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The General (1926)

Director:
Clyde Bruckman
Buster Keaton

COUNTRY
USA

Genre
Comedy/Romance

NORWEGIAN TITLE
Dagens helt / Generalen

RUNNING TIME
75 minutes

Producers:
Joseph Schenck
Buster Keaton

Screenwriters:
Al Boasberg
Clyde Bruckman
Buster Keaton
Charles Henry Smith
Paul Gerard Smith


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING

Johnnie Gray

Buster Keaton

Annabelle Lee

Marion Mack -
Union Captain Anderson Glen Cavender -
General Thatcher Jim Farley -
Confederate general Frederick Vroom -
Annabelle's father Charles Smith -

Annabelle's brother

Frank Barnes -

 

Review

The story is a melodramatic romance set at the outset of the American Civil War, where the easygoing idealist and train engineer Johnnie Gray in a bid to impress his girlfriend Annabelle tries to enlist, but is refused because of his occupation. He gets a new chance of proving his heroism when Union spies steal his train "The General" with Annabelle aboard, and Johnnie takes up pursuit by whatever means available along the railroad. Buster Keaton's magnum opus is a technical wonder with impressive production values and some of Keaton's best stunts and set-pieces. Lambasted by contemporary critics, The General is less pacey and more reflective than some of Keaton's earlier works, which means less but not lesser physical comedy. The historical connection is well executed, but doesn't necessarily resonate as well as intended. It was the stunts and ingenuity that set Keaton apart, and this picture is no exception. The film's zenith are the two railroad chases, back and forth, in which Keaton gets ample chance to display his antics with his remarkable physical ability and deadpan comedic timing.

Copyright 18.02.2022 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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