The General


Action / Adventure / Comedy / Drama / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright92%
IMDb Rating8.21091187

spytrainsilent filmarmysouthern usa

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Buster Keaton Photo
Buster Keaton as Johnnie Gray
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
732.62 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 19 min
P/S ...
1.47 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 19 min
P/S 1 / 26

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer10 / 10

Keaton is in top form

I just wrote a review for STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. and that makes this review VERY difficult, because I really can't decide which of these two films is better. To me, they are both nearly perfect and represent the best full-length material Keaton performed--at least when it comes to stunts and laughs. It's sad really, as just after these two triumphs came the sound era--and a seriously negative down-turn in Keaton's career, as MGM repeatedly gave him terrible material--pairing him with the brash and inappropriate humor of Jimmy Durante.

This film is probably the best of his films when it comes to concept and consistency of the plot. And, for once, I have nothing critical to say about the film. No matter how many times I see it, it just seems perfect. This might just be my favorite silent comedy--period. It's that good. However, as this IS more plot-driven than most of his films, don't expect the rapid-fire laughs--there is a lot of set-up and story instead. This is NOT a complaint--just don't expect the pacing of his shorts--which, incidentally, you won't find in any of the full-length films.

By the way, while all is practically perfect in every way about this film, this is NOT my favorite Keaton full-length film. While not as funny or filled with amazing stunts, OUR HOSPITALITY is an amazing film for its artistry. In addition to being the prettiest of his films, it also features among the best characterization for Keaton--with a full and rich plot. My advice is to see THE GENERAL and OUR HOSPITALITY and see two very different and probably equally great films from a master.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird10 / 10

It was a lad and his locomotive

Have a lot of appreciation for comedy, especially the witty and sophisticated kinds and there are a good deal of classic comedies that go for the broad approach too. Am significantly less keen though on the vulgar, puerile style of humour that is seen quite a lot today, the worst of it veering on the offensive. There are many instances of silent films/comedies, seen with Charlie Chaplin, prime Laurel and Hardy and with Buster Keaton.

Keaton is seen as one of the greats by many but for some reason doesn't seem to be quite as well known, even with a just as good reputation critically, as Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy (who transitioned better into sound maybe),when at his best in the 1920s (an extraordinary period with a deservedly lauded reputation) he was every bit as great, as funny and as likeable. His daring physical comedy and stoic deadpan expressions were unique and ahead of its time at the time and still amaze and are distinct now, plus he was a bigger risk-taker with bolder material and immense courage that most wish they could have. Which perhaps hasn't been more apparent than in this film 'The General', often considered one of his best and most important films, or even his masterpiece (though with other just as worthy efforts it has been debated),and justifiably so. This paragraph is very subjective of course and probably won't be agreed with but that is just my respectful stance.

'The General' to this day still looks great and remarkably lavish, something of a technical achievement in its day. It also should be used as an example of how to have effects that still look good and like a lot of effort and care went into them and also use them properly, rather than overusing and abusing them to gratuitous effect with varied at best success as seen frequently now. The locomotive features heavily here and to ingenious and quite imaginative effect. The direction keeps the momentum going with ease and balances all 'The General's' elements every bit as adeptly.

When it comes to the humour, which is very physical, it is never less than very funny and is timed inventively throughout, no corniness at all and it gels very well. But 'The General' is much more than just a comedy and one can say that it's not really one. It has other elements too and executes them even better actually, especially the action, the scope, dexterity and boldness of it and especially those stunts absolutely jaw-dropping and truly exciting to watch. It is also an example of how to have action that thrills while being easy on the eyes, coherent and not being too noisy or busy, something to learn from.

Also here is a tender understated quality that is very surprising and the romantic element is genuinely charming without being sappy. The film also has a story that's easy to follow and at the same time is logical and interesting, indicating a film with brains as well as soul that treats the viewer with respect rather than getting irritated by credibility straining and logic lapses. Keaton is superb here, not only is his comic timing on point but he provides a character that's endearing and worth rooting for. His physicality and how he copes with the stunts is awe-inspiring and he is one of not many to make deadpan interesting and entertaining because he still makes it very expressive and nuanced. The rest of the cast are easy to overlook but are just as strong, even if with not as much to do or with material that sticks in the mind as much.

Overall, brilliant and a Buster Keaton essential. 10/10 Bethany Cox

Reviewed by bkoganbing10 / 10

Keaton Raises The South Again

Fort Sumter has been fired upon, the Civil War has begun. All of the able bodied men of the South have rushed to defend the new flag of the stars and bars. But one man a railroad engineer taking his beloved engine, The General, every day on its run gets rejected for military service. Bad enough he's an outcast among the southern gallants, but his dear sweetheart Marion Mack has said she cannot love a man not in Confederate gray no matter the reason.

So poor Buster Keaton goes back to The General and for the next year or so toils at his job while the war rages on. But a plan hatched by some Yankee spies brings Keaton right into the action. The northerners plan to steal a train and run it right up to their lines and wreck all the military contraband they can find. The definition of contraband is a rather broad one as we well know. But those lowdown dirty Yankees made a big mistake in stealing Buster's train.

Undaunted he pursues and rescues Marion who was a passenger and the two of them set off in their own train doing all they can to foil the Yankees until the Confederate army can deal with them. The bulk of the film is a laugh filled riot where at various intervals, Buster is the pursuer and the pursued.

I have a slightly different take on The General. Although I bow to Keaton's comic genius and the film after the trains start rolling moves at the pace of an Indiana Jones feature, the real marvel as far as I'm concerned is the creative use of special effects. Although Keaton did a lot of his own stunts in The General, the creative use of what have to be miniatures is something to behold. Otherwise a whole lot of railroad property would have been totaled for the making of The General.

Best gag in the film is Keaton trying to use that cannon which he attaches to a flatcar on his train. Kind of hard to both steer the train and aim the cannon as he found out. Next best gag in the film is at the final battle where he deals with a Union sniper in a most interesting manner.

The General is silent screen comedy at its very best. No better authority than Keaton's rival Charlie Chaplin said so. Who am I to argue?

Read more IMDb reviews