Movie House Memories

The General (1926)

Episode #118

United Artists released The General to theaters on February 5, 1927. Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton directed the film which starred Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, and Glen Cavender.

‘The General’ Movie Summary

Based on a true story during the Civil War, The General starts with Buster Keaton playing Johnnie Gray, a talented train engineer from the South who has two loves of his life – his engine, and his girlfriend, Annabelle. As Johnnie is courting Annabelle, her brother and father get word the Civil War has started so they are going to volunteer for the Confederacy. Johnnie is guilted into enlisting also.

During the enlistment, Johnnie is determined by the powers that be he is more valuable as an engineer than as a soldier so he is told to go away with a swift kick to his caboose. But Johnnie doesn’t know why he was rejected. Annabelle’s family see him and believe he is a coward for not joining so Annabelle and her family tell him they don’t want anything to do with him anymore.

Fast forward one year… Johnnie is still engineer on The General. A plan is hatched by the North Army’s Captain Anderson to steal The General and as they make a run for the north, they will knock out telegraph lines and damage tracks so the Confederacy has no supplies. As they steal The General, they accidentally take Annabelle prisoner.

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United Artists released The General to theaters on February 5, 1927. Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton directed the film which starred Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, and Glen Cavender.

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    1. Yep. Bobby is pretty consistent with his dislike of their films and any gangster films. The Breakfast Club would have been on the show eventually. It’s a top 100 film from my childhood.

      1. They’re fine directors and put out good movies. Glorifying mobster amoral behavior over and over again in film isn’t my strong point – although I do like gangster noir films so go figure. :-) Plus, I’m distinctly against nepotism in Hollywood and the Coppola family in particular – Sofia Coppola is talentless IMHO.

        1. What do you think of The Conversation and Apocalypse Now? Or Raging Bull and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore? Some great non gangster films they made. Also his last film Silence is worth checking out.

          1. I liked The Conversation (mostly because of Gene Hackman) and Apocalypse Now is an excellent film, just not in my personal top-100. I just watched Raging Bull a couple weeks ago again – the film style is very well done but I really don’t like the subject matter with him as a woman-beater. I know it’s the character, but it’s a true story. Not a fan of the subject is all. Never watched Alice. Just something about Coppola and Scorsese’s film style that isn’t my favorite. But then again, I’m not a Wes Anderson fan and I’ve been told over and over how I don’t “get it” so I guess I’m just a troglodyte. :)

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