Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Get Me to the Church on Time: 'Seven Chances': Ultimate Edition

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Dec 2, 2011
One of Buster Keaton's beautiful creations.
cover art

Seven Chances: Ultimate Edition

Director: Buster Keaton
Cast: Buster Keaton, Ruth Dwyer

(USDVD release date: 13 Dec 2011)

The premise combines simplicity and absurdity. A man in financial trouble (Buster Keaton) is notified that he’ll inherit seven million dollars if he’s married by seven o’clock tonight. He’s got a sort-of-girlfriend, but she’s offended by the implication that he just needs to marry a warm body for the cash. So the first half of the film concerns Buster’s attempts to propose to a series of women at a posh country club, and the last half is an epic chase involving hundreds of women in bridal veils who read about the story in the newspaper.


This one-hour lark is one of Keaton’s beautiful creations, marred only (as is sometimes the case with Keaton) by a few minutes of blackface Negro-stereotype lampoonery; let it serve to remind us, in the Buddhist manner, that everything has a flaw to keep it from perfection. The film opens with a sequence in early two-strip Technicolor, and this version restores it to its loveliest look yet; there’s a bonus on the restoration of this sequence. There’s also scholarly commentary, a comparison of the film’s original Los Angeles locations with how they look today, and two shorts with the same premise: a simple but lovely 1904 chase from Edwin S. Porter at the Edison Company, and a late Three Stooges short scripted by Keaton’s co-writer Clyde Bruckman. Kino is releasing this edition as both a DVD and a Blu-Ray.


Rating:

Extras rating:

Related Articles
22 Feb 2012
Buster Keaton is believable as a bum, a boxer or a dandy.
20 Sep 2011
The films of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin share a fraternal vitality and invention.
3 Dec 2008
The sound era added nothing thematically or tonally that wasn't already perfected in silent films.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.