Monday, April 15, 2013

Seven Chances (1925)

Today's film selection is Seven Chances.  Buster Keaton plays a bachelor, James 'Jimmie' Shannon, who stands to inherit $7 million dollars if he can marry someone by his 27th birthday. Why did I choose this movie? Because today is my 27th birthday!

Jimmie and his work partner need money for work or else they'll get in trouble. While pondering their financial misfortune, they decide on the obvious choice of ditching work to go to the country club. Little do they know someone with good news is tailing them. He finally gets to meet them and shares the good news of Jimmie's inheritance.

He asks his girl Mary to marry him. She says yes, but when she finds out that they must wed today, he tells her he is going to receive a lot of money if he marries some girl today.  Mary then surprises us by refusing to marry for money.  She loves the guy already, she accepted his offer before she knew about the money, and he proved himself to not think before speaking. Most husbands don't. So I don't see a problem here.

The three men go somewhere and Jimmie points out seven girls he knows. I am impressed he remembered all their names because all of them look exactly alike. He manages to strike out with every single woman. '20s humor abounds when he deftly avoids proposing to a Jewish woman and a black woman, but approaches a white girl in the barbershop, not realizing it's a dummy head. He goes backstage to a woman's show, not realizing but it's too late that the woman is acutally Julian Eltinge, a famous female impersonator who was not pleased to be proposed to.

His friends print an ad in the local paper telling of his predicament. Meanwhile, on his way to the church Jimmie "proposed to everyone wearing a skirt, including a Scotchman." But that's okay, he was white. Soon he has hundreds of potential brides vying for him. But he finally gets the message from Mary and heads off to her house.

The scene fade-ins and fade-outs are very well done. If anyone thinks that silent films are slow, boring and not worth watching, needs to watch a comedy like this. The scene where all the potential brides chase him through the football field was funny. Plus that dude can run. Movie gets a 6/10.

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