This is the first silent film that I ever loved. What do you get when you combine train chases, brilliant action, laugh a minute slapstick, and some of the most gorgeous cinematography ever shot? Why, The General obviously. This movie is timeless. I mean, yes, it's a civil war movie which ignores slavery, AND is told from the South's perspective, which is a fair criticism, but it still deserves my five star rating.
Masterpiece. Buster's courageous anti-hero is an outstanding character only comparable to Chaplin's tramp. Keaton -a phenomenal athlete- is a master of slapstick and his comic wit was also only rivalled by Chaplin at the time. In The General everything falls into place precisely to deliver one of the best comic efforts of the silent era. Buster's never drawn by riches or fame but his love for his girl and engine.
Detached from 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 calculated with detailed wit and dignity while backdrop of the civil war and the great American landscape, photographed with Brady-esque authenticity, roams freely in counterpoint.
9 - While not quite my favorite Keaton (Sherlock Jr. just barely edges it out), from both a conceptual and a concrete perspective, "The General" is undeniably the titan's masterpiece. His complete control of both his props (TRAINS!!!) and his backgrounds is still breathtaking and, 90 years on, he is still proving that no amount of processing power can out-stage an ingenious ex-carny with balls the size of planets.
Brilliant piece of film. Classics like his stood the test of time and are still a joy to watch. The scope of his stunts are always amazing and the train chase in this particular movie is epic. Personally I think Sherlock Jr. is his best one although the general consensus is the General if I'm not mistaken.
A classic, although sometimes some of the gags felt a bit stretched. But Keaton and his unmoving face were perfect to give depth to everyhting happening in the movie. Just a little man dreaming big dreams of love and glory + happy end, as much as one can have in a "war" movie.
The General is nothing extraordinary, it's a simple, forward story of a train getting stolen and a man wanting to prove his bravery. It's fun, simple and very charming. i was chuckling the whole way through, oddly engaging, and left me whit a grin on my face by the end.