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The General

Directed by Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman

USA, 1926

Cornerhouse, 18 May 2014

The General

This early film, replete with unexpected comic moments, is a masterpiece.

Buster Keaton is Johnnie Gray, a railroad engineer during the American Civil War.  The army won’t enlist him – he wants to fight for the South – and so his fiancee abandons him.

But in an unlikely twist of fate, Johnnie and his train The General, certainly his true true love, find themselves embroiled in a Yankee plot to blow up a bridge.  He shows valour when circumstances require it.  And he gets the girl.

Best moment is when our hero’s fiancee takes time out to sweep the engine room floor while they’re under enemy fire.  She’s the only one for him, clearly.

All ends well.

The General is showing again on Wednesday, details here.