Newest Reviews
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
  Seven Chances Here Come The Brides
Year: 1925
Director: Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, T. Roy Barnes, Snitz Edwards, Ruth Dwyer, Frances Raymond, Erwin Connelly, Jules Cowles, Jean Arthur
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jimmie Shannon (Buster Keaton) would like to tell Mary Jones (Ruth Dwyer) that he loves her, but he's never been able to pluck up the courage, and as time goes by, he is beginning to miss his opportunity to admit it. Especially as financially, he is in a bind, as his business is threatened with legal difficulties through a fraudster that could make him bankrupt or even land him in jail, therefore in no position to be wed. But there may be hope for him yet, as one day at the office he is consulting with his partner Billy Meekin (T. Roy Barnes) about their increasingly dire circumstances, and Jimmie's lawyer (Snitz Edwards) shows up with a very important message to give him about his late grandfather's will. It takes him a while to gain Jimmie's attention, but it is well worth it...

Or it would be if our hero could catch a break, which being a Buster Keaton movie will not necessarily happen until the movie is almost over, but that battling against hardship was important to the appeal of the silent comedian. He had some hardship in real life creatively here as well; his producer at MGM (the studio that was to prove his professional undoing) demanded Keaton make a movie out of a stage farce they had bought, and Keaton was reluctant, to say the least, not feeling as if it was a good fit for his style. For that reason, there's a too-slow, too mild build-up to the second half, which was where you got the good stuff, since in the first half he had to go along with whatever was asked of him, and it was a basic set of romantic misunderstandings that any lesser comic could do.

Our man was not a lesser comic, and it was slightly jarring to see him doing racial gags in a film that included a white man playing a caricatured black character in makeup, which given Keaton was always happy to cast actual African Americans in his films albeit in smaller roles, you cannot imagine was his idea - you will notice this manservant of Mary’s character disappears once the film finds its feet in the second half. That was down to Keaton asserting his creative control in that part, as he embraced the lunatic possibilities of the premise, which was that Jimmie must get married by seven o'clock that evening or lose his $7 million inheritance, and the woman he had his heart set on - Mary - is insulted because she thinks all he cares about is the money, so turns him down. He still needs that money, however.

This was what led to the extended finale, where a news story in that day's paper suggests any willing bride who shows up at the church will be able to marry Jimmie, Billy not realising this results in seven hundred (!) would-be brides showing up, who then proceed to chase Jimmie across town either in revenge or to get his inheritance. Yes, it was similar to what Keaton had achieved with the policemen in his classic short Cops, but the fact these were women gave this a charge stemming from the protagonist's fear of commitment and opening up emotionally – this is literally his worst nightmare. It was an ingenious way to end, but that was not all, as Keaton added the rock slide finale where in scenes of incredible agility he avoids being crushed by huge boulders: to watch Keaton run at full tilt is to see one of the joys of the silent age. He actually didn't like Seven Chances because so much of it was out of his hands as far as ideas went but warmed to it in his autumn years when he understood that concluding chase was nothing less than glorious. Slow to start, but stick with it.

[Eureka release this as part of their Buster Keaton: 3 Films Vol 2 box set - The Navigator, Seven Chances and Battling Butler - and here are the features:

• Limited Edition Hardbound Slipcase [3000 copies ONLY]
• 1080p presentations of all three films from the Cohen Film Collection's stunning 4K restorations, with musical scores composed and conducted by Robert Israel
• The Navigator - Audio commentary by silent film historians Robert Arkus and Yair Solan
• Seven Chances - Brand new audio commentary by film historian Bruce Lawton
• New and exclusive video essay by David Cairns covering all three films
• The Navigator - A short documentary on the making of the film and Keaton’s fascination with boats as sources of comedy, by film historian Bruce Lawton
• Buster Keaton & Irwin Allen audio interview from 1945 [6 mins]
• Buster Keaton & Arthur Friedman audio interview from 1956 [32 mins]
• Buster Keaton & Robert Franklin audio interview from 1958 [56 mins]
• Buster Keaton & Herbert Feinstein audio interview from 1960 [48 mins]
• Buster Keaton & Studs Terkel audio interview from 1960 [38 mins]
• What! No Spinach? (1926, dir. Harry Sweet) [19 mins] - Rarely seen comedy short by American actor / director Harry Sweet, that riffs on a number of elements from Seven Chances
• PLUS: A LIMITED EDITION [3000 copies ONLY] 60-PAGE perfect bound collector's book featuring new writing by Imogen Sara Smith and Philip Kemp; and a selection of archival writing and imagery.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 318 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith


Last Updated: