Combustible Celluloid
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With: Buster Keaton, T. Roy Barnes, Snitz Edwards, Ruth Dwyer, Francis 'Frankie' Raymond, Erwin Connelly, Jules Cowles
Written by: Clyde Bruckman, Jean C. Havez, Joseph A. Mitchell, based on a play by Roi Cooper Megrue
Directed by: Buster Keaton
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 56
Date: 03/11/1925

Seven Chances (1925)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Marriage on the Rocks

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This solid Buster Keaton effort begins with a sitcom-type idea: Jimmy Shannon (Keaton) will inherit a fortune if he is married by the end of the day. At first women rebuff his offers of marriage, but when the news gets out, an army of potential brides begins chasing him. That's when Keaton's genius kicks in, coming up with endless variations on the chase. One of the film's most spectacular scenes has Keaton running downhill while dodging several large boulders. Chris O'Donnell and Renée Zellweger unwisely remade the film in San Francisco as The Bachelor (1999).

Seven Chances was previously available by itself on in Kino's massive, essential 1999 box set. In 2011, Kino re-released it in a new "ultimate" remastered DVD and Blu-Ray. Extras include: 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 directed by Edwin S. Porter; and a visual essay on the film's locations, by "Silent Echoes" author John Bengtson (these three extras are not in high-def). We also get an analysis of the Technicolor sequence by film historian Eric Grayson; and a gallery of production stills. Robert Israel's score is available in 2.0 and 5.1 stereo.

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