The General/Three Ages [Blu-ray] [2 Discs]

  • SKU: 32434341
  • Release Date: 02/07/2017
  • Rating: NR

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1 out of 1)

    Special Features

    • "Return of The General," a vintage short film on the restoration of the legendary locomotive
    • Audio Commentary by film historians Michael Schlesinger and Stan Taffel
    • Candid Camera television segment, starring Buster Keaton
    • Introduction by Gloria Swanson
    • Introduction by Orson Welles
    • Man's Genesis (1912), a prehistoric drama by D.W. Griffith, parodied in Three Ages
    • Music by Robert Israel
    • Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
    • New 2k restoration by Lobster Films
    • Orchestral Score by Robert Israel
    • Orchestral score by Joe Hisaishi
    • The General:
    • Three Ages
    • Vintage Alka-Selzter commercial, starring Buster Keaton


    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

    Three Ages
    Thirty years after its release, Buster Keaton admitted that his first feature film was essentially three two-reel comedies strung together. Perhaps this was a way for the comic filmmaker to play it safe; he had achieved success for his short films and if Three Ages wasn't going very well, its trio of storylines could have been chopped up into separate films. The picture was a send-up of D.W. Griffith's 1916 masterpiece Intolerance. But instead of following greed and hatred through the ages, Keaton focused on love. His settings were the Stone Age, the Roman era and 1920s America, with Margaret Leahy as the girl and Wallace Beery as the villain in each segment. The stories are intercut, but they're basically the same: the villain uses either brutish or dishonest means to get the girl and Buster must somehow overcome him. Although they're the most crude-looking, the Stone Age scenes often offer the funniest moments: Buster flirts with a cavewoman who turns out to be twice his size; when a foe throws a rock at him, Buster hits the rock with a club, baseball-style, and squarely knocks out his opponent. The modern era offers the most thrilling scene -- Buster tries to jump between two tall buildings, but misses and falls. The fall was unintended, but instead of retaking the shot, he used it to create a series of events that led his character to the back of a moving fire truck. While this picture ultimately didn't rate among Keaton's most classic work, it was a solid success when it first came out. Keaton did exactly what he'd set out to do, which was establish himself as a feature filmmaker. But it hadn't been all smooth going -- Margaret Leahy was pretty but had no talent for acting whatsoever. The girl was an English beauty-contest winner, and the prize was supposed to be a role in a Norma Talmadge film. She was so bad that Talmadge's director threatened to quit. So the star's producer/husband, Joseph Schenck (who was also Keaton's producer) put her in Three Ages instead. Keaton couldn't really complain -- because of his marriage to Natalie Talmadge, he was Norma's brother-in-law. So he made the best of it, although he later complained that Leahy caused him to throw away many scenes. Leahy eventually left the movie business and found a happier career working as an interior designer. ~ 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

    Customer rating

    would recommend to a friend
    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Should one double dip?

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      With a previous release already out there, one may ask if they should double dip and buy this one two. I say yes, because we can't have enough Buster Keaton in these troubling times!

      I would recommend this to a friend

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