maandag 19 september 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 123: The General

Director: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton
Genre: Comedy/ Action/ Romance
Runtime: 75 minutes
Year: 1926
Starring: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Charles Smith, Frank Barnes, Glen Cavender, Jim Farley, Frederick Vroom, Joe Keaton, Mike Donlin, Tom Nawn

Description: When Union spies steal an engineer's (Buster Keaton) beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.

Review: Who would have thought that I would love “The General” as much as I did? The dry humor, a beautiful love story and a clumbsy leading character. All together works. And the film has amazing stunts and action too, somethine I didn’t expect at all.
Buster Keaton is one of the masters of the silent movie. He plays Johnny Gray, an engineer with two loves in his life: his locomotive (the General) and Annabelle Lee. The story is set around 1862, at the start of the American Civil War. Annabelle brother and father sign up for the army, but Johnny is rejected. They don’t tell him why, but this makes his motivation bigger to proof himself to Annabelle. Because she thinks Johnny is a coward. When spies steal the train with Annabelle on board, Johnny doesn’t’think twice and follows them.
What follows is a chase over a railroad, ending in one of the biggest stunts in silent movie history. It’s hard to imagaine how a railroad chase can be interesting for an entire movie, but it is so much fun to watch. Because there are so many creative solutions and the humor is genius. And you would think that there is overacting involved, because of the physical humor. But it’s not. Buster Keaton’s facial expressions are very subtle.
The musical score is great and the love story starring an anti-hero is just perfect to identify with.
“The General” is one of the most fun comedies of all time and definitely a classic.

Rating: 5/ 5

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