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  • Writer's pictureValerie A. Higgs

BFI #99: The General (1926)


While a railroad engineer tries his best to enlist during the Civil War, his beloved engine (and his girlfriend) is stolen by Union spies. He goes after them.

I have not watched enough silent movies to have a real opinion on them. The few I have watched - Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Un chien andalou - I enjoyed. One of these days I will sit down and watch a lot more. I need to get into Charlie Chaplin movies - I may have seen one of his movies, but that's about it.

I had never really watched Buster Keaton growing up - I was more of a Harold Lloyd fan. But I was interested, because he was huge back in the early days of cinema.

Once I realized that it was set during the Civil War and Buster was on the Confederates' side, I just hunkered down.

I will say that the movie was very well orchestrated and put together. The gags and physical comedy looked so natural. I really enjoyed that. Buster's stone face cracked me up, too. His reaction when the soldiers were throwing barrels and baggage on top of his girlfriend made me laugh out loud.

I'd definitely watch another Buster Keaton movie.

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