The General

USA | 1926 | 76 minutes | Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman

Buster Keaton's iconic slapstick comedy of an engineer who must pursue his beloved locomotive straight through enemy lines during the Civil War is presented in a new 4K restoration with an original symphonic score from Studio Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi. Recommended for all ages.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

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During the silent era, Chaplin was the bigger, more balletic star, but none could touch the acrobatic artistry of "Great Stone Face," Buster Keaton. In this special archival screening, SIFF attendees will be treated to one of Keaton's greatest comedies, The General (1927). Set in Georgia and Tennessee during the Civil War, Keaton plays Johnnie Gray, a railroad engineer who, rejected by the Confederate Army, develops two all-consuming passions: his locomotive, The General, and his fiancée, Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack)—both of which are stolen by Yankee spies. Wanting to prove his mettle, Johnnie races north on another train in pursuit of his two loves, where he overhears plans for a surprise attack on the Confederates. After finding Annabelle and overcoming her guards, Johnnie hatches a daring plan to steal back The General and race home with Annabelle to warn the South of the impending offensive. As Johnnie fends off the Union pursuers, Keaton uses some of his most inspired, perfectly timed visual gags, all using real locomotives that are hurtled about like toys, with Keaton performing every death-defying stunt himself. The climactic scene, in which a railroad trestle collapses, sending a locomotive crashing into a river valley, used no special effects—Keaton destroyed an actual train in what would become the most expensive scene ever filmed in the silent era. After nearly 90 years, the audacity and hilarity of the The General never fail to astonish. 


Director Biography
Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman collaborated to write a number of popular films, such as Sherlock Jr., The Cameraman, The Navigator, and Our Hospitality. Toward the latter end of the silent era, the two co-directed The General, an action comedy that is now considered one of the best silent films of all time.

Sponsored by Brotherton Cadillac Buick GMC

  • Director: Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman
  • Principal Cast: Buster Keaton, Marian Mack, Glen Cavender, Jim Farley, Frederick Vroom, Charles Smith
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1926
  • Running Time: 76 minutes
  • Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
  • Screenplay: Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman
  • Cinematographers: J. Devereux Jennings, Bert Haines
  • Editors: J.S. Kell
  • Music: Joe Hisaishi
  • Filmography: KEATON: Spite Marriage (1929); The Cameraman (1928); Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928); College (1927); Battling Butler (1926); Seven Chances (1925); Go West (1925); The Navigator (1924); Sherlock Jr. (1924); Our Hospitality (1923); Three Ages (1923); BRUCKMAN: Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935); Spring Tonic (1935); Movie Crazy (1932); Everything‚Äôs Rosie (1931); Feet First (1930); Welcome Danger (1929); A Perfect Gentleman (1928); Horse Shoes (1927)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: MK2