The Waupaca Area Public Library will dedicate its November First Thursday Film to the honor of all U.S. military veterans by showing Buster Keaton’s famous Civil War comedy, “The General,” at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6.
Dr. Jack Rhodes will introduce the movie, with additional remarks about Buster Keaton and the hazards of slapstick provided by Robert Cloud, silent film aficionado.
Rhodes notes that this particular film has been chosen for screening at this time in order to synchronize with the national commemoration of the American Civil War.
Released toward the end of the Silent Era in 1927, “The General” is one of Keaton’s most unforgettable films and is based on a true incident, better known as “The Great Locomotive Chase.” Northern raiders commandeered a Confederate train with the intention of cutting the South’s main rail line between Atlanta and Chattanooga.
Although the daring exploits of the group known as Andrews’ Raiders brought the first Congressional Medals of Honor to several of these Northern spies, the viewpoint character in this movie is Keaton’s Confederate engineer, Johnny Gray, a heroic railroad employee who pursues the Yankees in order to recapture his beloved locomotive, “The General.”
The script and direction are by Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman, and the film also features Marian Mack, Jim Farley, and Joseph Keaton. As is typical in the library’s “First Thursday Film Series,” complimentary popcorn, sodas, and theater treats will be provided.