General, The (1927): Buster Keaton’s Popular Comedy

The General, one of Buster Keaton’s most popular comedies, co-directed by him and Clyde Bruckman, tells the story of Johnnie, a man who loves his train (“The General”) and Annabelle Lee.

When the Civil War begins, he is turned down for service because he’s more valuable as an engineer, but Annabelle thinks it’s because he’s a coward.

When Union spies capture The General with Annabelle on board, Johnnie has an opportunity to show his bravery by rescuing his two loves.


Buster Keaton…. Johnnie Gray

Marion Mack…. Annabelle Lee

Charles Smith (V)…. Mr. Lee

Richard Allen (I)…. His Son

Glen Cavender…. Captain Anderson

Jim Farley (I)…. General Thatcher

Frederick Vroom…. Southern General

Joe Keaton…. Union General

Mike Donlin…. Union General

Tom Nawn…. Union General



Directed by Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton

Screenplay by Al Boasberg and Buster Keaton

Silent, Black and White