Seven Chances / Neighbors / The Balloonatic
|Additional DVD options||Edition||Discs||
|New from||Used from|
|Watch Instantly with||Rent||Buy|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Love has never been funnier or more difficult to manage than in the immortal Keaton comedies brought together on this DVD. Opening with a newly-restored Technicolor sequence, 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 avalanche 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. Comedic courtship is further pursued in Neighbors, a 1920 short in which Buster tries to woo his tenement sweetheart in spite of the barriers that stand between them. Then, in The Balloonatic, Buster is carried by hot air from a cityside amusement park to the rustic country where - in a series of delightfully inventive vignettes - he ineptly struggles for survival and again somehow manages to stumble into romance.
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
- Contains the Buster Keaton Feature Seven Chances (1925, 56 min.) and Two Keaton Shorts: Neighbors (1920, 18 min.) & The Balloonatic (1923, 22 min.)
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
With that minor gripe aside, I thought that this was a thoroughly entertaining film. Unlike many Charlie Chaplin films, which tend to be a bit dark, with strong political statements, Keaton's films tend to be more optimistic. He doesn't always have serious subject matter that he wants to satire. He just wants to make people laugh by putting himself in one hilarious situation after another.
Seven Chances is about a young man who is told by a lawyer that he has only 24 hours to get married, otherwise, he will lose a huge inheritance. After bumbling his proposal to his long-time girlfriend, he ends up proposing to every girl he meets. After being spurned by everyone he proposes to, he puts an ad in the paper for a bride, and finds himself being pursued by every female in town.
The highlight of the film is when Keaton being chased down the city streets by 500 potential brides. The pace is so quick, one can barely catch their breath while the pursued Buster runs through a football game, tumbles down a steep, sandy hill, and creates a massive rock slide which he has to try dodge and outrun.
Although Seven Chances is not as well known as his other works, this film has made me an instant fan. There are instances of racial stereotyping that might make modern audiences very uncomfortable, but I refuse to judge a nearly 90 year old film by today's standards. The world has changed a lot since 1925, and for the better. I highly doubt that anything was done by Keaton to be deliberately mean spirited or offensive. No, we don't do this sort of thing anymore, but we did. History will never be perfect.
So, if you like silent films, and if you like to laugh, I highly recommend this film for your collection. It is not hard to see why Buster Keaton was one of the great comedic geniuses of the silent film era.