyde Bruckman; How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the New York Herald Personal Columns, a 1904 Edison short directted by Edwin S. Porter; Visual essay on the film's locations, by Silent Echoes author John Bengtson; Analysis of the Technicolor sequence by film historian Eric Grayson; Gallery of production stills; Music arranged and conducted by Robert Israel, in 2.0 stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Buster Keaton's fifth feature proved once again that, regardless of his virtuosity with trains, boats, and houses, Keaton's greatest comic prop was his own body. Keaton initially thought the 1916 play about a young man who stands to inherit $7 million if he marries by 7 p.m. that day was not right for him, but, when he accidentally dislodged a couple of rocks during the climactic chase, he literally stumbled on one of his funniest and astonishing flights of slapstick. Reshooting the scene with hundreds of fake boulders ranging from one to eight feet in diameter, Keaton slid and somersaulted down a steep hill, forced to dodge the rocks as well as hundreds of wannabe brides. Even with Keaton's reservations, the rest of Seven Chances is replete with comic and surreal Keaton moments, such as a church filling with potential mates while an unaware Keaton sleeps in the front pew, and a turtle that latches onto Keaton's tie during the chase. With the boulder slide added after a disappointing preview, Seven Chances succeeded with audiences; and it was feebly remade with Chris O'Donnell in 1999 as The Bachelor.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/13/2011
  • UPC: 738329084325
  • Original Release: 1925
  • Source: Lorber Films (Kino)
  • Language: English
  • Time: 56:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 46,142

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Buster Keaton Jimmie Shannon
Ruth Dwyer Mary Brown
T. Roy Barnes Billy Meekin
Snitz Edwards Attorney
Frankie Raymond Mrs. Brown
Jules Cowles Hired Hand
Erwin Connelly The Minister
Jean Arthur Receptionist
Marion Harlan
Hazel Deane
Jean Havez Man on the Landing
Judy King
Barbara Pierce
Connie Evans
Technical Credits
Buster Keaton Director
Clyde Bruckman Screenwriter
Jean Havez Screenwriter
Byron Houck Cinematographer
Robert Israel Musical Direction/Supervision
Elgin Lessley Cinematographer
Joseph Mitchell Screenwriter
Joseph M. Schenck Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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    Posted June 13, 2012

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