Silent Movie: The General
Buster Keaton's comic masterpiece The General (1926) was made at a time when movies didn't have soundtracks and theaters kept musicians on the payroll. Patrons who saw it more than once heard different musicians performing different scores.
Fittingly, Kino gives us three separate scores on its release of The General, the first Blu-ray release of a silent film in North America: two with orchestras (one in 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio) and one with just an organ performance. Each score finds its own way to present this Civil War epic adventure that frequently lands on "Greatest All-Time Comedies" lists.
Keaton grounded The General's humor in exciting visuals and historical authenticity, and Blu-ray enlivens those elements as no previous video version did. You can see the grain in the wood and the greasy texture of the locomotive's well-worn metal, for instance. Oddly enough, such epic details make this movie even funnier.
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Republished with permission from PC World (view original version)