About this movie
Cast & Crew
- Buster Keaton
- Clyde Bruckman
- Buster Keaton
- Joseph M. Schenck
- Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton plays Johnny Gray, a Southern railroad engineer who loves his train engine, The General, almost as much as he loves Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack). When the opening shots of the Civil War are fired at Fort Sumter, Johnny tries to enlist -- and he is deemed too useful as an engineer to be a soldier. All Johnny knows is that he's been rejected, and Annabelle, thinking him a coward, turns her back on him. When Northern spies steal the General (and, unwittingly, Annabelle), the story switches from drama and romance to adventure mixed with Keaton's trademark deadpan humor as he uses every means possible to catch up to the General, thwart the Yankees, and rescue his darling Annabelle -- for starters. As always, Keaton performs his own stunts, combining his prodigious dexterity, impeccable comic timing, and expressive body language to convey more emotion than the stars of any of the talkies that were soon to dominate cinema.
Reviews by Rotten Tomatoes
percent positive reviews
Peter Bradshaw, Guardian [UK]
Spectacular chases, fires and explosions are captured with fluid camerawork. There are no stunt doubles for Keaton and of course no digital effects.– Full review
Simon Braund, Empire Magazine
The birth of slapstick.– Full review
Variety Staff, Variety
The result is a flop.– Full review
Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
An almost perfect entertainment.– Full review
Mordaunt Hall, New York Times
This is by no means so good as Mr. Keaton's previous efforts.– Full review
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