Previously Played

THE GENERAL

  • 11:00 AM

All tickets $7.00

Part of the seriesFILM FORUM Jr.

See the complete schedule of films

 

Starring BUSTER KEATON

Live piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner!

(1926, Clyde Bruckman & Buster Keaton) Keaton’s spectacular version of the Civil War’s Great Locomotive Chase reveals his Griffith-like mastery of crowds and action, along with perfectly integrated comedy. Approx. 80 min. 35mm.

THE GENERAL

REVIEWS

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"Only superlatives will do to describe Keaton’s hilarious Civil War dramatic comedy. Made in 1927, at the culmination of the silent era, it sees the graceful, stone-faced genius at his inventive best... The extraordinary budget (some $400,000) allowed Keaton unprecedented freedom – and resulted in a series of his most spectacular large-scale set pieces. But what makes the film so special is the way the timing, audacity and elegant choreography of its sight gags, acrobatics, pratfalls and dramatic incidents is matched by Buster’s directorial artistry, his acute observational skills working alongside the physical élan and sweet subtlety of his own performance."
– Time Out (London)

"The most insistently moving picture ever made, its climax is the most stunning visual event ever arranged for a film comedy.”
– Walter Kerr

"AN ALMOST PERFECT ENTERTAINMENT!" 
– Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader


"Keaton's most personal film, embodying his personality, his essence, his spirit, more than any other one he ever made...  One of the greatest, most expertly directed and beautifully photographed cinema works."
– Jim Kline

"A MAGICAL FILM! The comedy is rich but deliberate and insinuating. It aims not to split your sides but rather to elicit and sustain—  for 78 minutes—a smile and sense of wonder, interrupted by several perfectly timed guffaws." 
– Gary Giddins, Slate

"Keaton's greatest locomotive symphony, a breakneck railroad chase as breathless pas de deux."
 – Jesse P. Finnegan, The L Magazine 

"Commonly regarded as Keaton's masterpiece and as one of the two or three indisputably great silent film comedies... At no other time in his career did Buster manage to accomplish such a miraculous blend of story and gag."
– Tom Dardis

"Its rich diversity of incident–sad, bumptious, heroic–makes up a cinema masterpiece. Its photography can be compared with Mathew Brady... Its setting is timeless, and as a work of art it comes close to being a new genre: a romantic-historical period dramatic comedy.  If there are opposites in that definition, Buster Keaton's film reconciles them. It is, besides, a depth study of personality."
– Rudi Blesh