Silent Classics Collection [Limited Edition Wooden Box] [4 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

The General
Buster Keaton plays Johnny Gray, a Southern railroad engineer who loves his train engine, The General, almost as much as he loves Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack). When the opening shots of the Civil War are fired at Fort Sumter, Johnny tries to enlist -- and he is deemed too useful as an engineer to be a soldier. All Johnny knows is that he's been rejected, and Annabelle, thinking him a coward, turns her back on him. When Northern spies steal the General (and, unwittingly, Annabelle), the story switches from drama and romance to adventure mixed with Keaton's trademark deadpan humor as he uses every means possible to catch up to the General, thwart the Yankees, and rescue his darling Annabelle -- for starters. As always, Keaton performs his own stunts, combining his prodigious dexterity, impeccable comic timing, and expressive body language to convey more emotion than the stars of any of the talkies that were soon to dominate cinema. ~ Emru Townsend, Rovi

The Shock
This tale of a crook's reform takes place in the San Francisco of the early 1900s. Predictably, Lon Chaney plays a crook and a misshapen cripple (the type of role almost expected of him at this point in his career). Anne Vincent, better known as "Queen Anne" (Christine Mayo), sends Wilse Dilling (Chaney) to a small town to keep an eye on Mischa Hadley (William Welsh), an embezzling banker who is her lover. Dilling falls in love with Hadley's daughter, Gertrude (Virginia Valli), and blows up the bank's safe to destroy incriminating records. The blast, however, leaves Gertrude a cripple, and Dilling uses his savings to restore her to health. Queen Anne, whose greed knows no end, has told Hadley that he will either give her more money or give her his daughter. Ultimately, she has Gertrude kidnapped and taken to a Chinese den. Dilling rescues her and she helps in his regeneration. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake shakes everything up, and Dilling's reform is complete. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

The Lost World
This adventure virtually butchers its source, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel. But with stop-motion photography and special effects that were incredibly innovative in 1924 and 1925, who cared? These effects were the whole film, and Wallace Beery's inspired performance was a bonus. The tale opens on reporter Edward Malone (Lloyd Hughes), who wants to marry Gladys Hungerford (Alma Bennett). Gladys, however, only wants to marry a man of great deeds. So Malone, having asked his editor for an adventuresome assignment, is given the task of interviewing Professor Challenger (Beery), who is planning an expedition to a "lost world." Malone accompanies Challenger and his men to South America where, on a great plateau, they find a prehistoric world occupied by dinosaurs and ape-like men. They barely escape with their lives, but they manage to bring a brontosaurus back to London. The beast breaks out and terrorizes the city before crashing through the London bridge and swimming out toward the ocean to freedom. In the midst of all this, Malone has fallen in love with Paula White, the daughter of an explorer (Bessie Love). Since Gladys, it turns out, has married a clerk, Malone is able to wed his new sweetheart. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Shadows
When it reviewed this simple little drama, the trade paper The Film Daily remarked (rather awkwardly), "Ben Schulberg has never achieved a reputation previously for desiring a place among the artistic producers, but...Shadows is one of the most artistically made pictures." Art was definitely not one of B.P. Schulberg's fortes but every now and again he'd produce something with true creative merit. Lon Chaney's fine performance as the Chinaman Yen Sin certainly enhanced this picture. Yen Sin is washed up onto the shore of a fishing village inhabited by God-fearing white people. He runs a laundry out of a houseboat, but because of his race and religion he suffers a lot of prejudice from the townsfolk. Then John Malden, a young minister (Harrison Ford, also turning in a stunning performance), comes to town and converts Yen Sin to Christianity. Malden wins Sympathy Gibbs (Marguerite De La Motte), a young widow whose cruel husband has been lost at sea. but after they marry he receives a mysterious note that is ostensibly from Sympathy's lost husband. The man blackmails Malden, who loses his church and home. Yen Sin, however, knows that the man who is tormenting Malden is actually deacon Nate Snow (John Sainpolis), who is bitter because he wanted Sympathy. Yen Sin waits until the appropriate moment, then exposes Snow to the whole village. Afterwards the Chinaman cuts the ropes tying his houseboat to the pier and sails off to his death. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Buster Keaton
    Buster Keaton - Johnnie Gray
  • Image coming soon
    Marion Mack - Annabelle Lee
  • Glen Cavender
    Glen Cavender - Capt. Anderson
  • Image coming soon
    Fred Vroom - Southern General
  • Image coming soon
    Richard Allen - His Son

Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.