A History of Screenwriting 60 – The General Starring Buster Keaton

A History of Screenwriting 60 – The General Starring Buster Keaton

A History of Screenwriting 60 - The General Starring Buster Keaton

Screenplay by Al Boasberg, Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton, Charles Henry Smith, Paul Girard Smith
Based on The Great Locomotive Chase by William Pittenger

The General is a 1926 American silent comedy film released by United Artists. It was inspired by the Great Locomotive Chase, a true story of an event that occurred during the American Civil War. The story was adapted from the memoir The Great Locomotive Chase by William Pittenger. The film stars Buster Keaton who co-directed it with Clyde Bruckman.

At the time of its initial release, The General, an action-adventure-comedy made toward the end of the silent era, was not well received by critics and audiences, resulting in mediocre box office returns (about half a million dollars domestically, and approximately one million worldwide). Because of its then-huge budget ($750,000 supplied by Metro chief Joseph Schenck) and failure to turn a significant profit, Keaton lost his independence as a filmmaker and was forced into a restrictive deal with MGM. In 1954 the film entered the public domain (in the USA), owing to the claimant’s failure to renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.[2]

The General has since been reevaluated, and is now often ranked among the greatest American films ever made.[3] — Wikipedia


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