The General ★★★★½

I forget how much of this movie's midsection avoids trains and is a straight kidnapping adventure. (You can tell Keaton et al. considered this a more prestigious film than, like, The Navigator by how seriously these scenes are played.) And I have a hard time caring about the climactic battle apart from the train crash. That's OK because every single one of the train sequences is one of the best action scenes ever shot and makes every modern film that attempts any sort of scale look unimaginably facile.

I actually listened to Carl Davis' score this time which was a mistake; it's absolutely dreadful, unless you like various reprises of "Dixie." Considering how much I love silent films I can't quite wrap my head around how much I almost always hate the scores packaged with them. They're so sterile. And no matter how good a restoration looks, slickly recorded stereophonic sound underneath 1920s footage just sounds dumb as hell.

Nathan liked this review