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The Buster Keaton film "The General" is stupid and boring


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My only question would be to ask about what age bracket are you in? Usually, most young whippersnappers don't take to silent films. Anyway, this is a common situation where one would be immensely out voted on the subject of believing "The General" is a stupid and boring film. There has never been and there will never be a motion picture that had such an authentic mood to display the period of the American Civil War. Keaton went way ahead to what D.W. Griffith produced with "The Birth of a Nation." What makes "The General" so special is the format Keaton used to give a feeling old Civil War photos had come to life! Truly a once in a lifetime classic for all times.

 

Next, I'll probably hear that other aged old complaint, there's no sound and why just music?

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As I have stated many times here, I've never been a big fan of THE GENERAL. In my opinion, it has always been vastly overrated. In all honesty, I can see it appearing very old hat to 1926 audiences. To many old Silent film Stereo-type's that were long Passe' by that time. Not a very funny picture, the drama far outweighs the comedy. Viewers of the day would have expected, nay demanded allot more laughs and were no doubt disappointed.

 

Understand that back in 1978 at age 12, I saw Chaplin's CITY LIGHTS and Lloyd's THE FRESHMAN first in a theater setting. Compared to those two masterpieces of comedy, THE GENERAL fell completely flat for me. I still consider it to be a very poor introduction to the Silent Film genre for the novice. Definitely not the first Silent I would show anyone. It is much to dull and slow moving. Likely to alienate more people than peak their interest.

 

That being said, it makes a huge difference seeing this movie with the spectacular Carl Davis score. Since the Thames Silents-Photoplay Productions version is now on DVD and even Bluray, I just can't understand why TCM is still running with the largely horrid Alloy Orchestra score, and not Carl Davis, or even Robert Israel for that matter? I hoped last night would be the occasion in prime-time. Regretfully, that didn't happen.

 

I sure wish that some critic would select SEVEN CHANCES (1925) if they want to Showcase a Keaton film. Far more entertaining, and 100 times funnier than THE GENERAL. Alas if TCM were to run SEVEN CHANCES, it would be a premier. The one Keaton feature they have never broadcast.

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Re: "The Buster Keaton film 'The General' is stupid and boring"

 

The General isn't, but your tirades are. Come on, you supposedly worship ZaSu Pitts (ZASU PITTS!!!) and we are supposed to take you seriously? Come on, admit this whole thing is a put-on.

 

This whole giving the thread a title that will start a firefight and the simplistic "Any questions?" just screams troll.

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Hey Movie Professor have you see that TCM fan fantics they have couple of girls who were Generation Y I think they are rare they were talk about Claire Bow and others so cute

 

I think it be might on YOU TUBE they still run it I am Geneation X female I love silent movies

 

Here YOU TUBE I found it

 

 

 

Edited by: Kelly125 on Oct 14, 2010 7:00 PM

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I enjoy an excellent silent film entitled "Greed". I also like Buster Keaton in "College" and the Harold Lloyd film "Speedy", but "The General" is rubbish. The majority of Chaplin's silent output is incredible, and including his early short-subject comedies, for example. And yes; I am a sincere lover of ZaSu Pitts.

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>zasupittsfan . . .

 

Well, I'm glad we got this situation cleared up . . . It's means this isn't a hopeless situation and you do like silent films. I am curious to know, what is it about "The General" that makes you feel the film is such rubbish? I don't expect you to give an all-out, lengthy, lterary composition on the subject. Basically, I'd like to know what flaws you feel the motion picture has?

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>>Alas if TCM were to run SEVEN CHANCES, it would be a premier. The one Keaton feature they have never broadcast.

 

It's aired on TCM, perhaps around 2001, but I taped it back then.

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"Alas if TCM were to run SEVEN CHANCES, it would be a premier. The one Keaton feature they have never broadcast." - gagman66

 

*"It's aired on TCM, perhaps around 2001, but I taped it back then."* - clore

 

Would like a chance to see it again. But I am still waiting for TCM to show Keaton's *Go West* and *Three Ages* which I don't think have ever been seen on the channel. (But don't quote me.)

 

And *The General* is perfect. So there.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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Here's a program advisory for TCM on January 18:

 

Silent Partner, The (1955)

A once-famous comedy star drowns his sorrows in a bar. Cast: Buster Keaton, Zasu Pitts, Joe E. Brown. Dir: George Marshall. BW-30 mins,

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I am going to agree with you on this one. I also think it's very overrated and just not funny. Its humor does not hold up well at all. The musical score was more interesting and entertaining than the visuals were when I watched this yesterday evening.

 

It's a case of taking a simple gag and stretching out too long for a feature film. What he accomplished in 79 minutes could easily have been done in 20 minutes.

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It kind of is...! The original poster nailed it for me by saying there was not one moment where I laughed out loud.

 

The only thing I get from a film like this is admiration for the actor's athleticism and fearless stunt work. But I found the story weak. It seemed like they had an idea, took a camera outside, borrowed a train, and then tried to do a bunch of tricks on it while it was moving. Then, they slapped it together when they edited it and called it a film. I think some of his other stuff is better.

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hlywdkjk ,

 

Sorry, but SEVEN CHANCES has never been on TCM. Between 1995 and 2000, maybe 2001, it was on the old AMC (American Movie Classics), more than half a dozen times. I'm pretty certain TCM has yet to pick it up for broadcast though.

 

Hopefully, they will air the new version of SHERLOCK JUNIOR with the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra score, replacing the dismal Club Foot Orchestra music. That definitely needs to go!

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*"hlywdkjk , Sorry, but SEVEN CHANCES has never been on TCM."* - gagman66

 

I guess I mis-stated my point. I was trusting 'clore' who said it previously played on TCM. If you believe it hasn't been on TCM, I have no reason to doubt you. Nor do I have reason to doubt 'clore'. But one of you is mistaken.

I was only trying to express that I'd like the opportunity (again, if it has played before) to see it. It's one I have never seen. Same for *Go West* and *Three Ages*.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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hlywdkjk,

 

I think they have played *GO WEST,* but with the Synthesized music score by Eric Behiem found on the current Kino DVD releaseThe old Image laser-disc had a much better score. . I personally find the film very underrated. It is extremely funny. The Climax will leave you breathless.

 

*THE THREE AGES* has been on TCM at least a couple times in the last 4 years. I remember seeing it. A new Blu-Ray edition is being released next month, paired with *SHERLOCK JUNIOR.*

 

*SEVEN CHANCES* is on DVD from Kino too. Pick up a copy. You will be glad you did. Print is gorgeous for the most part. Except for the badly faded Technicolor in the opening sequence. Pretty good score by Robert Israel.

 

*SEVEN CHANCES* is not Public-Domain, it is owned by the Doris Corporation, and few films owned by them seem to pop up on TCM. For instance we have yet to see any of the Norma or Constance Talmadge features. Though, I hoped they would run the ones with Ronald Colman. The Harry Langdon features Doris has are never shown either.

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>>Nor do I have reason to doubt 'clore'.

 

That's very nice of you, I'll have to dig up the tape that I made, maybe I recorded the intro. That may take a day or two as with 1,200 cassettes, I had to put some in storage to get rid of some of the clutter.

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