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General (Silent)

Buster Keaton , Marion Mack , Buster Keaton , Clyde Bruckman    Unrated   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 6.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

General (Silent) + Birth of a Nation (Silent) + Intolerance [Import]
Price For All Three: CDN$ 33.30

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  • Usually ships within 2 to 4 weeks.
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  • Birth of a Nation (Silent) CDN$ 6.98

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    FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ CDN$ 25. Details

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Product Details

Product Description


Buster Keaton's career reached its creative apex with this rousing comic adventure. Not merely one of the finest silent films, this remains one of the great film comedies of all time. The Great Stone Face stars as Southern railroad engineer Johnny Gray, a man with only two loves: the sweet Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack) and his trustworthy engine, the eponymous General. When Fort Sumner is fired upon he's one of the first to enlist, but when the war office rejects him (he's too valuable as a trained engineer) his sweetie rejects him as a coward. Johnny has the opportunity to prove his bravery when Yankee spies steal his engine and inadvertently kidnap Annabelle, and Johnny pursues with all the resources at his disposal: handcar, bicycle, and finally railroad engine. Keaton's love/hate relationship with technology and machinery shines as he becomes one with his beloved locomotive and wrestles with a finicky cannon that threatens to blow his engine off the tracks; with tremendous dexterity, he nails the humor with inimitably deadpan takes. Spunky Marion Mack makes a perfect partner for Keaton, not merely a foil but a gifted comedienne in her own right. Other Keaton films contain more laughs and inspired comic stunts, but none combines romance, adventure, and comedy into a solid story as seamlessly as this silent masterpiece. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

Union spies steal an engineer's (Buster Keaton) beloved locomotive and pursue it through enemy lines in this all-time great comedy classic.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 8 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Really a side slapper
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buster Keaton is a genius March 23 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of the best and funniest silent movies ever made. Buster Keaton made this amazing comedy/action movie come alive. The video is good quality for such an old film. Recommend for any old film or comedy buffs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny! Feb. 22 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Fun to watch. & amazing what can be done without words & without blowing stuff to bits or shooting a bunch of bad guys. Ok, a bridge was blown to smithereens & train dropped into the brink. I was amazed at the number of horses & riders in the mounted cavalry scenes.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid this General Oct. 13 2003
By A Customer
There are other versions of "The General" available on DVD and any would be preferable to this one. It's picture quality is muddy and the score is simply a washover of everything from "Pomp and Circumstance" to Borodin to Bizet, none of it selected with the slightest appropriateness to what is going on on the screen. True, you can watch it without the sound, but why? Even at this low price, to be avoided.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful May 11 2011
While the film is unbelievably amazing, the reproduction of this film is even better!

Plus the tv segment with Orson Welles talking about Buster Keaton is a nice bonus as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the all time classic silent film comedies April 27 2004
Format:VHS Tape
If anyone could have made a comedy about the American Civil War and pulled it off, it was BUSTER KEATON. This is one of the all time classic silent comedies. Buster plays a steadfast trainman whose loyalty is with his girl and the South, but fate manages to throw their plans assunder. Rejected from the service because he was too valuable to the Confederacy as an engineer. Branded a coward, Buster manages to become the hero in a roundabout way. Look for classic routines like Keaton frantically trying to find his shoes in a hopelessly tangled pile of footwear, trying to load a cannon with limited success and finally, being promoted to an officer and having brigades of soldiers salute him, all the while he trying to kiss his true love. Granted, Civil War purists will fault some of the technical points, such as uniforms and weapons, but for once, OVERLOOK IT and enjoy the film! Even if it was 100% authentic, it is still a treasure worth seeing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious - a must-see! July 30 2002
By ehakus
Quite simply, The General is HILARIOUS! Although I am generally not a huge fan of silent movies (I prefer the classic sound films), The General is an exception. Way ahead of its time, this film was not initially well recieved and was a big flop, but it is now considered by many to be Buster Keaton's finest film. Overall, the General is truly a showcase of Keaton's brilliance as a comedian and stuntman.
The General is set in the Civil War. Basically, it is the story of an engineer named Johnny Gray who, after being rejected from serving in the Southern army and consequently not being able to marry his sweetheart (she will only have him if he is in the army), finds himself engaged in a huge chase to get his train back after it is stolen from him by a small group of Northerers. The chase is hilarious - it has often been imitated, but nothing can compare to the original - and Keaton's expressions, especially his famous deadpan expression, are hysterical.
Anyhow, this classic comedy is a must-see. Keaton's antics are great, and it is amazing to think that he did all his daredevil stunts in an era where special effects were nonexistent (if you wanted to crash a train off a bridge, you actually had to do it)! The General is perfect for the whole family (this is my 11 year old brother's favorite movie, he has seen it at least 100 times) and is a real treat to watch. I don't know how else to recommend this - get it and enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars None better June 28 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I asked myself two simple questions after viewing this film: Was it worth making? Could it possibly have been made any better? The answers are, respectively, yes and no. It's one of the greatest of movies, and maybe the best pure comedy of all time. I won't even point out my favorite moments, because, particularly with Keaton, half the joy is in the discovery (not just the humor, but the audacity -- "How did he DO that??").
By the way, silent movies are generally in much better shape -- and scored much more tolerably -- than the versions we saw 30 years ago. Still, there's no reason not to turn off the sound and get off on the sound of your own laughter!
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