Soitenly
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Seven Chances (1925) - Buster Keaton  (Read 215 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Paul Pain

  • Moronika's resident meteorologist
  • Moderator
  • Knothead
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,144
  • Gender: Male
  • The heartthrob of millions!
    • View Profile
Seven Chances (1925) - Buster Keaton
« on: October 28, 2017, 08:04:30 AM »
  • Publish




  • Watch SEVEN CHANCES in the box above and get the Damfino's note here:
    http://www.busterkeaton.com/Films/C06_Seven_Chances.html

    Required reading:
    BRIDELESS GROOM thread
    HUSBANDS BEWARE thread

    Now, I haven't watched this movie yet but hope to do so tonight.  I want to say that I haven't watch it yet because I dread it terribly.  Read my reviews in the posted threads, as BRIDELESS GROOM was another work of CLYDE BRUCKMAN plagiarism.  I hate BRIDELESS GROOM and HUSBANDS BEWARE, so I am fearful and hopeful for this.

    So, I watched it, and it wasn't too bad.  The opening was pretty good.  Watching the lawyer's effort to reach Keaton was quite humorous.

    The "seven chances" was funny at parts and lackluster at others.  Somewhere around here I fell asleep briefly and had to rewind multiple times.  The stupidity of Jimmie not getting Mary's call really was mind-numbing.  The first 35 minutes were slow, almost humorless, and illogical.  At this point, we're at a "BURN IN HELL" rating.

    Then Buster wakes up, and the minister opens his big, fat mouth.  And things get REALLY good.  Even the bridal chase defies logic.  But this chase was hilarious and heart-stopping.  This was by far the best part of the movie and one of the best parts of any Buster film we've reviewed thus far.

    I need a drink.

    5/10 [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke]
    #1 fire kibitzer

    Offline Umbrella Sam

    • Chucklehead
    • ***
    • Posts: 202
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: Seven Chances (1925) - Buster Keaton
    « Reply #1 on: October 28, 2017, 10:51:05 AM »
  • Publish
  • As a whole, I actually consider BRIDELESS GROOM to be a better put together film than SEVEN CHANCES, though SEVEN CHANCES definitely has better elements to it than BRIDELESS GROOM. The film starts off with a brief Technicolor sequence to introduce us to the main leads. This was back when Technicolor was still in its experimental stages and usually only was used for brief sequences in features (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is another example). It is odd, though, that they’d start with the Technicolor sequence rather than save it until later.

    After that, we get to the main plot. Stooge fans, of course, will know the plot right away, so I won’t bother explaining it, though unlike in BRIDELESS GROOM, the film actually starts off with a pretty funny sequence of Snitz Edwards trying to show Keaton that he isn’t trying to serve him a summons. After that, there’s is a brief dramatic scene with Ruth Dwyer which is alright, but nothing special.

    Then we get to the proposals sequence. This is basically the equivalent of Shemp’s phone calls in BRIDELESS GROOM. In BRIDELESS GROOM, though, Shemp’s quickly rejected phone calls make for a very fun gag and we get a particular focus on a funny scene of him trying to propose to Christine McIntyre, only for him to be mistaken for somebody else. In SEVEN CHANCES, Keaton goes around the club asking every girl he sees to marry him and they all reject him in various ways that aren’t particularly funny. Even the gag of someone else proposing for Keaton is not nearly done as well as in BRIDELESS GROOM. In BRIDELESS GROOM, Shemp’s face after the struggle with the nickel is what makes the gag. In SEVEN CHANCES they only play off the fact that Snitz Edwards is not good looking. Also, there are several racist gags (Mary’s hired hand is a white actor performing in blackface).

    When they get to the chapel, though, is where this film really begins to pick up. This is one of, if not the greatest, chase scenes I have ever seen in a movie ever. I particularly love when the brides end up running over a football team, when they take over the trolley, and when the officers start running away from them as well. Keaton avoids as many dangers you could think of: being shot by duck hunters, getting hit by a train, getting crushed by boulders. This, combined with him having to make it to Mary’s house at a specific time, makes for a very intense and thrilling finale.

    SEVEN CHANCES is a flawed film and I think that this has to do partly with the fact that Keaton was basically forced to do this film by Schenck. It clearly did not match up with his style, especially with the rejections sequence. It’s not bad, but I do think that this fit Shemp better than Buster Keaton.

    7 out of 10

    Also, I do consider this to be better than HUSBANDS BEWARE.

    Paul Pain's note: I just fixed a mistake I made in the topic title.
    « Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 05:25:43 AM by Paul Pain »

    Offline Paul Pain

    • Moronika's resident meteorologist
    • Moderator
    • Knothead
    • ******
    • Posts: 1,144
    • Gender: Male
    • The heartthrob of millions!
      • View Profile
    Re: Seven Chances (1925) - Buster Keaton
    « Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 06:29:35 PM »
  • Publish
  • My less-than-glowing review is now up.
    #1 fire kibitzer

    Offline metaldams

    • Global Moderator
    • Egghead
    • ******
    • Posts: 6,048
    • Gender: Male
    • Sugar Daddy in waiting
      • View Profile
    Re: Seven Chances (1925) - Buster Keaton
    « Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 06:58:53 AM »
  • Publish
  •        It is true that Keaton was forced to do this film because his producer, Joseph Schenk, bought the rights.  Most Keaton films were written by Keaton and his team, but this was a pre-written property that was basically a drawing room comedy any comedian could have done.  Put it to you this way...in addition to Keaton, Schenk thought this might also work for the Talmadge sisters.  Keaton is usually writing a film that suites his character, not having a property any comedian could handle.

          So basically, we know the drill, first two thirds....meh.  Final third....genius.  Those first two thirds would score no higher than a 6 based on material alone, and we'd need a good comedian to get the score that high.  Well, Keaton is that, his underplaying comedic style a breath of fresh air from the greasy haired Valentino wanna be who would normally play this kind of role.  Without the chase, this would be the kind of film you'd watch once.  Keaton getting rejected by seven different girls, without much variety, takes too much time and is not best suited for him.  I too prefer Christine mistaking Cousin Basil.  Much better than any rejections here.  As far as the racial gags, there are a few...and the I'll date anything but a black woman gag does quickly show up.  I've seen Larry Semon do this gag too, and it does lack humor....obviously.  Definitely the kind of thing you'd never see in a film today!

          Highlights of the first two thirds include the technicolor opening.  Yes, like Umbrella Sam said, also done briefly in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA the same year, and for a whole feature using this early technicolor process, check out Douglas Fairbanks in THE BLACK PIRATE (1926).  Cool film.  Snitz Edwards trying to deliver the letter mistaken as a summons is the comedic highlight, milked very well and the most Keatonesque moment.  Love Snitz Edwards and also want to add that T. Roy Barnes, who plays Keaton's business partner, is the same actor who played the hilariously annoying life insurance salesman looking for Carl LaFong in W.C. Fields IT'S A GIFT, one of my all time favorite movies.

          OK, two thirds mostly standard comedy, but then the chase!  One of Keaton's great works.  Just the volume of brides in itself is a sight to behold, coming in all different sub sections and angles in an equally brilliant way as the policemen do in COPS.  My favorite bride bit would be them trampling over the football players.  Keaton himself is brilliant with his facial expressions in the church, and just runs away for an extended period of time, going through barbed wire, bees, pulled up by a crane, falling on top of a chopped down tree the moment the man below yells timber....and then there's that boulder chase.  Keaton dodging those boulders is one of those things words don't do justice, it is physical comedy after all.  But it's another case of Keaton's great athleticism and timing.

    The chase more than enough makes this film worth watching again and ups the score considerably.

    9/10