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Re: [civilwarwest] The General: Buster Keaton

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  • Steve Hall
    The first time I saw The General was at the 125th anniversary of the Chase up at the Chickamauga Battlefield. There was a week long celebration with
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 31, 2007
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      The first time I saw "The General" was at the 125th anniversary of the Chase up at the Chickamauga Battlefield.  There was a week long celebration with seminars and other events commemorating the chase.  That night they showed both "The Great Locomotive Chase" and "The General" and there was a lot of discussion about both movies.  Perhaps the best part was when the projector that they had to use for "The General" malfunctioned and they could not get the sound to work!  After about ten minutes, they said the heck with it and ran it without any sound at all!  Since it was a silent movie, this did not take away from the movie at all, but without sound the crowd was not inhibited at all about making comments.  Since the entire gallery was filled with history buffs, the comentary was very informed and even hilarious at times!
       
      Steve Hall - Commander
      Lt. Col. William Luffman Camp #938
      Sons of Confederate Veterans
      Chatsworth, Georgia
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, August 31, 2007 11:32 AM
      Subject: [civilwarwest] The General: Buster Keaton

      I saw for my first time Buster Keaton's "The General" last night and
      thourghly enjoyed it.

      While the events were totally ficrtionalized, the actual train
      scenes were perfectly authenic. For example: When Keaton needs to
      burn a bridge across "Rocky River" he uses the kerosene from the
      General's head lamp to ignite the fire. The photography was
      amazingly good, every scene looked like a Mathew Brady shot.

      The movie was made in 1927, filmed in Tenn. and Ore. The follow up
      said that the Ore. State Militia, 5000 strong, performed as
      reenactors. They would wear blue in the scenes of the Union army
      and then change to gray for the Conffederate scenes.

      While the historiographers among us may scoff at the fictionalized
      story line and be put upon by a clear lost cause treatmen, it was a
      fun movie to watch (Keaton did all the stunts himself) The actual
      scenes of the trains the rrs the water towers et al was to me a
      history lesson in itself.

      Bill Bruner

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