KINO INTERNATIONAL RELEASES BUSTER KEATON’S THE GENERAL: THE ULTIMATE EDITION ON DVD
The General : The Ultimate Edition Expanding its already impressive collection of silent cinema in the United States, Kino International is proud to release on DVD a new two-disc edition of Buster Keaton’s masterpiece THE GENERAL. Recently mastered in High-Definition from a 35mm archive print struck from the film’s original camera negative, this groundbreaking epic comedy, by one of cinema’s first geniuses, can now be accurately appreciated for its famed visual elegance and cinematic splendor.
This new version of THE GENERAL is sharper and more stable (i.e. weaving free) than any previously available copy of the film. In addition to its state-of-the-art transfer, some nitrate decomposition present on the original negative was digitally painted out and corrected specially for this new edition. The film’s contrast was also brought back to its optimal and historically faithful condition.
This two-disc set also makes available an array of unique special features, some of them previously unavailable in Kino’s already celebrated Keaton collection. One of the highlights of this edition is certainly the three optional musical scores, each one of them composed and performed by distinct and celebrated musicians. The first score was composed by Carl Davis and performed by The Thames Silents Orchestra, a second score was written by six-time Emmy nominee Robert Israel and a third organ score was composed by Lee Erwin and recorded at the Carnegie Hall.
Besides the optional scores, Kino’s ultimate edition of THE GENERAL brings a tour of the film’s locations, filmed intros by Gloria Swanson and Orson Welles, and a montage of train gags from Keaton’s many shorts and features.
Consistently ranked among the greatest films ever made, Buster Keaton’s THE GENERAL is so brilliantly conceived and executed that it continues to inspire awe and laughter with every viewing. This Civil War adventure-epic is also widely considered to be the best “train movie” ever made, besides being Keaton’s own favorite.
Playing a Southern Confederate train engineer, Keaton’s Johnny Gray was rejected by the Confederate army and taken for a coward by his beloved Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack). But when his treasured locomotive, and woman, are made hostage by a band of Yankee spies, he has a chance to redeem himself and prove his bravery to the world.
Johnny wages a one-man war against hijackers, an errant cannon and the unpredictable hand of fate while roaring along the iron rails.
“Every shot has the authenticity and the unassuming correct composition of a Mathew Brady Civil War Photograph,” wrote film historian David Robinson, “No one—not even Griffith or Huston and certainly not Fleming (Gone With the Wind)—caught the visual aspect of the Civil War as Keaton did.”
- Three musical scores to choose from:
- Music composed and conducted by Carl Davis, performed by The Thames Silents Orchestra (in 5.1 Stereo Surround or 2.0 Stereo).
- Music arranged and directed by Robert Israel.
- Theatre organ score by Lee Erwin recorded at the Carnegie Hall.
- A video tour of the authentic General locomotive, presented in association with The Southern Museum.
- A tour of the filming locations, presented by John Bengtson, author of Silent Echoes
- Behind-the-scenes home movie footage
- Filmed introduction by Gloria Swanson
- Filmed introduction by Orson Welles
- “The Buster Express,” a brisk montage of train gags from throughout Keaton’s career
- Photo gallery of more than 80 images, including glimpses of a deleted sequence
US 1926 Color Tinted 78 Min. Full-frame (1.33:1)
Written and directed by Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman
Adapted by Al Boasberg and Charles Smith, from William Pittenger’s “The Great Locomotive Chase”
Photographed by J. Devereaux Jennings and Bert Haines
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie
With Buster Keaton, Marion Mack
Carl Davis score © 1987 Carl Davis. All rights controlled worldwide by Faber
Music Ltd., London. Robert Israel score © 1995 Film Preservation
Associates. Lee Erwin score P Piedmont Music Co. Digital restoration and
supplemental material © 2008 Kino International Corp.
--synopsis and DVD image courtesy of KINO. For more great films on DVD, visit the KINO website.
This DVD is being offered at a special price - the Damfino discount does NOT apply.