Buster Keaton wakes up one morning to learn that he will lose a fortune if he’s not married by 7 p.m. He has a gal in mind, but he botches the proposal. A notice in the paper brings hundreds of would-be brides to a local church, but then Buster learns his intended will marry him after all. That is, if he can get to her house by 7, while being chased through the streets of Los Angeles by a stampeding horde of angry, brick-wielding, gown-clad gold-diggers.
The hilarious, epic chase takes up the last fourth of the film and finds Buster dodging not just the brides but streetcars, construction workers, and (Los Angeles being much more rural then than now) snapping turtles, swarms of bees and avalanches of boulders that would make even Sisyphus give up. Even the white picket fence representing the domestic future he longs for turns into a comic obstacle; Buster winds up dragging the whole gate, with his tuxedo tail caught in the latch, to the front door. The movie was remade in 1999 as The Bachelor, with Chris O’Donnell and Renée Zellweger, but that version lacks both the charm and the jaw-dropping spectacle of the silent original.
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