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Seven Chances (Ultimate Edition) [Blu-ray]

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Buster Keaton, Ruth Dwyer, T. Roy Barnes
  • Directors: Buster Keaton
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • Release Date: Dec 13 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B005SDB7VK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,482 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Love has never been funnier or more difficult to manage than in the immortal Keaton comedies. Seven Chances is a film often imitated but never rivaled for hilarity and visual virtuosity. Keaton stars as Jimmie Shannon, a romantically jinxed young man who must marry by 7:00 PM to inherit seven million dollars. While fate seems to thwart his efforts to woo the object of his true affection (Ruth Dwyer), public announcement of his strange predicament provides him with a throng of would-be brides who are aggressive in their pursuit of a husband, to say the least. In one of the most rousing, brilliantly choreographed sequences in Keaton's career, Shannon flees the horde of women while dodging the hostile forces of nature that seem to be conspiring against him (in the form of a colossal rockslide) during his manic dash to the altar. This beautiful new HD transfer has been mastered from an original 35mm nitrate print from the Library of Congress.

Special Features - Audio Commentary (TBD), “Silent Echoes” featurette, Seven Chances restoration featurette featuring Technicolor comparison and more!

The reputation of Buster Keaton's Seven Chances rests almost solely on its outrageous finale, a brilliant cascade of comic invention that begins with a church full of blushing brides and builds to a surreal chase of epic proportions. The hapless groom is pursued by a angry mob of women clad in white lace and veils and ends up dodging rolling stones and massive boulders while fleeing an avalanche, never once losing his trademark deadpan. Buster plays a struggling lawyer who will inherit a fortune if he marries by 7 p.m. of his 27th birthday--the very day he receives notice of the potential windfall. When his longtime sweetheart turns him down, he frantically searches for someone--anyone--to wed. While Seven Chances doesn't have the sustained inspiration of his best films, Keaton fills the picture with inventive moments and clever ideas, notably a sustained series of desperate proposals (the "seven chances" of the title) that lead to the climactic swarm of aggressive brides. The biggest weakness is an embarrassing blackface performance that has only become more offensive with the years. Jean Arthur briefly appears as a switchboard operator. The film was remade in 1999 as The Bachelor with Chris O'Donnell. The DVD also features two short films: "Neighbors," the story of young lovers who flirt across the fence that separates their houses and their bickering families, and "The Balloonatic," which despite the presence of a hot air balloon is actually a gag-filled camping comedy. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I'm at a bit of a loss to explain what I thought about SEVEN CHANCES (1925) as a whole, because I had such a mixed reaction to it. The beginning and middle go from being sort of fun to being downright offensive. It's the last twenty or so minutes that save this fifty-six minute feature. They're absolutely terrific and encapsulate all of the things that Buster Keaton did so well.
The premise for this movie is overly simplistic and rather contrived, but then again, we aren't looking for Machiavellian plots out of most romantic comedies. Buster Keaton finds himself as the recipient of a large inheritance. As one could guess, this windfall comes with a catch: if he is married before seven o'clock on his twenty-seventh birthday, he gets the cash. If he isn't married by that time, then he gets nothing. (Wouldn't we all love to put weird catches like that into our last will and testament? I'm planning to withhold everything from my next-of-kin until they put on a clown suit and run down Interstate-270 during rush-hour shouting the lyrics to Eminem's "Lose Yourself".) Since it turns out that today is the unmarried Keaton's twenty-seventh birthday, he races around desperately trying to tie the knot with someone -- anyone. Naturally, there is one special woman who we all know that he's supposed to end up with, but we have to wait until the very end for the movie to reward us with the anticipated conclusion.
If that plot summary sounds familiar to any reader out there, it's probably because the film was remade recently with Chris O'Donnell in the Buster Keaton role. I haven't seen that version of the movie, and I can only assume that the decision was made because a movie mogul had some sick desire to see the words "Chris O'Donnell" and "Buster Keaton" in the same sentence.
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Format: VHS Tape
When it comes to silent comedy, I'm a Harold Lloyd/Our Gang man, but this film has increased my appreciation of Buster keaton.
The man was a comic genius. Although the story is wildly improabable, you wind up caring about what happens to Buster and his finacee.' The mad chase scene, while a bit drawn-out, shows remarkable comic timing and while it may not make you laugh out loud, you have to admire the work that went into this.
The only drawbacks are the elements of the racism of the era. The finacee's handyman is clearly a White actor in blackface (an odd choice, since there are a couple of other actual Black actors in the film). One rather crude scene has Buster approaching a possible "wife" on a park bench. He retreats when she opens up a newspaper written in Hebrew. A short while later, he admires a young lady from behind and tries to talk to her, only to "hit the road" when she turns to reveal she is Black. But being a film purist, I would not recommend that these offensive scenes be removed from current prints. They should stand to show the mentality of that era.
That aside, it's a great film.
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Format: VHS Tape
Seven Chances was an old warhorse of a stage play, and at first that fact is a little too obvious. Stick with it, though, because the climax is pure Keatonian surrealism, and as falldown funny as anything he ever did-- Buster pursued for two reels by two equally terrifying forces of nature, an army of angry would-be brides and an avalanche of enormous boulders. Includes one of his more pointed shorts, Neighbors, in which love struggles to overcome the animosity of two sets of families. Any comment on his own marriage into the Talmadge family is surely coincidental.
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Format: VHS Tape
Seven Chances is a farce comedy. Buster must get married by 7PM to inherit $7 million. This is Buster's weakest silent feature (The Saphead doesn't count). Buster felt this was his weakest feature and did not want Raymond Rohauer to reissue it. Seven Chances is not a bad movie, any Buster Keaton movie prior to MGM sound is worthwhile. However, it's just nowhere near Buster's best. Lots of running by Buster helps the momentum near the end. The scene with the boulders is very good. This tape also contains two shorts: Neighbors and The Balloonatic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c4e33fc) out of 5 stars 41 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c5376d8) out of 5 stars Give "Seven Chances" a Chance! March 5 2000
By Nate Goyer - Published on
Format: DVD
Buster Keaton movies have a similar formula; naïve young man gets thrown into a situation where his ultimate manhood is put to test. Most classic Keaton films are written specifically for him, however "Seven Chances" is an exception in this area. Adapted from a 1916 stage play by Roi Cooper Megrue, "Seven Chances" puts Keaton to the task of finding a bride and getting married by 7:00pm that day, or else lose claim to a 7 million dollar inheritance. Before the plot, it is known that Keaton and his stockbroker business partner are very much in debt and the will face public disgrace and even jail time if they do not find much needed capital. So not only is Buster wanting the 7 million dollars, he needs it to keep his freedom.
Without giving away too much of the plot, the rest of the movie involves his unsuccessful pursuit of an immediate bride. He can't seem to get a break, when all of a sudden the news of his inheritance breaks and sends a mob of brides chasing him through the streets & country. It's the classic "Buster-Vs-The Elements" chase that Keaton is so well known for.
"Seven Chances" is an excellent film, although historically it was one of Keaton's least favorites. Keaton was initially perturbed by his producer, Joe Schneck, purchasing the play rights and 'Keaton-izing' it, rather than starting from material originated by Keaton himself. From viewing this film, I am stumped to see any inferiority and consider the end result to signify a very wise and entertaining move on Joe Schneck's part. "Seven Chances" ranks with some of Keaton's best work, including "Streamboat Bill Jr." & "The Navigator".
The 2 shorts included with this DVD are "Neighbors" and "The Balloonatic", both of them absolutely hilarious. "Neighbors" has some of the most inventive high-action scenes in any of the Keaton films, and "The Balloonatic" has some excellent scenes as well.
It's hard to go bad with a Buster Keaton silent movie and "Seven Chances" is no exception. The Kino/David Shepard duo does it again, by preserving a marvelous copy of this excellent film and by packing and distributing it with 2 excellent shorts. You and your family will like this DVD.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c5379f0) out of 5 stars Keaton makes the most of a little July 27 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: VHS Tape
Buster Keaton didn't really want to make SEVEN CHANCES, but since the film rights to the play were purchased for him by his manager/brother-in-law, he had little choice. Nevertheless, Keaton and his team put their considerable talents to work to make a very funny picture. Buster plays a young man who must be married by Seven p.m. in order to inherit a fortune. When he tries to propose to the girl he loves, she misunderstands and thinks he is only proposing to get the inheritance. She turns him down, so Buster, his best friend, and his attorney decide to find a bride one way or another. While the film may only be mildly amusing at the outset, it has great climax that more than makes up for any shortcomings: a wild chase scene with Buster escaping from a thousand would-be brides and an avalanche! Buster, as always, is excellent, but the film is nearly stolen by Snitz Edwards as the wizened attorney.This videotape is blessed with the SEVEN CHANCES prologue in it's original Technicolor (the surviving print is faded but watchable), and two wildly funny Keaton shorts: NEIGHBORS and THE BALLOONATIC.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c537abc) out of 5 stars Buster's Boulders Oct. 17 2000
By Cheated - Published on
Format: DVD
SEVEN CHANCES (1925): Buster is to inherit $7 million on his 27th birthday, providing that he is married before 7:00 p.m. Through a misunderstanding about how worthy she is to him, his girlfriend, at first, turns his marriage proposal down, and this sends Buster on a crusade to hurry and seek a bride in a race against time.
The best scenes in "Seven Chances" occur in the last third of the movie, where athletic, speeding Buster is being chased by a thousand angry potential brides, and we get to see the actual houses, shops, cars, gas stations, banks, signs, etc., of 1925 Los Angeles and the Hollywood hills. During the silent era, filmmakers were able to film out of the studio and onto the actual street. With the emergence of sound, outside scenes had to be made using what little acreage the studio had on their back lot, or the use of (phony-looking) rear projection (that sometimes moved way too fast). Another reason the last third of "Seven Chances" is so good is because it contains one of Buster's most famous scenes: being chased down a mountain by an avalanche of gigantic boulders.
"Seven Chances" is a story that was bought by Buster's boss, who expected Bus to mold it to his style of comedy. The script is credited to someone else, but I spotted that Buster probably wrote at least one of the title cards because it contains Keatonese grammar: "It don't matter who I marry".
NEIGHBORS (1920): This is a great 2-reeler that starts off as a Romeo and Juliet kind of story, then veers off into Bus getting into silly situations using blackface and being chased by cops, then goes back to the Romeo and Juliet theme. Some of the funniest (and dangerous) gags of his career are shown here between Bus and his father, played by his real father Joe, like Bus being hung by his toes on a clothesline with Joe accidentally whacking him with a carpet beater that throws Bus into a spin-around. "Neighbors" continues with the title card "that afternoon, the inventor tries his patent fly-swatter". The fly-swatter is just a big board that teeter-totters on the fence that separates the sweethearts' backyards. Weeeeee! ....a disoriented Joe Keaton is flipped into the neighbors' backyard by the fly-swatter, and with this, I noticed that a very funny (and very stiff) dummy was used in the long shot.
THE BALLOONATIC (1923): Buster's first era of his 2-reelers is nearly coming to a close. In a few months, success will demand that he start filming more elaborate features (5-7 reels). This 2nd to last 2-reeler starts off at an amusement park where Buster is trying to pick up girls. He proceeds to a balloon launching where he accidentally is launched with it into the air. After traveling for a while, he is shown idiotically playing hunter (with duck decoys hanging from the balloon) and shoots at a bird that is resting against the side of the balloon. The blast plummets him to the earth, where a series of gags follow with Bus in the wilderness, including the use of lots of animals and a canoe named Minnie-Tee-Hee.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5ff2c6c) out of 5 stars A chance to see Keaton and Jean Arthur Feb. 10 2001
By Mr Peter G George - Published on
Format: DVD
Seven Chances is just below Keaton's very best work in The General and Our Hospitality, but is still easily worth its five star rating. All that I will say about the plot of the film is that it is consistently funny with many laugh out loud moments. Moreover, some of Buster's stunts are truly frightening and they do not appear to have been faked. One of the great pleasures of this film is to catch a fleeting glimpse of a very young Jean Arthur. She is the receptionist who turns down Buster's marriage proposal by showing him her ring. Also, for Keaton fans, it is worth noting that the lawyer with the rubber face is the Principal in College. The print on this DVD is very fine. It has an introductory series of episodes in early two-strip technicolor, which is interesting even if the colour is somewhat bleached and damaged round the edges. The main body of the film however is in wonderful sepia. The music has some fine themes and adds to the livliness of the action. It is well played on what sounds like a cinema organ. Of the two short films on this DVD, I will just say that I prefer Neighbors to the Balloonatic. Both are funny, but do not rank with the best Keaton shorts.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d01cd68) out of 5 stars Buster Keaton - Seven Chances Blu-ray Jan. 18 2012
By Mr. Pd Kyriacou - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
FANTASTIC! Not only is the image quality and the HD upscaling beautifully presented with a great soft tint to the picture but the opening Technicolor sequence at the beginning is absolutely superb.

The opening is as close as we will get to the origianl 1925 release. This is a huge improvement overall in comparison to the 'Art of Buster Keaton Collection' that preceeded it. Whether you own a previous DVD release or not this is a must for any comedy, silent film or movie buffs alike.

5 stars all round.

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