Many critics consider 'The General' to be the last great comedy of the silent era, and it consistently ranks as one of the greatest films of all time on international critics’ polls.
Set during the Civil War and based on a true incident, the film is also an authentic-looking period piece that brings the scope and realism of Matthew Brady-like images to brilliant life. Keaton portrays engineer Johnnie Gray, rejected by the Confederate Army and thought a coward by his girlfriend (Marion Mack). When a band of Union soldiers penetrate Confederate lines to steal his locomotive, Johnnie Gray sets off in pursuit. Seven of the film’s eight reels are devoted to the chase, featuring hilarious comedy and amazing stunts performed by Keaton himself.