General, The (1926)

The General (1926), written and directed by Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton.

Johnnie Gray loves two things: his girl Annabelle Lee and his locomotive, "The General". When Union raiders steal both he'll have to develop action hero moves to get them back and warn Southern forces of an impending attack.

The only dialogue I remember from Bertolucci's porn-like The Dreamers is an argument between serious film buffs. The American is boggled that the Frenchman thinks Chaplin is funnier than Keaton.

One watches this with several simultaneous dimensions of astonishment:

Inspired by the real Civil War Great Locomotive Chase. The original wartime locomotive still exists in a Georgia museum.

Available on Blu-ray from Kino. Stunning image quality for a 90-year-old film. Three music tracks. The film is in the public domain; previous home video editions tended to be pretty sad.

Kino applied tinting which was not part of the original film, although often done in the silent era. I have no objections.

Some details of the mastering effort: Interview: Bret Wood Discusses Keaton's The General on Blu-ray. "It is Kino's new policy that films should be released on Blu-ray without digital noise reduction, so that what the viewer gets is an accurate representation of what the 35mm film looks like, grain and all."