Monday, February 8, 2010


Buster Keaton, recognized as ‘the great stone face of silent era’ with his trademark physical comedy with stoic, dead pan expression was an icon of American silent cinema’s some of the greatest comedies. ‘The General’ is undoubtedly his greatest achievement in terms of acting and co-direction with Clyde Bruckman. It was considered as one of the greatest screen comedies of silent era by a man who created laughter without even a wink on his face. Sight & Sound magazine ranked Keaton’s this classic as the 15th best film of all time. It’s kind of film which spreads consistent smile on your face without a break from beginning to end with all purities of cinema’s those pioneer years.

Johnnie Gray has two loves of life- his locomotive engine named ‘The General’ and his girlfriend. Both of them are under peril with sudden burst of civil war. He has to save both love and he ends up as hero winning both and a rank of lieutenant. Its cent percent film of Buster Keaton and he performed lot of dangerous stunts on & around moving train. There are many moments to cherish forever. For example when Keaton is trying to enlist his name as soldier for war or trying to fire cannon balls on enemy engine or eating food hiding under enemy’s dining table. The ending is hilarious sequence where he sitting on the side of locomotive holding his girlfriend and acknowledging salute to soldiers.

It’s fun ride from beginning to end. It’s a refreshing experience and thoroughly enjoyable film any given day. Thanks for Film Preservation Society for digitally remastered this classic film and its soundtrack. Big thanks to Enlighten Home Library for bringing the movie available now on DVD with fine booklet about silent cinema.
A movie worth to own.


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