Parents' Guide to

The General (1927)

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Silent masterpiece is enter-train-ment for all ages.

Movie NR 1927 77 minutes
The General (1927) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 2+

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 8+

Best movie ever

It' makes me laugh every time. Funniest thing I've ever scene

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (2):

This thoroughly entertaining classic is ranked among film historians as one of the greatest comedies ever -- perhaps one of the best films ever made, simple as that. Yet it was not a tremendous success when first released, and in some territories in the American South there were protests that Buster Keaton had dared to make a mockery of something so solemn and sacred as the Civil War -- never mind that the film is nothing but respectful about the Confederacy and the resolve of Rebel troops (this was pretty much the standard attitude from Hollywood, with movie vehicles starring Shirley Temple, the Little Rascals and, of course, Gone With the Wind being most generous towards the South).

After the romanticized opening, the film becomes a delightful thrill-a-minute chase adventure, with the running time of an average kids'-cartoon feature. Keaton's trademark split-second timing and grace under pressure are in standout form as the beleaguered, underdog hero. It's important to remember that this used no miniature models or CGI. When a train wrecks in a particular spectacular gag it's the real thing, and Buster Keaton's crew had only one chance to get it right.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: February 5, 1927
  • On DVD or streaming: November 11, 2008
  • Cast: Buster Keaton
  • Director: Buster Keaton
  • Studio: Kino
  • Genre: Classic
  • Character Strengths: Perseverance
  • Run time: 77 minutes
  • MPAA rating: NR
  • Last updated: November 18, 2022

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