12. November: The General (Stummfilmkonzert mit Livebegleitung, OV)

The General

USA (1926)


ab 6 Stummfilm 1,37:1
Regie: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton
Schauspieler: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender
67 Minuten
Love, Locomotives and Laughs

Railroad train engineer Johnnie Gray is visiting his fiancée Annabelle when the American Civil War breaks out. As a proud American patriot, he’s one of the first to enlist in the Confederate Army but gets rejected due to his importance as an engineer. From now on he is regarded as a failure, and even Annabelle says she won’t ever speak to him again until he is in uniform.

A year later Annabelle receives a message that her father has been wounded in the war. Therefore, she decides to travel north aboard “The General”, Johnnie’s train. When the train gets captured by a group of Union spies, Johnnie tries, by any means and obstacles, to get his two loves back: Annabelle and his engine “The General”.

The film is accompanied by the 17-year-old Johann Engelhardt on the piano. He will compose parts of his interpretation, which is more in line with today's film music. Nevertheless, most of it will be completely improvised live.
The film’s most unsung piece of subtle brilliance. Sitting on the train’s cowcatcher, appearing to improvise breathtaking stunts, it is as if Keaton is in the very forefront of movie-making possibility. (The Guardian)