- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- Michael Whitty
Buster keaton's "The General" is one of the best comedies of the silent era when some of the best comedies were made. Buster keaton is a railroad engineer and The General is the name of his train during the Civil War as we see Union spies steal his train and then keaton has to go through enemy lines to get it back. This is an action comedy of stunts and humor as keaton was remembered for doing all of his stunts and in this picture some of them were dangerous. Filmed in Oregon near Cottage Grove in the Willamette Valley in 1926 as the locations stand in for Georgia this outstanding silent film showed how much can be done without sound.
Keaton's best masterpiece. A southern engineer chases after his train and girlfriend from Northern spies. Based on an actual incident, Keaton finds funny material in almost every scene, with his usual brand of physical comedy, deriving solely from character. The story is epic, especially during the final 15 minutes, and supplies Keaton with endless gags and suspense. The perfect film for Keaton fans. I give it a 5/5.
the general of cinema
- Peter Wilson
the Greatest Silent Film And One Of The Greatest Films Of Ever Made.
The General (1927)
- Mark Sutch
One of the best silent films available, and not just for train buffs, but they love it too. Story takes place during the U.S. Civil War. Keaton's character is an engineer, and tries to enlist as a soldier, but his services were determined to be better used as an engineer. Loosely based on actual events, the opposing army steals a train during the Civil War, which is the true part, but Keaton's girlfriend is accidentally on board, which is the fiction part. Keaton must stop them and save his girlfriend as well as the cause, and does so with his unique form of dry humor and physicality. Worth seeing for entertainment purposes, but also to learn about how wood-fired steam engines operated, if you like trains.
The Geeneral, maybe the Greatest Silent Movie !
The US. Ciivil War is destryoing America, so our boy Johnnie Gray(Joseph "Buster" Keaton) so aptly named by World Famous Magician Harry Houdini wants to enlist in the Confederate Army, but is denied due to the fact his is more qualified to help as a train engineer. His love interest Annabelle Lee(Marion Mack) cannot have anything to do with him , until she has her Fathers approval, and he goes off to war. A year passes and the Union Army devises a plan to steal a Confederate train, and sabatoge their supply lines on their return, by burning the bridges. Our hero Buster learns of the plans and his adventures ensue. Brrillantly co-directed by Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton their work shines as an overmatched engineer who outwits, outplays, and outlasts the Union Army in a series of chases , confrontations, and complex tete'-e-tete'. Keaton demonstrates his wide range of skills on a consummate level few peformers achieve. If you want to study film, study Keaton and learn. This film may be the Best Silent film of them all. It gets a 5 out of 5 stars.
Musical score information
The Alloy Orchestra provides the stunning musical score to the version aired by TCM. If you want a copy of the film with that same score, do not purchase through the link on this page. You must order from The Alloy Orchestra directly to get the version with the music that airs on TCM. Not to be snarky, but it's puzzling that TCM does not provide this information and links purchasers to a version that is not the same that airs on their network.