In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Johnnie loves his train ("The General") and Annabelle Lee. When the Civil War begins he is turned down for service because he's more valuable as an engineer. Annabelle thinks it's because he's a coward. Union spies capture The General with Annabelle on board. Johnnie must rescue both his loves. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
For the scenes with the opposing armies marching, Buster Keaton had the extras (which included 500 Oregon National Guard troops) wear the gray uniforms of the Confederacy and march in one direction past the camera, then he had them change uniforms to the Union blues and had them march past the camera in the other direction. See more »
The pistol Johnnie uses near the end of the film to arrest the Yankee officer in the cab of the General is a Colt revolver from the 1870s. See more »
THE GENERAL represents the greatest achievement screen comedy ever accomplished. From the brilliant gag construction to the sheer excellence of the filmmaking technique, THE GENERAL is a hilarious and amazing journey into comedy. Written and directed by Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman, Keaton brings brilliant gags into the story. The film begins when Keaton is told he is of no use to the South as a soldier, but as a train engineer. However, his girlfriend refuses to talk to him until he is in uniform. After the war has started, the girl is kidnapped by some Union raiders on Keaton's train, and so begins the greatest (and funniest) chase ever filmed. For the next 75 minutes, the viewer is in Keaton's world. His gags, routines and amazing slapstick serve to make this the greatest screen comedy ever filmed.
-Matt, age 16
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