Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Release: The General & Steamboat Bill, Jr.

DigitalBlu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 21, 2019
Price: DVD $17.99, Blu-ray $22.99
Studio: Cohen Media

The Buster Keaton masterpieces The General (1926) and Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) were released last month on single-disc Blu-ray and DVD packages, as well as digital platforms.

The films – high points not only of Keaton’s incomparable career but of all silent cinema, and both included on the National Film Registry – are presented in new 4K restorations and feature orchestral scores by Carl Davis (Pride and Prejudice, The World at War).

Buster Keaton in The General.

Considered by many critics and historians to be the last great comedy of the silent era, The General is set during the Civil War and based on a true incident. 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, called The General, Johnnie sets off in pursuit. There is no better showcase for Keaton’s trademark physical comedy and deadpan expression that earned him the moniker “The Great Stone Face.”

In Steamboat Bill, Jr., Buster, as the son of a steamboat captain, falls in love with the daughter of a rival steamboat owner. When a cyclone rages, Buster proves himself a hero by rescuing his love (Marion Byron) and her father from a watery grave. The comedy contains what many consider Keaton’s most memorable – and potentially deadly – film stunt: One side of a house falls on him while he stands in the perfect spot to pass through a window frame unharmed.

Buy or Rent The General & Steamboat Bill, Jr.
on DVD | Blu-ray 

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.