Aug 15, 201211:49 AMThe Telegraph
The Premier Blog of the West
Wednesday Western: 'The General'
Free for you to view on Hulu.com: A newly remastered video edition of The General, Buster Keaton’s classic 1927 silent comedy about a scrappy young Confederate engineer who proves to be improbably and acrobatically heroic while trying to retrieve a wood-burning locomotive hijacked by Union spies during the Civil War.
While you’re watching, remember: Keaton did all of his own stunts as the engineer. So, when you see him precariously perched on that cow-catcher, or bounding across the roofs of railcars, while the train is in motion, he really is dicing with death. And when that Union train collapses into a lake while traversing a flaming bridge – well, that’s no special effect; that’s a real gosh-darn train in what was, up to that point in time, the more expensive single shot in film history.