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Seven Chances (1925)

A man learns he will inherit a fortune if he marries by 7 p.m. that same day.

Director:

Buster Keaton

Writers:

Roi Cooper Megrue (adapted from David Belasco's famous comedy by), Clyde Bruckman (screen version) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... James Shannon
T. Roy Barnes ... Billy Meekin - James' Partner
Snitz Edwards ... James' Lawyer
Ruth Dwyer Ruth Dwyer ... Mary Jones - James' Girl
Frances Raymond Frances Raymond ... Mrs. Jones - Mary's Mother (as Frankie Raymond)
Erwin Connelly Erwin Connelly ... The Clergyman
Jules Cowles ... The Hired Hand
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Storyline

Financial broker Jimmie Shannon is nearly bankrupt when an attorney presents grandfather's will leaving him seven million dollars. In order to inherit the money Jimmie must marry before 7 pm on his 27th birthday - today! Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Buster takes all the chances of a young man who must marry by 7 o'clock to inherit seven million dollars with 700 prospective brides waiting at the church.(original newspaper ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 March 1925 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Sete Ocasiões de Pamplinas See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$210,748, 31 December 1925
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Buster Keaton Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White | Color (2-strip Technicolor) (opening sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Constance Talmadge: Popular actress and sister of Buster Keaton's wife at the time, Natalie Talmadge, has a small uncredited role. See more »

Goofs

The boulders are clearly fake - one boulder hits Buster and bounces off of him. See more »

Quotes

Billy Meekin - James' Partner: How many of these girls do you know? You have seven chances.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in What-No Beer? (1933) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Seven laughs a minute!
30 October 2007 | by ackstasisSee all my reviews

Buster Keaton catapults himself down a steep hillside, an avalanche of pebbles, rocks and boulders tumbling in his wake. If any one of these objects were to strike him down, he would certainly be killed by the impact. He is almost escaping the rocks now; just a few more seconds of frantic sprinting is required. Suddenly, Keaton looks up, only to find a massive horde of woman striding purposefully towards him. He is stuck between a rock and a hard place: an avalanche behind him, and a flock of would-be brides ahead. Quickly and delicately weighing his chances of survival either way, Keaton turns determinedly towards the barrage of boulders. It is hilarious little moments like this that make Buster Keaton's silent comedies such a joy to watch, and 'Seven Chances' is certainly one of the funniest I've seen, brimming with the talented actor's trademark deadpan humour.

The premise on which the story is based is singularly ridiculous, and so this allows Keaton to have a great deal of fun, placing his character in appropriately bizarre situations. Young Jimmy Shannon (Keaton) loves his sweetheart Mary Jones (Ruth Dwyer), but can never quite muster up the courage to tell her, and most certainly could never take that plunge into marriage. However, one day he discovers that his grandfather has left him the princely sum of $7 million, but only if he gets married… by 7 PM that day! After he is rejected by Mary (due to an unfortunate misunderstanding), Jimmy seeks out another would-be bride, ultimately realising that finding a wife isn't as easy as he had hoped. The first half of the film is admittedly light on Keaton's patented stunt-work, but it remains a clever and witty situation comedy, with poor Jimmy suffering the laughter of onlookers as he moves from one girl to the next, tentatively asking for their hands in marriage.

When all this fails, an advertisement in the afternoon-edition newspaper brings hundreds of women to Jimmy's side, but by now he's realised that Mary is the only girl he could ever marry. As he struggles desperately to get to her home by 7:00, he is pursued by a horde of money-crazy ladies: big and small, young and old, beautiful and ugly. This is truly where Keaton comes into his element, and a hectic scramble down a hillside – pursued by an avalanche of rocks – is the film's most memorable moment {the idea for this scene came by accident, when Keaton inadvertently dislodged some rocks while he was running. The preview audience responded so favourably that he decided to re-shoot an extended sequence}. The paper-mâché rocks look quite convincing, and I was pretty much fooled into thinking that Keaten was really dodging the real thing (until I noticed him get bowled over by one of the boulders, without any apparent ill-effects!) 'Seven Chances' moves by at such a frenetic pace that there isn't a moment that could be trimmed. Though it runs for just 56 minutes, I had a huge smile on my face for every single one of them.


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