The General, released in 1926, is a silent picture show. Orson Welles called The General the greatest comedy on film, the greatest film about the Civil War, and perhaps the greatest film ever made. Buster Keaton (1895—1966) directed and starred. He is a young man who wants to enlist in the Confederate army but is turned down because of his vital job on the railroad, something not pleasing to his lady love. His chance to prove courage and resourcefulness comes when some Yankee spies hijack a train and head North. The hero commandeers a train and starts in pursuit, and it is nonstop and riveting action from there on. The plot is based on a real event. The story was remade by Disney in 1956 as “The Great Locomotive Chase,’ which has been listed as one of the 100 best family films.
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