Essential cinema. Keaton's civil war set tale is one of the best films of the silent era. Memorable sequences throughout and unlike many of Keaton's films it is consistent in telling its story. Impeccable timing and planning throughout. My personal favourite scene though is the twig for the fire.
This is such a perfect movie. Amazing editing, when it was done manually. Brilliant and hilarious! A timeless movie, made in 1926 "about" the Civil War. Buster Keaton "fights" for the Confederate Army, and we can see it now (or maybe I'm too naive) without any political conotations, just for the fun of it. Most of the movie is set on a moving train, which is an achievement in itself.
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.
This was the first Buster Keaton film I had ever seen, and it really just proves that even after all of these years and despite what many may think, silent films are not at all dull. On the contrary, this particular one was really entertaining and hilarious.
The jokes aren't as prevalent in this one, but these gags are often quite funny even when it's a cliche or you see the punchline coming (especially the enlisting scene, the sword-throwing scenes, and the final shot.) The romantic story isn't as affecting but the action and scope are fantastic. And all these stunts on moving trains are amazing, looking quite dangerous, especially in a time without stunt protocol.