The General

1926, Joseph M. Schenck Productions et al

The painful irony of The General is that this critical and financial failure eventually came to be considered one of the greatest films ever made—of any genre. Buster Keaton was sadly underrated, when in fact his talent outshone that of his contemporary competitor, Charlie Chaplin; I believe Keaton's more subtle, intelligent approach to humor simply went over the heads of filmgoers, who also failed to appreciate that he'd created one of cinema's first dramedies. The General very nearly doomed Keaton's career, yet the story of its making is as fascinating and enthralling as the film itself.

       

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