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The General (Enhanced) 1927

4.6 out of 5 stars 289 customer reviews

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(Nov 11, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The General by Buster Keaton (Enhanced) 1927

This film has been enhanced using a Video Enhancement Program that reduces noise and enhances video quality.

The General is one love in the life of Johnnie Gray (Buster Keaton). It is his train engine. The other is Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack), his girlfriend. When Johnnie cannot get into the army, Annabelle believes he is a coward. However, when Union soldiers steal The General with Annabelle inadvertently on board, Johnnie must track them both down to save them from certain harm. With Johnnie s heroics, how can Annabelle ever consider him a coward?

When The General came out, it was to a very luke warm reception. Many considered it one of Buster Keaton s worst movies. Keaton, who played Johnnie Gray and co directed the film, thought it was one of his best films ever. However, as The General has been watched by later generations, it has become a classic of the silent film era.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

Review

The two things engineer Johnny Gray (Buster Keaton) loves most in the world are his Southern belle sweetheart and his locomotive. When Northern spies steal the latter, the intrepid Confederate single-handedly takes on the entire Union army in order to get it back. Against a backdrop of magnificently photographed Civil War battle scenes unfolds one of the great chases in movie history. Set almost entirely aboard moving trains, Keaton's The General is physical comedy refined to elegant perfection and widely considered to be the actor-director's greatest film. --Rotten Tomatoes

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack
  • Directors: Buster Keaton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Surround Sound
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Triad Productions Corporation
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2008
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LQCIBG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,814 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The General (Enhanced) 1927" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It was with some trepidation and annoyance that I found myself plunking down more hard-earned money for my fourth copy of Buster Keaton's immortal silent comedy,"The General." I am pleased to report that the investment was a worthy one.
The public domain versions of this film are undeserving of comment and should be avoided at all costs. I made the misfortune mistake of buying one of these hack jobs first and was rewarded with a poor transfer with completely inappropriate music. I then purchased the double feature of "The General" and "Steamboat Bill, Jr." offered by Image. The picture quality was greatly improved in regards to clarity and contrast. My personal complaint regarding the Image version is the musical accompaniment provided by the Alloy Orchestra. Clanky and mechanical, their score is more a cacophany than a symphony and works against, rather than complements, much of the action in the film. Next, I procured Kino's original version of "The General", which, to my disappointment, was softer and less sharp than the one offered by Image. It does feature a more pleasing score by Robert Israel. This brings me to Kino's updated and restored version, and I can affirm that my quest for the best version of this film has come to an end.
Why go into such nauseating detail regarding the purchasing process? For one, it demonstrates how much I appreciate this film and how important it is to obtain it in its preeminent form. I also hope it will convince those mulling over the different available versions of this film that the Ultimate 2-Disc Edition is the version to buy.
Other reviewers have mentioned the techniques used to restore the film, and it is indeed the most lustrous version I have seen.
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Format: Blu-ray
In 1927, the American silent film "The General", now known as one of the greatest films ever made, was released in theaters.

But the film starring silent film star Buster Keaton was not a big success in the box office, in fact it was a box office disaster and received negative critic reviews. But only until later would the film be seen as the ultimate classic film making it into the American Film Institute's top 100 films of all time (at #18) and was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" in 1989, the first year of the registry.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

"The General" is presented in full-frame (1:33:1) and is color tinted.

I just have to say that this is the best version I have ever seen of "The General". The film was mastered in HD from a 35mm archive print struck from the original camera negative but having seen this film only on public domain video files which were never complete or had this awful fading in an out and just difficult to watch, this 1927 film looks absolutely incredible. Is it 100% pristine? No. There are white specks and occasional film wearing but for a film this old, this is expected.

If anything, I was just in awe of how incredible this film looks. The detail is amazing and the clarity, again...fantastic. As for the colors, the film has a sepia look while the night time shifts to a bluish tint (which I've read in silent film books was intentional at that time). But seriously, this is probably the best we will ever see this film for a long time.

As for the audio, KINO International gives us three optional scores to choose from.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a remarkable blu-ray from Kino. The image is crystal clear without any digital hardness and the fine grain of the film is retained to boot. The various scores offered (Carl Davis' being first up on the list and the perfect one to listen to)and all the suppliments from the DVD edition are offered here. The simple menu design and the directness with which the blu-ray loads are all a sharp slap in the face to the majority of lesser films released in the format that have unbearably convoluted and tediously clever menus that load slowly and ultimately result in having to shuffle through endless onscreen paperwork.

THE GENERAL is a remarkable film, more epic even than GONE WITH THE WIND, it is truly not only one of the greatest silent films ever made, but one of the greatest American films ever made, despite whatever the idiot AFI might think (they left it off of their first 100 Greatest Films of All Time list, in fact not a single Buster Keaton film made it to that list, as well as Murnau's SUNRISE). This is action/adventure of the highest order, as thrilling as RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and even better, for it's all really there - the dam breaking, the ensuing flood, the long tracking shots with the trains chasing each other, people running through fire and exploding shells, the collapsing bridge - all of it is done in real time before the camera, no minitures, no cgi. Outstanding film, very funny, and full of jaw-dropping sequences that are enacted for real. A Buster Keaton, and an American, masterpiece.
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