The General

Buster Keaton/Clyde Bruckman, USA 1926, 77 minutes

The General is perhaps Buster Keaton's finest film and shows the great comic of the silent era at the height of his powers. Keaton's talent lay in his slapstick ability and his famous stoney face expression which he gave at moments of great confusion. Currently much of his work is being reappreciated at the true extent of his comic genius re-evalued. Unfortunately for Keaton's career, after the introduction of sound, no one was interested in his comic abilities anymore. His brand of slapstick humour was most appreciated during the silent era when he and his contemporaries Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd ruled the screen but after sound all of their careers went into decline although their influence can still be seen today on comedians such as Steve Martin and Jim Carrey although fun as they are they are nothing compared to Keaton who should be enjoyed here at his best

"Arguably the greatest screen comedy ever made... witty, dramatic, visually stunning, full of subtle delightful human instincts, and constantly hilarious" - Time Out

Review by Alicia Forsyth
Taken from EUFS Programme 1996-97