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Seven Chances: Ultimate Edition

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 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • Release Date: Dec 13 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B005SDB8H8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,415 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 an alternate 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) 4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 29 2016
By JTDk - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favor... Jan. 24 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
...and don't limit your choice to this one, because, no matter how many times you see those movies, it's every time as much enjoyable as it was the first time, even if the surprise effect has gone. You can blame Buster Keaton for not being as good as Chaplin as a businessman or for polishing up every scene, but I think he was much better for inventiveness and use (often creation) of special effects, and at least his match for somersaults, if not better.
Thanks a lot to Kino Video for getting so many titles in such good state (most of it), maybe they should offer an opportunity to Madacy's staff as trainees for a while.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray upgrades: Technicolor sequence further restored! Nov. 29 2011
By Paul J. Mular - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
The biggest improvement of the Blu-ray disc over the old DVD is the 80 hours of work done by Eric Grayson to improve the deteriorating technicolor sequence. In the old DVD it just looked like a red-tinted film with possibly a hint of another color. Now it is clearly a 2-color sequence. There is a demonstration in the bonus materials showing you the evolution of this restoration.

The remainder of the film was always very good on the old DVD, now the Blu-ray technology brings out sharper details and a bit more picture around all four sides. The tinting is different, the old DVD was presented with an AMBER tint through out the film while the Blu-ray has a mild BROWN tone giving it an almost monochrome look.

The Bonus Shorts on the old DVD are already on the Buster Keaton Shorts Blu-ray collection Buster Keaton Short Films Collection: 1920-1923 (Three-Disc Ultimate Edition) [Blu-ray], so no need to present them here. But with a feature running under an hour Kino needed to add some time with new bonus material.

Bonus Material:
A BRIDELESS GROOM (The Three Stooges) - probably the biggest waste of time including this public domain 16mm film transfer here. It is presented because Clyde Bruckman wrote both the screenplay for SEVEN CHANCES and this 3-Stooges short. Too bad they could not get access to the 35mm material used for Sony's Three Stooges Collection release. 16mm in Hi-Def?

HOW A FRENCH NOBLEMAN GETS A WIFE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES PERSONAL COLUMNS - try to say that title fast! A novel short that is fun to see, still a 16mm transfer but not as common.

FILMING LOCATIONS - More great then & now scenes to show you where SEVEN CHANCES WAS SHOT.

ABOUT THE TECHNICOLOR SEQUENCE - a brief documentary about how 1925 Technicolor was shot & what a poor state the footage was in. A 4 way split frame shows you the progression of the restoration work.


Bottom line question: Is it worth it to upgrade the old DVD with this new Blu-ray? I would say "YES". Wile most of the old DVD does look good, it is a big upgrade for the technicolor sequence.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard To Top This For Silent Film Laughs April 21 2009
By Craig Connell - Published on
Format: VHS Tape
****spoiler warning****

Buster Keaton, a businessman who is about to get into some serious trouble and lose all his money, finds out his fortunes might change rapidly as a relative dies and leaves him $7 million. One hitch: he has to be married by his 27th birthday to qualify for the cash....and - surprise - today is his 27th birthday.

Well, he frantically searches for anyone to marry him, starting with his girlfriend and then working down to others. He has a list of seven women - all very pretty, I might add, even with that 1920s overdone silent film makeup. Poor Buster quickly strikes out on all seven of those.

Then - and here is where the real fun starts - his business partner puts a story in that day's newspaper saying his buddy is looking to marry a woman and collect $7 million. All you have to do is meet him at the church at 5 o'clock to marry him. Well, hundreds - maybe a thousand - women all storm the church! When Buster sees this - and then gets a note from his girlfriend saying she WILL marry him - he escapes from the church to meet her. Unfortunately, the chase is on as the multitude of women chase him all over town.

The hordes of women pursue him the main street, through a railroad yard, past the suburbs and finally into the countryside where he loses them. He still isn't home free as giant boulders start chasing him down a hill and then chase him for miles. Keaton keeps running and running through all of it. He has more endurance than an Olympic marathon runner! It's touch-and-go whether he can make it to see his girl by the 7 p.m. deadline and get married.

All of this takes place in a 56-minute film with the last 15 minutes being total insanity with that great chase scene.

Silent movie comedy entertainment.does not get much better than this.

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