the REEL WORLD: 1925

Seven Chances

Another Buster Keaton film (Bravo! showed several of them a while ago). In this one, Keaton plays Jimmie Shannon, a financial broker who is about to go bankrupt. He discovers that he stands to inherit seven million dollars from his grandfather if he marries by 7:00pm on his twenty-seventh birthday, which (of course) happens to be the day that he finds out about the will. Mayhem ensues. He proposes to his sweetheart, but she becomes furious when he mentions that he could marry any woman to inherit the money, and she declines. He begins proposing to random women, all of whom decline also; meanwhile, his business partner takes out an ad in the late edition of the paper, announcing that any woman who wants to marry Jimmie and share in the seven million dollars should appear at a specified church later that afternoon. Two hundred women show up, leading to an elaborate chase scene where Keaton is pursued down streets and finally down the side of a hill. The sequence on the hill is justifiably famous, as Keaton is followed by hundreds of boulders bouncing along after him.

John DeBartolo's review cites some contemporary reviews of the film, and contains a still photograph from it.


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Emily Way (emily@vex.net)
Last updated July 9, 1998