THE GENERAL (U)
Buster Keaton is at his sublime best, co-directing and starring as Johnny Gray, a Southern railroad engineer who loves his train engine, The General, almost as much as he loves Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack). At the start of the Civil War he attempts to enlist, but fails when he is deemed too useful as an engineer to be a soldier; misunderstanding, 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, its passenger Annabelle, Johnny must use every means possible to catch up to the engine, thwart the Yankees, and rescue his darling Annabelle.
The General is a true cinematic landmark, a virtuoso slapstick comedy romance, with an unflagging momentum carried by Keaton's deadpan humour and impeccable timing.
Thu 25 Oct (1 day only) 7.45pm
USA (b/w, silent with live accompaniment), 1926, 79 mins
This screening is supported by the BFI Film Audience Network and is part of the BFI Comedy Genius season. The film will be complemented by live musical accompaniment from Stephen Horne, silent film musician and composer.