Seven Chances (1925) Director: Joseph Frank “Buster” Keaton
Based on the musical of the same name, this silly film tells the story of Jimmie Shannon, a stock broker, who is on the verge of bankruptcy at the firm with his partner. However, a lawyer chases him and his partner around town to inform him that his grandfather has left him an inheritance of $7 million (they avoid him thinking it might be a summons). The only provision is that he must be married by 7 o’clock on 27th birthday. In a panic, he realizes it his the day of his 27th birthday and he runs to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Mary, but she declines because she is worried he is just after the money. Back at the office, she tries to call him but his phone is off the hook and she overhears his despair in a touching scene as he professes his love for Mary. Instantly, she sends a note over to him, but it is delayed as Jimmie is chased all over town by a large group of women wanting to marry him until he arrives at the doorstep of Mary and they are wed moments before the 7 o’clock deadline.
Keaton hated the play when it was on broadway, but he owed money to Joseph Schenck who had bought the rights to the play so he agreed to make the film. Keaton didn’t like the film. It was later remade several times by The Three Stooges, and as recently as The Bachelor in 1999.
Seven Chances is another great Buster Keaton film. Though it falls short of some of his other movies, such as The General or Sherlock, Jr., Seven Chances is a splendid and charming little film worth seeing.