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- Adapted By Al Boasberg And Charles Smith
- Rated: Unrated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 18 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: February 18, 2003
- Originally Released: 1927
- Label: Alpha Video
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Frank Barnes & Charles Smith|
|Directed by||Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman|
|Written by||Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman|
|Cinematography by||Bert Haines & Devereaux Jennings|
|Produced by||Joseph M. Schenck|
"...THE GENERAL is an epic of silent comedy, one of the most expensive films of its time..."
"...THE GENERAL goes beyond comedic parameters to surpass GONE WITH THE WIND as the greatest Civil War movie..."
"...Keaton's brand of comedy -- the poker-faced everyman character, the elaborately constructed stunts that seem to work accidentally -- has influenced all generations of comic actors..."
5 stars out of 5 -- "Every stunt takes place before the camera in real-time....THE GENERAL remains a breathless, beautiful delight."
"[I]t's still a wonder to see the quicksilver Keaton executing mathematically precise, guffaw-inducing gags and pratfalls. A sublime comedy..." -- Grade: A
"Perhaps the first action comedy, Buster Keaton's defining 11926 classic THE GENERAL makes great use of Keaton's laws-of-physics defying body and face..."
5 stars out of 5 -- "A perfect opportunity to witness Keaton's glorious action-comedy..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
- THE GENERAL was an original selection to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1989.
- "The General" is a silent film. The Image laserdisc and Kino video release feature an orchestral score by Carl Davis.
- Remade in 1956 as "The Great Locomotive Chase" starring Fess Parker.
- Based on an actual incident, though in real-life the locomotive was stolen by the Confederates. Keaton decided to switch it around, making the Union soldiers the bad guys. He felt that putting his hero on the losing side would make him more sympathetic.
- "The General" was filmed entirely on location in Oregon, the only place where Keaton was able to find both suitable scenery and the single-gauge railroad track he needed to run the antique trains. Keaton was a great train enthusiast and an absolute stickler for authenticity -- he always felt that he would get more laughs if his comedy evolved logically out of realistic situations. "The General" was unlike any other comedy ever made in that it was designed to look like a historical epic. Keaton used the Civil War photographs of Matthew Brady as a guide and "The General" remains one of the most convincing depictions of the Civil War ever put on screen.
- "The General" was Buster Keaton's favorite of all his films, and his pet project -- he poured his entire heart and soul into the production, sparing neither cost nor effort. The spectacular climax where the enemy locomotive crosses the burning bridge and crashes into the river below was done in one take using a real train. Onlookers from miles around gathered to watch the scene being filmed. Afterwards, the fallen train remained in the river bed for years, untouched.
Production values like this made "The General" one of the most lavish and expensive movies of its day. But it was a critical and financial flop at the time. Reviewers and audiences panned the film, complaining that it did not provide enough laughs. Over the years public opinion on "The General" has been completely revised. Not only is it considered Buster Keaton's greatest film, it widely recognized as one of the true masterpieces of American cinema.
Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:
Based on 130 ratings.
Inspired by and very loosely based on an actual Civil War incident, this may not be Keaton's best work but it shows what a comedic genius he was. OK, the sight of the Confederate battle flag being waved in victory might be politically incorrect today or prove offensive to some but watch Keaton at work. He masters every form of comedy in the film: slapstick, sight gags, pratfalls, double takes and innuendo. His timing is perfect. He does his own stunts and one wonders how he survived what he did. And Marion Mack, his female costar, is superb as the delicate southern belle. The scene of her sweeping the locomotive is a gem. This film has made me a huge fan of the late Mr Keaton, a true giant of comedy. I loved it!
this is one of the Classic Buster Keaton films, and has to be in anyone's collection. The comedy is grand, and everything works superbly well. This is a great introduction to Silent film comedy if you're not yet a Silent film buff, and it's great for the kids as well, so if you need a film that can really be fun to watch with the whole dang 'family unit', or just by yourself, you can't miss with this one...
- Sales Rank: 8,387
- UPC: 089218412898
- Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
- International Shipping: 1 item