100 Movies in 100 Days / Movies

100 Years of Movies in 100 Days – Day 17 – The General (1926)

Buster Keaton in "The General"

So yes, I am posting yesterday’s Day 17 blog post this morning, but I’m giving myself a free pass considering yesterday’s marathon turn of events. The day started with an unscheduled stop at the dentist to check out my burnt-by-hot-oil-squirting-out-of-chicken-gyoza molars, followed by the usual eight hour work day and rounded out with a lovely six hour wait in the ER waiting room at the local hospital where my Dad is getting his leg un-clotted. So considering all of that, you can see why there was no Day 17 post yesterday, however, I was fortunate enought to select a movie that I had already seen in one of my college film classes, so I can pretty much speak of it on memory. Granted, I’m not going to be making this a habit of reviewing off of memory, but just this one time, I’ll give myself a pass.

So, Buster Keaton’s The General. This movie is an undeniable classic. While I know I have mentioned in a previous blog that I’m all too keen on Keaton, I must say the comedy in this movie is top notch. In Seven Chances, we saw the beginnings of that slapstick humor combined with the dead-pan facial expression that reaches it’s absolute peak in this movie.

The story is really simple and basically jumps from one gag to the next, but, for plot-enthusiasts, the movie focuses on Keaton’s Johnny Gray, who loves his train and his girl Annabelle Lee. Set during the Civil War, Union soldiers have stolen Gray’s beloved train, The General. The Union plan to use the train to drop a sneak attack on the Confederate army and it’s up to Gray and Annabelle to warn them. But will they get there in time? Dun-dun-DUN!!

Seriously though, this was a great movie to close out the silent era. Beginning today, Day 18, we enter into the world of talkies. So see you later tonight for the Day 18 post!

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