The General

USA 1926. Dirs: Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman. 78 min. DCP

NEW RESTORATION! “Arguably the greatest screen comedy ever made” (Geoff Andrew, Time Out), Buster Keaton’s best film remains a marvel. The General is set in the American South during the Civil War, and features the Great Stone Face as a civilian train engineer, wrongly accused of cowardice, who rescues a locomotive hijacked by Union agents. Keaton’s gift for performing complicated, often dangerous, physical comedy was never more astonishing. He was also a consummate, commanding filmmaker; The General, like much of his mature work, impresses with its pictorial beauty, fluid editing, detailed production design, inventive camerawork, superb use of locations, and elaborate, exhilarating sequences shots. The celebrated train-wreck scene was the single most expensive shot in silent cinema history. The General was voted one of the ten best films of all time in 1972 and 1982 Sight & Sound polls. “One of the great action movies” (Quentin Tarantino).


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The General screens in double bills with Peter Bogdanovich's new documentary The Great Buster and Buster Keaton's newly restored Steamboat Bill, Jr.

 

REVIEWS

“His stunts and sight gags, perfectly framed and presented for maximum clarity and comic impact, fit perfectly into an ambitious action epic.”

The Guardian | full review

★★★★ “The General is an epic of silent comedy.”

Roger Ebert | full review