movie film review | chris tookey


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  General Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
9.74 /10
Johnnie Gray ......... Buster Keaton , Annabelle Lee ........ Marion Mack, Mr. Lee .............. Charles Smith
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Directed by: Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman
Written by: Al Boasberg, Charles Smith

Released: 1926
Origin: US
Length: 80

PRO Reviews

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"Keaton at his best."
(Paul Rotha & Richard Griffith, The Film Till Now,1930)
"When asked why The General gave a more convincing picture of the Civil War than Gone with the Wind, Keaton replied, 'Well, you see they based their film on the novel. I went back to the history books.'"
(Eric Rhode, Encounter, 1967)
“The first, probably the greatest comic epic in film form... The great question [it] poses in the course of its narrative is how to perform heroic action in a universe that is not heroic... That heroism occurs as an accident in The General is at the center of its moral thrust... Buster's character exposes the folly of the accidents of heroism... The gallant and romantic are explicitly burlesqued in the film's final sequence... Buster heroically draws his sword only to see the blade fall off, leaving a stubby handle in his upstretched hand... The thing that distinguishes The General is that the senseless object, the huge infernal machine of this film, is war ... This antiheroic comic epic must necessarily become an antiwar story, too, for the military heroism The General consistently debunks is the Circe that turns men into murdering and destructive swine... With its mixture of burlesque and grimness... [it] is the spiritual ancestor of that recent mixture of laughs and war horrors, Doctor Strangelove.”
(Gerald Mast, A Short History of the Movies, 1971)
“The best train film ever made, with seven of the eight reels devoted to the train chase. The film is fast, ingenious and packed with impeccably timed visual gags.”
(R.A.E. Pickard, Dictionary of 1000 Best Films, 1971)
"Not only one of Keaton's greatest, but also one of the funniest films ever made... with enough gags to fill a dozen modern comedies."
(Elkan Allan, National Film Theatre Bulletin)
“Masterly silent comedy... directed by Buster Keaton, an artist whose ill-deserved but unavoidable decline during the sound era has since been substantially countered by a great resurgence in critical admiration... [The films] provides ample evidence of his uniquely lugubrious comic persona, spellbinding physical agility and clinical filmmaking control... Keaton's art... comes across as effortless.”
(Allan Hunter & Kenny Mathieson, Movie Classics, 1992)

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