Sunday, 19 April 2009

The General

Dir: Clyde Buckerman
Starring: Buster Keaton
Year: 1926

A little man named Dark Mavis recommended this film to me a few years ago, but Narry Borman goes through phases with old comedies so he didn't get around to seeing The General until last night.

Yes, phases. I've been through them all: WC Fields, Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers, even Abbot and Costello. Harold Lloyd is my nominee for most underrated, but the Marx Brothers are probably my favourite comedy team.

Buster Keaton I have sadly overlooked. Silent films can be really difficult to watch these days, but The General is quite a pacy film. The score adds to the tension immeasurably - a very modern soundtrack that is reminiscent of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Buster's comedy stylings are timeless. He does physical comedy, social observations (particularly like the love-hate relationship with the lead lady as they ride the General home), and more subtle stuff too.

The General has aged rather well, but even so it is somewhat outdated. I found my attention wavering after around 60 minutes, mainly because there are long periods without any dialog at all, and also because I have ADD and I needed the toilet.

A great little film - well-made, funny, and likable.


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