Mastered in HD from a 35mm archive print, struck from the original camera negative
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 Kino Ultimate 2 Disc Edition was mastered in HD from a 35mm archive print struck from the original camera negative.
Rejected by the Confederate army and taken for a coward by his beloved Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack), young Johnny Gray (Keaton) is given a chance to redeem himself when Yankee spies steal his cherished locomotive. 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."
Even in our anything-is-possible digital age, it's still a wonder to see the quicksilver Keaton executing mathematically precise, guffaw-inducing gags and pratfalls. A sublime comedy, The General is also a Civil War tintype brought to stately life. Kino's two-disc set includes a sharp new transfer and musty TV intros from a Norma Desmond-esque Gloria Swanson and Keaton fan Orson Welles, who hails the film as ''a hundred times more stunning visually than Gone With the Wind.'' GRADE: A, Tim Purtell, Entertainment Weekly
"FOUR STARS - One of Keaton's Best Silent Features." - Leonard Maltin
- Three musical scores to choose from:
- Music composed and conducted by Carl Davis, performed by The Thames Silents Orchestra (in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 or uncompressed 2.0 Stereo)
- Music arranged and directed by Robert Israel
- Theatre organ score by Lee Erwin
- A video tour of the authentic General, 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
The #18 Greatest Film of All Time - AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies
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.