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General, The / Steamboat Bill Jr. (Buster Keaton Double Feature) (1926)
Rating:
Starring: Marion Byron, Glenn Cavender, Buster Keaton, Tom Lewis, Marion Mack, Tom McGuire, Charles Smith, Ernest Torrence, Frederick Vroom
Director: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton
Category: Drama, Comedy, Classics, Classics, Special Interest, Special Interest
Studio: Image Ent.
Subtitles:
Length:
146 mins

 
 

 

Featuring new music by the Alloy Orchestra

Often listed among the ten best films of all time, The General is Buster Keaton's greatest work, at once a full-scale epic, a wonderful comedy, and an authentic-looking period drama. Buster plays Johnnie Grey, a locomotive engineer in the Confederate South whose two loves are his girl Annabelle and his engine, the General. When Northern commandos kidnap Annabelle and hijack the General, running it North to cut telegraph lines, destroy track, and burn bridges behind them; Johnnie gives chase in another locomotive, the Texas.

Steamboat Bill, Jr. also assures Keaton a place as one of the geniuses of world cinema as he plays Willie Canfield, an effete college student who returns to Mississippi to help his tough, crusty dad Steamboat Bill run the family steamboat (an old tub). But Junior has two strikes against winning his father's approval: he's not macho, and his girlfriend is the daughter of Bill's hated business rival. The climax, a cyclone, contains one of cinema's greatest moments: the two-ton front of a building collapses on top of Buster, but thanks to an open window passing over him, he remains standing and unhurt.

These masterpieces of fun from comedy's greatest era gain fresh life in sparkling prints with scintillating music and sound provided by The Alloy Orchestra.