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The General (Buster Keaton 1926)

"Buster Keaton was the greatest of all the clowns in the history of cinema. For too many years he was under the shadow of Charlie Chaplin and for too many of his last years he had a very bad time of it...Those are the years in which I knew him. We use to work in the old Stage Door Canteen, I was doing magic tricks for the troops and Keaton was washing dishes. He was a lovely person, the supreme artist and I think one of the most beautiful people ever photographed."
Orson Welles

Reaction: Touched

Knowing how badly Hollywood treated Buster Keaton and knowing how this great man who made great cinema was eventually left with only his sad face...makes me sad. As much as I appreciate the creative genius of Charlie Chaplin, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool fan of Buster Keaton. I've seen other Keaton films and liked them all. I'm glad we still have most of his silent films surviving as so many silent films are lost.

I know silent films aren't for everyone and even though I do enjoy them they can be a mixed bag...especially the long ones can get tedious. The General is only 79 minutes so a quick & easy watch and one that's packed full of Keaton's patented comic stunts that are both humorous as all hell...and frightening to watch as he risks his life riding on an old steam engine or other daring feats. And make no mistakes about it, Keaton did risk his life in doing his own stunts.

Keaton wrote, directed and starred in this film and like Orson Welles and Citizen Kane, The General was the last time that Keaton would have full control over his films, which is indeed sad.