8.1/10
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The General (1926)

Trailer
1:03 | Trailer
When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.
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Top Rated Movies #200 | 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marion Mack ... Annabelle Lee
Glen Cavender ... Captain Anderson
Jim Farley ... General Thatcher
Frederick Vroom Frederick Vroom ... A Southern General
Charles Henry Smith Charles Henry Smith ... Her Father (as Charles Smith)
Frank Barnes Frank Barnes ... Her Brother
Joe Keaton ... Union General
Mike Donlin ... Union General
Tom Nawn Tom Nawn ... Union General
Buster Keaton ... Johnnie Gray
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

LAUGHS to the right of you- LAUGHS to the left of you- they volley and thunder. Join the LAUGH Brigade. Enlist for Fun with the Commander-in-Chief of LAUGHTER. See him and shriek! (Print Ad- Evening News, ((Buffalo, NY)) 4 February 1927) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Buster Keaton grew his hair long for this film to match the men's hair of the time as seen in many Confederate soldier photographs. See more »

Goofs

The General and Texas are seen numbered 3 and 5, respectively. At the time the film is set, the engines of the Western and Atlantic were only known by their names, as were the General and the Texas. The railroads in the Confederacy did not begin numbering their engines until after the war. At that time, the General and Texas were numbered 39 and 49, respectively. The General did not receive the number 3 until the 1880s, and the Texas was renumbered 12 in 1880, then 212 in 1890, and never received the number 5. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Her Brother: Fort Sumter has been fired upon.
Her Father: Then the war is here.
Her Brother: Yes, Dad, and I'm going to be one of the first to enlist.
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Crazy Credits

Although Buster Keaton is the star of this film, he is listed last in the on-screen credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1995 eye American Productions released Many Masterpieces Become One, The General with music by Scott Joplin. Re-released in 2010. See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Birth of a Nation (1915) See more »

Soundtracks

The General
Written by William P. Perry
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User Reviews

Loco and Motive
14 May 2008 | by tedgSee all my reviews

No one will top Keaton for physical risk, and risk is what deep film experiences are all about. This might be classed as a comedy, but for me it touches deeply enough. Its about a man who needs to prove himself by taking risks and being true. And its by a man who takes even greater risks and is more true. True to the spirit of the social compact, here displayed as the chummy south.

He's always done stunts that amaze. Many of his other films have things in them that if the timing were only a little off, he'd be seriously injured, or die. But this takes the cake. Its almost as if he started with the idea that he'd have three locos to play with and had a year to think up stunts.

And the stunts are so physical! And so dangerous. And so, so very effective.

His trademark is the deadpan face placed as a sort of innocent cluelessness. Its particularly funny when you see the physical movements and you know that 1) they take incredible preparation and timing to pull off and 2) the fellow you see that looks so puzzled by the reality you see is the guy that devised and directed those stunts.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None | English

Release Date:

2 January 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Engine Driver See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1982) | (1962) | (2003 alternate) |

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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