Saturday, December 20, 2014

Seven Chances (1925)

Man (Buster Keaton) in financial trouble stands to inherit seven million dollars if he is married by 7:00 PM. Comic mayhem to follow.

Sound familiar? It should. The theme had been done many times before and since. Not a film Keaton was eager to do, he never-the-less injects his comic genius. The chase scene alone is worth the price of admission. Not the masterpiece that The General is, but still very amusing. AMRU 3.5.

After presenting this movie, TCM ran the documentary "So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton & MGM". It was a compassionate documentary (read: biased) that retold how Keaton gave up artistic freedom for financial stability by signing with MGM. It also lovingly told of the personal tragedies that befell him, like infidelity, alcoholism, and poor financial handling. I am more likely to blame his fall from grace on the conversion to sound, him becoming a second banana in poor combinations, and his personal demons. But we can blame MGM if we want. TCM presets some excellent biographies. This wasn't one, but wasn't exactly a waste of time either. I'll keep an eye out for a better one.

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