Destitute of sentimentality, stonefaced Keaton is noble, blue-collared everyman, resistant in the technological impetus of machine and courageously active in the chase for personal love (of either engine or woman). Comedic premises are meticulously calculated with the detailed wit and dignity of a piano sonata while simultaneously, backdrop of the civil war and great American landscape, photographed here with Brady-esque authenticity, roams freely in counterpoint. An all-time classic.
I agree with Tom Chick - if this film as well as many other are public domain and listed on youtube for everyone to watch FREE, then why does MUBI charge to watch them???
The film is slow-starting, then hilarious action comedy. His acrobatics and deadpan expressions alone make this a must see. 5/5
Don't pay for public domain films! http://www.youtube.com/movie?v=1b24wqhy0Zo&ob=av1n&feature=mv_sr - also on internetarchive
I love Buster Keaton, there is something about that long face that makes me cheer him on harder than other silent film stars. It might also have to do with the magnitude of the stunts that Keaton puts himself into. I also love that I find myself cheering for the south at the end, in the movie world not in the real one. I also find Keaton's dramatic scenes very compelling, he created a character I love to cheer for.
My first adventure with Mr. Keaton, and what an adventure it was! The stunts are incredible. The cinematography, performances, choreograpy are all great. One of my favorite aspects was the score(version I saw was credited to the Alloy Orchestra) which was very exciting and added to the tension. It's a shame this was considered a dissapointment upon release, but then again, so many classics get the same treatment. 5/5
I wish people would stop recommending public domain versions of this film (and others). They are free, yes. They are also not worth watching. The General is one of my Top 10 favorite films of all time, but the P.D. versions would be Bottom 10. The picture quality in the public domain is TERRIBLE and the generic music selections are horrific. It would be better to NEVER see The General over watching the P.D. version.
I'm something of a newcomer to silent movies, but I adored this! In a similar way that 'The African Queen' shows the skill required to film on a rickety old boat on the rapids, The General displays a remarkable amount of skill in the choreography of great, hulking steam engines. Some of the stunts had me generally awed!
Perhaps Buster Keaton's greatest achievement, THE GENERAL may not be a laugh-a-minute knee slapper like some of his other films, but is instead a great adventure distinguished by Keaton's trademark deadpan humor. The train chase set pieces are especially impressive, THE GENERAL is an impeccably choreographed and realized comedic masterpiece. What Keaton accomplished with trains is simply astounding.
thought it had seen it...but then i watched it with an audience of 3,000 people and live wurlitzer organ accompaniment....ok NOW I have seen it.
I re-watched this recently because my wife is an avid Keaton fan (I'd always said that I preferred Chaplin but actually knew woefully little about Keaton) and I have to say that I loved this. It was a little lost on my daughters (ages 3 & 4) who I made watch it with me but they laughed at all the slapstick bits at least so at least there's that.
@Ultron--your comment is so utterly stupid and uninformed that it leaves me speechless.