The General (1926)

9.

★★★★

They don’t make pictures like these anymore

Directed by: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton
Written by: Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman
Starring: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack and Glen Cavender

Silent film comedies rely on nothing but the actor, accompanying music and story. If the silent film in question stars Buster Keaton, gags using steam trains and romance at its heart, you can bet yourself you’ve got something worth watching.

Ahead of its time

Nicknamed ‘The Great Stone Face’ for his famous, deadpan expressions, Keaton performs with a subtle genius that makes him instantly likable, engrossing to watch and original in his comedic style. Playing an engineer for the West and Atlantic railway lines, Keaton’s character is turned away from enlisting and his only love as she misunderstands his rejection as cowardliness.

With a carriage full of clever physical gags and a sweet romance story behind the character’s motivations and great actions, The General is a fun and enjoyable watch – never growing old in its comedy and quality.

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