News and Notes
The General is not only one of the greatest films of the silent era, but one of the funniest movies ever made. Keaton's masterful physical comedy brings to life a simple Civil War story about a young man, his girl, and his train. At an economical 75 minutes, there isn't a wasted scene or action; every gag drives the plot forward or adds to character development. And then there are the gags: whether he's struggling to fire a cannon from one moving train to another, or simply sitting atop the turning wheels of a locomotive, Keaton's sense of what was funny (and what was human) never failed.