November 28, 2015
Review #757: Seven Chances.
Buster Keaton (Jimmy Shannon), T. Roy Barnes (Billy Meekin, His Partner), Snitz Edwards (His Lawyer), Ruth Dwyer (Mary Jones, His Girl), Frances Raymond (Her Mother), Erwin Connelly (The Clergyman), and Jules Cowles (The Hired Hand) Directed by Buster Keaton.
Ah, Buster Keaton. I knew that I would eventually get to one of his feature films sometime on this show, and what better time than now, before this year (the 120th anniversary year of his birth) ended? You might be wondering why this film, and not his first film, The Saphead? As the old saying (read: not really) goes, sometimes you don't need a particular reason. One good thing about Keaton is that you can find a good portion of his films on the web (if you look hard enough, anyway), which is a relief. But aside from that, Keaton is certainly the most definable thing in this movie, because of his screen presence. He is an interesting person to watch, especially near the end during the chase. One of my favorite parts is him climbing a tall tree...that is then chopped down. Speaking of which, the end sequence of being chased by would-be brides is especially amusing, particularly at how absurd it can get, to the point where Keaton is not only chased by a bunch of women, but by a group of rocks. The rock sequence was a pure accident of Keaton accidentally dislodging a rock, which made two other rocks tumble that was turned into a full on tumbling of (paper-mache and chicken wire) rocks going after him and the women that is so fun to watch. Seeing people getting knocked over by rocks is funny especially when you don't really see their pained reactions. There really isn't much story (Keaton must get married by 7pm on his 27th birthday to receive 7 million dollars), but the movie doesn't really drag too much, which makes the 56 minute run time worth it. The cast is entertaining enough, but the movie really is all about Buster Keaton and his acting-directing talent. It's no wonder why he is called the "The Great Stone Face", but it's also no wonder why he is still being watched to this very day.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.