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Nostalgia & History > The General -- 1926 classic


Date: 12/18/12 06:31
The General -- 1926 classic
Author: Copy19

I was tempted just to post this as a "caption this", but decided to play it straight. This is Buster Keaton in his railroad epic, "The General", which according to Wikipedia was a commercial bust at the end of the silent era, but today is considered a classic. Keaton did many of his own stunts.

John Bromley
Omaha




Date: 12/18/12 07:34
Re: The General -- 1926 classic
Author: LoggerHogger

There is an HD version of this classic film out on DVD that is a MUST. The quality is fantastic and they have 2nd DVD that has all kinds of great stills and information on the filming of this famous movie.

It was filmed in Cottage Grove, Oregon on the Oregon Pacific & Eastern and had some scenes shot on local logging railroads. Lots of Western history here.

Martin



Date: 12/18/12 08:01
Re: The General -- 1926 classic
Author: africansteam

In light of recent posts on TO lamenting the lack of accuracy in movies featuring railroading, you could almost say the practice started here. Staring us in the face is spot plate No. 5. The General was No. 3, the Texas No. 49.

Which would you rather have, accuracy or ACTION!

Cheers,
Jack



Date: 12/18/12 11:37
Re: The General -- 1926 classic
Author: DNRY122

My wife and I were fortunate enough to see "The General" on the "silver screen" at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse about 20 years ago. What made the evening extra special was having Gaylord Carter accompanying the movie with the "Mighty Wurlitzer" theater organ.

Traction fans may note that some of the passenger cars in the movie were highly modified Pacific Electric 200-class wooden streetcars. PE was selling them off (probably at scrap prices) during the 1920s as the "Hollywood" cars, Birneys and buses took over their local streetcar operations.



Date: 12/18/12 15:09
Re: The General -- 1926 classic
Author: Evan_Werkema

"You'll never get the girls with a tie that sloppy!"

Dang cowcatcher must be out of adjustment again - that ain't no cow!

Is this why the FRA banned the use of footboards?

The photographer shouldn't have been standing in the gauge - it's dangerous and sets a bad example. ;^)



Date: 12/18/12 17:16
Re: The General -- 1926 classic
Author: DNRY122

As I recall, the camera operator was probably on a flatcar pulled by another locomotive.



Date: 12/18/12 21:39
Re: The General -- 1926 classic
Author: Q4960

Keaton was a genius both as a director and actor. Bad reviews, mainly due to the fact that you cannot have a comedy movie where people are killed. Sited was an scene where a Union soldier is picking off a Confederate artillery unit, one by one. Keaton has been having trouble with his saber and as he pulls it out of the sleeve, the blade flies off and kills the Union sniper. Because of these reviews the movie bombed at the box office bringing in $400,000 in receipts. The film cost $400,000 to make. This was the last film that Keaton would direct.

Roger Holmes



Date: 12/18/12 22:15
Re: The General -- 1926 classic
Author: lwilton

And 50 years later Mel Brooks proved that idea wrong as I recall. But that was 50 years and a war or two later, to change people's attitudes.



Date: 12/18/12 23:09
Re: The General -- 1926 classic
Author: BaltoJoey

Q4960 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Keaton was a genius both as a director and actor.
> Bad reviews, mainly due to the fact that you
> cannot have a comedy movie where people are
> killed. Sited was an scene where a Union soldier
> is picking off a Confederate artillery unit, one
> by one. Keaton has been having trouble with his
> saber and as he pulls it out of the sleeve, the
> blade flies off and kills the Union sniper.
> Because of these reviews the movie bombed at the
> box office bringing in $400,000 in receipts. The
> film cost $400,000 to make. This was the last
> film that Keaton would direct.
>
> Roger Holmes


According to the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB), the estimated budget for this film was $750,000.00.
Delays in filming because of poor weather, caused this film to go over budget. Joe Schenck, the production chief was the one who took away Keaton's self control of his films. All of the other films that Keaton made were money makers. This was his first box office flop. Keaton's biggest mistake was not forming his own independent production company, like Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd had done.

Another thing, Buster had originally been given permission to use the real General locomotive and even a branch line for filming. However, when the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St Louis Railroad found out that it was going a comedy film. They withdrew the offers.

BaltoJoey



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