|Buster Keaton partakes in Civil War antics in The General (1926).|
My office hours have changed recently and I no longer have to wake up so early in the morning to make it to work. What does this mean, you ask? It means that I can go to bed later and, thus, spend more time in the evening watching classic films!
Just the other night, my Pops and I sat down together to watch The General (1926) for the first time. I had heard so many great things about this film and when I saw that it was part of the TCM schedule for earlier in the week, I programmed it on my DVR and made damn sure I recorded it. OH MY GOD WHAT A RIOT THIS FILM WAS! There were times when my Pops and I were crying with laughter and/or shouting at the TV in a mad flurry of pillow tossing and hand clapping - I have never been that wound up before whilst watching a silent film!
My Mom wondered what all the hoopla was about so she came to join us mid-film. "What the heck are you two watching and why isn't there any sound??" Bless her, she's so simple-minded. She's never been a fan of classic films so, needless to say, she wasn't as into the movie as Dad and I were. One thing we were really surprised at was the dexterity of Keaton and the extent of the film's special effects and stunts. He kept asking me what year the film was made over and over again because I guess he just couldn't believe what the actors and crew were able to accomplish (a little sidenote: my Pops is an architect so he's always fascinated by structural things and engineering feats). One of the scenes in the film that really stood out for us was the destruction of the flimsy, wooden bridge. Wow.
|Whoopsie! There goes my only chance of making it home in time!|
This was only the second of Buster Keaton's silent films that I had seen - yeah, I know, I must brush up on my silent film watching. Just from seeing The General, Keaton has now become one of my favourite actors. I've been a casual admirer of him through books and photographs, but this film really made me sit up and take notice. I can't believe it's taken me this long to become a Keaton convert. Truthfully, I'm kind of ashamed. He's just so entertaining and you can really see how much work, sweat and tears he put into each and every minute of the film. It's mind boggling!
Another silent comedy that I had recorded that same evening was Safety Last! (1923) which I began watching yesterday afternoon whilst waiting for my Pops to come home from work. It's pretty good so far but not as fast-paced as The General (for obvious reasons). As soon as I have a spare moment, I plan on finishing it and scouting the TCM schedule for more silent features!
Tell me what your favourite silent films are in the comments section below.