Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kavalcade of Keaton

Seven Chances (1925):

Our Hero has the opportunity to inherit seven million dollars. The catch? He must be married by 7pm on his 27th birthday - which just happens to be today! This is the sort of picture which the term "hijinks will ensue" was coined for. I was a little uncomfortable with the blackface/racist elements, but the chase scene at the end - gloriously choreographed - had me rolling. If you've ever seen the remake - 1999's The Bachelor - you know exactly what I'm talking about. ;)

I give this one:

Included with the film were two shorts.

Neighbors (1920):

A glimpse into the immigrant neighborhoods of the early 20th century. Boy and girl fall in love, but will their warring families stop punching each other long enough to allow their marriage? Goofy little short with some amazing acrobatic work by Buster and his cast; again, it was marred by racism, but unfortunately it's to be expected in a lot of early pictures.

I give this one:

The Balloonatic (1923):

Would you believe this was the only shot I could find?

Where do I begin? This was a complete triumph of silliness and absurdity. Our Hero falls in love with a girl (what else?) and through a series of unfortunate events, the main being his crash-landing a balloon (never mind how he got in there in the first place), winds up at her campsite. Phyllis Haver is one tough cookie - and cuteness on two legs! She and Buster have terrific chemistry. (I squealed at the Babe London cameo, too.)

I give this one:

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