Close Up

6 September 2015: The General


The General
Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman
1926 | 79 min | B/W | Digital

Many critics consider The General to be the last great comedy of the silent era. Set during the Civil War and based on a true incident, the film is also an authentic looking period piece. The title refers not to Keaton's character, but to his engine, "The General". Keaton portrays the engineer Johnnie Gray, who is rejected by the Confederate Army and then suffers the further humiliation of his girlfriend thinking him a coward. When a small band of Union soldiers penetrate far beyond Confederate lines to steal his locomotive, Johnnie Gray sets off in hot pursuit.

Part of our Buster Keaton season