The General

The General

Director: Clyde Bruckman Cast: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender


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Buster Keaton plays Johnny Gray, a Southern railroad engineer who loves his train engine, The General, almost as much as he loves Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack). When the opening shots of the Civil War are fired at Fort Sumter, Johnny tries to enlist -- and he is deemed too useful as an engineer to be a soldier. All Johnny knows is that he's been rejected, and Annabelle, thinking him a coward, turns her back on him. When Northern spies steal the General (and, unwittingly, Annabelle), the story switches from drama and romance to adventure mixed with Keaton's trademark deadpan humor as he uses every means possible to catch up to the General, thwart the Yankees, and rescue his darling Annabelle -- for starters. As always, Keaton performs his own stunts, combining his prodigious dexterity, impeccable comic timing, and expressive body language to convey more emotion than the stars of any of the talkies that were soon to dominate cinema. ~ Emru Townsend

Product Details

Release Date: 11/11/2008
UPC: 0738329063726
Original Release: 1927
Source: Kino Video
Sound: [silent]
Time: 1:18:00
Sales rank: 15,267

Special Features

Three musical scores to choose from: Music composed and conducted by Carl Davis, performed by the Thames Silents Orchestra (in 5.1 stereo surround or 2.0 stereo); Music arranged and directed by Robert Israel; Theatre organ score by Lee Erwin; A video tour of the authentic General, presented in association with the Southern Museum; A tour of the filming locations, presented by John Bengston, author of Silent Echoes; Behind-the-scenes home movie footage; Filmed introduction by Gloria Swanson; Filmed introduction by Orson Welles; "The Buster Express" a brisk montage of train gags from throughout Keaton's career

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Buster Keaton Johnnie Gray
Marion Mack Annabelle Lee
Glen Cavender Capt. Anderson
Jim Farley Gen, Thatcher
Fred Vroom Southern General
Richard Allen His Son
Joe Keaton Union General
Mike Donlin Union General
Tom Nawn Union General
Charles H. Smith Mr. Lee
Ray Thomas Raider
Jimmy Bryant Raider
Ross McCutcheon Raider
Charles Phillips Raider
Anthony Harvey Raider
Edward Hearn Union Officer
Budd Fine Raider
Frank S. Hagney Recruiting Officer

Technical Credits
Clyde Bruckman Director,Screenwriter
Buster Keaton Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Al Boasberg Screenwriter
Lee Erwin Score Composer
Bert Haines Cinematographer
Robert Israel Musical Arrangement
Devereaux Jennings Cinematographer
J. Sherman Kell Editor
Fred C. Ryle Makeup
Joseph M. Schenck Producer
Charles H. Smith Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- General
1. Opening Titles [:08]
2. A Courtin' [2:21]
3. Enlistment [3:08]
4. Thatcher's Plot [5:57]
5. Hot Pursuit [3:43]
6. Heavy Artillery [5:27]
7. Obstacles [2:51]
8. Enemy Lines [5:48]
9. Espionage [3:58]
10. The General Reclaimed [9:05]
11. Water and Fuel [7:29]
12. Fleeing Texas [6:35]
13. Burning Bridges [4:03]
14. The Big Crash [6:32]
15. Battle Royal [1:35]
16. Heroes of the Day [4:39]

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The General 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
SilentClown22 More than 1 year ago
Of all his films, this was Buster Keaton's favorite. He had a lifelong love of trains (when he was growing up on Vaudeville, he aspired to be an engineer...his fans are grateful he decided to go into films instead!) and decided to make a film about a real-life history-making train, The General. He put a lot of time and care into making sure everything put into this film was accurate, down to even the minutest of details. The story is about an engineer, Johnnie Gray. Johnnie tries to enlist with the Confederate Army during the Civil War, but is turned down. His girlfriend leaves him, and then, the Union Army steals his train, The General. The movie is jam-packed with death-defying stunts and hilarious moments as Johnnie tries to get his train back AND warn the South about the Union's plans. If you want to see a historically accurate film about a real-life event, with heaps of comedy thrown in, this is the film for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The soundtrack in this version is made up of various full orchestral symphonic pieces, and bears no relation to the action occurring on screen at the time. I found the only way to focus on the movie was to turn the sound off. I would have never bought this DVD had I known ...