Keaton’s on General release

Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton

There is a rare opportunity to see one of the masterpieces of silent cinema this weekend when Buster Keaton’s The General is screen at The Dukes in Lancaster.

The General, released in 1926, was among the last big budget silent films released by a major studio, and it was not well-recieved.

After a string of hits for Keaton, making him a huge worldwide star the then mega-budget ($750,000) film flopped at the box office.

Based on a hsitorical account of the Great Locomotive Chase, an audacious 1862 Civil War raid by the Union Army, the film cost Keaton his independence as a filmmaker, as he was dropped by his studio and forced to sign a restrictive deal with MGM.

The film has since been reevaluated, and in 2007, The General was ranked 18th on the American Film Institute 10th Anniversary 100 best films of all time.

The film is screened at 11am on Saturday May 24 in The Rake, The Dukes’ 313 seat cinema auditorium. Tickets £3 call 01524 598500.