The General

Holy crap, did they just burn down a real bridge with an antique train on it?

Title: The General
Year: 1926 (Japan), 1927 (US)
Directors: Clyde Bruckman & Buster Keaton
Writers: Clyde Bruckman & Buster Keaton, adaptation by Al Boasberg & Charles Henry Smith
Starring: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack
Music: random classical music
Distinctions: currently #126 on IMDb’s Top 250
Length: 103 minutes
Synopsis: a Southern train engineer during the Civil War
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), yesterday
Subjective Rating: 6/10 (Okay)
Objective Rating: 8/10 (points off for pacing and music) c. 2.9/4 (Good)

Cute movie, but not great. It’s probably very important and influential, but I wouldn’t know about that sort of thing. The points off for pacing and music are entirely because of the version I saw. The IMDb says there are a number of 75-minute versions with original music. So it’s pretty unforgivable that Netflix has a budget video with an arbitrary public domain music track that nearly renders the movie unwatchable (after being unimpressed with the movie, I watched a minute or two of it with the sound off and was amazed at how much better it was).

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One Response to The General

  1. reeltoreel says:

    The General is one of my favorite movies – absolutely hilarious. The Netflix version is terrible. I actually started it over and muted it. Much better that way.

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