The General details
|Starring:||Glen Cavander, Joseph Keaton, Jim Farley, Marion Mack, Buster Keaton|
|Directors:||Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton|
|Genres:||Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama|
|Collections:||Battlefield Films, Clever Comedy, Funny Films, Funny Men, IMDb Highest Rated, Silence is Golden, Silent Cinema, Silent Classics|
|Run time:||2 hours|
|Rental release:||19 Feb 2001|
Most helpful review
A masterpieceBy Philip Concannon from London , 03 Jul 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]Johnnie(Buster Keaton), a train driver, tries to enlist in the civil war but is turned down and his girlfriend is not impressed, 'Don't talk to me again until you're in uniform' she tells him. Things look bad for Johnnie but when northern soldiers steal his train, and his girl, he sets out to save them both.
What follows is a collection of the greatest visual gags, finest comic acting and most draw-dropping stunts in cinema history. Most viewers would think it impossible to construct a chase with trains, after all they are both on tracks and one must also be behind the other. Keaton throws that logic out of the window and endlessly suprises the audience with his imaginative storytelling. He sets increasingly dangerous obstacles for his hero to face(no stunt doubles here) and the ingenious way he overcomes them makes this timeless comedy something truly special. Keaton was also a fine comic actor and reacts to life-threatening situations with a simple look of deadpan bemusement.
This is a solid gold masterpiece which is recommended to viewers of all ages. Unmissable.
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Great slapstick & story, a little short on laughsBy Hellohulk (22 reviews) from Leicester , 26 Jan 2010I have to admit that I did not find this quite as funny or inventive as Sherlock Jr. That said, the sight gags in the General were often brilliantly timed, and the overall story, acting and camerawork are a true joy.
A ClassicBy filmdabbler (17 reviews) from Faversham, Kent , 09 Sep 2009I must admit I was a little sceptical. A Black & White silent film....I was pleasantly surprised. No special effects, over acting & script to convey the vital points with a thin & predictable plot, So why is it such a good one to watch? Not sure but I watched it on a Friday night & thoroughly enjoyed it.
Maybe because it was different & perhaps even refreshing. I wouldn't like to watch one very other week but really enjoyed this one. be brave, push the boat out, you may, like me be pleasantly surprised.
the generalBy merrick (1 review) from Stockport , 19 Aug 2009An absolute classic: funny, charming, intriguing, original. 5 stars.
They don't make 'em like they used to (and other cliched titles)By alexmauchlen (9 reviews) from Southall , 10 Apr 2009As soon as the film finished, I was slightly disappointed. I had heard so much about this film over the years and was so excited to finally be seeing it. I think I built it up too much in my mind. Although impressed by the stunts, my jaw did not hit the floor.
Then, a few hours later, the more I thought about it, the more I did actually enjoy it for other reasons. For its time it is beautifully made with some great camerawork. Buster Keaton was also amazing, not so much because of his dangerous feats but his reaction to the circumstances - always deadpan and underplaying the situation. It would've been easy for a lesser comic to throw giddy looks to the camera which would have detracted from the fun. Also, the plot was surprisingly good. I didn't even know the plot before watching, I just assumed it would be a series of thinly-linked comic situations but was pleasantly surprised to find it was not.
So even though the stunts did not blow me away, the film has plenty else going for it to make it a very enjoyable watch.
Actions speak louder then words!By David Miall from Kent , 11 Sep 2006This is still definitely one of my favourite chase films of all time. Buster Keaton is excellent as the hard done by engineer who is rejected by the confederate army but later by sheer chance stumbles upon a plot by the union army to wipe out its foe. It is clear from watching the film that neither the suspense nor the humour have aged in the eighty years since its creation. What I did find disappointing is the re-scoring of the music. I clearly remember in the original version that the music matched on the mood of the particular scene (A crucial factor in a silent movie). Who ever rescored this DVD release seems to have completely ignored this as the music barely changes throughout the film. Even the main theme tune has been removed. Despite this THE GENERAL is still a masterpiece to watch.