Starring Buster Keaton and Marion Mack
March 1927

They're kidding everything now and any day you may expect to see U.S. Grant and Robert E. Lee break into a Charleston. Not that they do it in "The General," but Buster Keaton does spoof the Civil War most uncivilly in his new comedy. Buster is a locomotive engineer who saves a whole Confederate army single-handed. There is an undercurrent of heroic satire in the way Buster is always saving the moron heroine in crinolines. Annabelle Lee is a gorgeous laugh at all the helpless young ladies of historic fiction, if you read between the pictures.

They spent a lot of money on"The General." A whole train is wrecked in a deep ravine, if that means anything to you. We mustn't neglect to add that the basic incidents of "The General" actually happened.

Starring Buster Keaton and Marion Mack
April 1927

Buster Keaton has taken unto himself the task of filming the Civil War from the vantage-point of an engineer's cab. He does it to the time of burlesque -- that is devoid of the customary amount of Keaton comedy. "The General" is not so amusing as I anticipated.

Buster found his inspiration in an actual incident of the Civil War -- the Andrews railroad raid at Big Shanty, Georgia. It is a pleasant piece of celluloid without any rollicking moments.

The picture gets its title from the engine -- one of those old-fashioned contrivances. And with Buster at the throttle, it becomes involved in a chase -- a chase to the North and later to the South. The Union forces are routed, and the sad-faced engineer wins the girl.

There's a quaintness about the atmosphere -- which is in perfect harmony with the plot. It is quiet, somewhat bucolic -- and Buster, in his make-up, looks like some old-timer in the plush-covered album.

For more information, see "The General" as our "Feature of the Month"

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