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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
74
The General [1926] [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£10.99+ £1.26 shipping


on 28 December 2010
I first saw this film in the 70s at a public viewing and it has remained ever since in my memory as an outstandingly good film that I was determined to see again. Now, over 30 years later I at last have my own copy of it, and the film has proved to be even better than I remembered. I had not realised how much this story is based on fact, which is explained so well in the 18 minute long extra 'Video Tour of The General'. The other extras are interesting too. But back to the film itself. I had read the other reviews, which raved about the quality of the image, and even after the hype, I was still astounded by just how good the picture is, even though it's over 80 years old. I sat down with my wife and teenage son and daughter, and we all loved it, set to the Carl Davis score. (I have not tried the other two scores yet.) This film is a love story, an American Civil War story, an extended train chase and a damn good yarn, all rolled into one. In fact it's hard to believe that anyone could NOT enjoy it, and in the Blu Ray version with no region restrictions, it's an absolute bargain.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 August 2010
Lauded by film critics over the years as the greatest of Buster Keaton's films, if not the greatest comedy ever made, this film is one that I have wanted to see for a while. It had a heck of a reputation to live up to, and did not disappoint!

It tells the tale of a railroad engineer in the South during the American civil war, whose beloved train `The General' and girl are stolen by Northern spies who are planning to cut off the South's supply lines before the North makes a big attack. Johnny Grey first pursues his two loves into the depths of enemy territory, and then in turn is pursued back to his homeland, giving us a stone cold classic chase comedy.

As well as allowing Keaton's love of trains full reign as he demonstrates (and probably invents) all the classic railroad and chase visual gags, this film stands out for other reasons. Based on a true story (no, really!), the attention to detail in recreating the period is superb. Also, much like John Ford's work in monument valley a few years later, the beautiful landscape in which Keaton was filming is as much a part of the story as the actors. The film manages to be the personal story of one man, but also has a grand epic quality to it. Finally there are the stunts. No-one was better than Keaton, and he was never better than in this film.

Sadly, this was much misunderstood upon its release in 1926, mainly because it makes the Confederates the heroes of the story, a viewpoint that did not find favour in the America of the time. Also, it was unusual for this style of comedy in that people do get hurt, and in the final battle scene are seen to die on screen. The scenes of troops coming through the woods in the early morning mist was probably quite disturbing to a nation for whom the first world wa was still a fresh memory. Subsequently it was a commercial failure that ended Keaton's creative independence. Luckily it has been reassessed and is now recognised as a classic.

This two disc special edition is the bees knees. I believe it might even have elicited a smile from the great Stoneface himself to see the film treated in such a fashion. The film itself is presented in a beautifully restored print, looking fresh and sharp, allowing Keaton's amasing stunt work and the amazing scenery to be seen in detail. The new score from Joe Hisaishi is a joy, and really compliments the film. There are various documentaries regarding the filming, restoration andrescoring of the film. There is also Keaton's last film, the railroader, almost a follow up to the General. This a really nice touch to the set.

Classic film with a superb presentation. Five stars no hesitation.
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on 9 April 2017
I had this film on video but I have now entered the 20th century and decided to go over to these new fangled DVD's. I love this film. The fact that there is no dialogue adds to its charm and interest . The back ground Scott Joplin is also amusing though not always fitting to the action on the screen. The old piano players of old who kept up the tension with their apt chords reflecting the scenes above is missing in this film.
Pity !!!
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on 12 June 2016
I am a classic movie fan and love the silent films. So I was really looking forward to getting my favourite Buster Keaton movie. I fully expected some picture flaws and I am happy to watch less than perfect picture quality on films of this vintage. Oh dear, the picture had a scar running down one side of the frame throughout most of the film and it suddenly finished before the end. The General is a classic film and deserves much better than this DVD can offer. If a minus mark was available then presentation of this film deserves it. The one star is out of pity, that a classic movie is sold like this.
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on 7 September 2017
Really Great Film from the silent era. Buster Keaton manages to convey such a range of emotions from that expressive face. The restored print is excellent and the period piano accompaniment really adds to the interpretation.
Modern day CGI 'Epics' cannot possibly equal this superb movie.
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on 13 February 2018
Delivery OK.
Good film not the best of Buster Keaton but still very enjoyable. Never knew he had shot such big productions
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on 5 May 2016
Great DVD. it features one of Buster Keaton's Greatest Films The General which is famous for the scene where a steam Train falls in a river, the most expensive stunt in silent movie history. would recommend to all Buster Keaton Fans.
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on 4 January 2016
I got put this at top here...AVOID THIS COPY, IT IS A TRAVESTY TO MANKIND, ITS BLURRY TO THE POINT WHERE YOU CANT SEE ANYTHING, DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT EVER BUY THIS, DO WHAT I DID AND BURN IT THEN BURY IT IN THE GARDEN.

5 STARS GOES TO ACTUAL FILM..........One of the best films ever made, an absolute must own for any film fan, just NOT this DVD
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on 17 August 2017
Good value, arrived on time.
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on 2 April 2015
An outstanding early 20th century silent film. Buster Keaton excels as the main protagonist. I heartily recommend this film to anyone interested in early cinema.
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