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The General


directed by Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton, 79 minutes

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Consistently ranked among the greatest films ever made, Buster Keaton's THE GENERAL is so brilliantly conceived and executed that it continues to inspire awe and laughter with every viewing. Rejected by the Confederate army as unfit and taken for a coward by his beloved Annabelle Lee (Marian Mack), young Johnnie Gray (Keaton) sets out to single-handedly win the war with the help of his cherished locomotive. What follows is, without exaggeration, probably the most cleverly choreographed comedy ever recorded on celluloid. Johnnie wages war against hijackers, an errant cannon and the unpredictable hand of fate while roaring along the iron rails-exploiting the comic potential of Keaton's favorite filmic prop: the train. In this extraordinary sepia-tinted presentation, THE GENERAL features a score arranged and conducted by Robert Israel.

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2 users found this helpful Created about 4 years ago. Updated about 4 years ago.

The first hour is perfect, hell it's beyond perfect; the battle sequence is kind of a let-down that feels out of joint with the two train chases that provide the film with its ingenious symmetry -- and I think some critics are stretching a bit in calling this a critique of Southern values; if it is there, Keaton doesn't push it far enough (except for the gags that tear mercilessly into the uselessness of Southern belles).

Created almost 2 years ago.

Great print. Soundtrack very appropriate for this timeless classic.

Created 4 months ago. Updated about 1 month ago.

A masterpiece on many levels. Keaton's physicality, the acrobat posing as a stunmblebum, is truly amazing.

Created 2 months ago.

Didn't think I would enjoy a "silent film". However, I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the film and the sense of humor of Keaton. Although it showed the South and Keaton as the victors, as a Northerner or "damn Yankee" I still rooted for the Railroad engineer and his exploits.

Created 3 months ago.


Created about 2 years ago.

buster keaton is my great uncle and his filmes are the greatest

Created about 2 years ago.

Excellent classic