Monday, September 20, 2010

What's On Tonight?

The other evening, Brett and I settled into our comfy couch :) to watch an old movie.  I had never heard of it before, but Brett had heard a little something about it and he brought it home.  Our intent was to watch it and see if it was something the kids would enjoy.  While the kids would have been bored out of their gourds watching it, we actually really enjoyed it!

The movie was titled, "The General" and starred Buster Keaton.  This 1927 film is set during the Civil War and Keaton is a train engineer who, while having been rejected from enlisting with the South, ends up in the middle of the war and saving the South from a surprise attack from the North.  In the movie Keaton is trying to get his train engine, "The General",  back after it has been hijacked by spies from the North.  He jumps on another train and so ensues one of the slowest chase scenes ever seen on film! :) What makes it different from, say .... "Gone with the Wind" is that it is a silent film!  It was very entertaining to see the actors and actresses use their facial expressions and body language to tell an entire story ... with just a few moments of subtitles here and there to clarify the story line.   Keaton was terribly entertaining as he was certainly a man who had mastered physical comedy.  Here is a brief clip with a little background on Buster Keaton and a few highlights from the movie:

We especially loved the scene with the cannon ... such a simple scene with plenty of suspense!  And to think that he used no stunt men and the train really was clicking along the track the entire time!  No special effects here!

Watching this movie brought back some fun memories of when Brett and I were first married.  In 1998, we came across the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 movies of the past 100 years.  We decided it would be fun to see how many we had seen.  Surprisingly, some of our favorites hadn't made the list! :)  No where did we see "Quick Change", "The Princess Bride" or "Goonies"! :)  In spite of these apparent flaws, we found that there were a lot of good movies on the list that were worth watching.  If it weren't for the inspiration of this list, we might never have taken the time to see "The Maltese Falcon", "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" or "Some Like it Hot".

Of course, there are a few selections on the list that I am not interested is seeing, but for the most part, we have enjoyed each selection that we have watched.  It was fun for us to see movies that had historical value or that had pioneered some new method of movie-making.  I would highly recommend stepping out of line at the theater box office and searching out a few of these true classics.  You might be surprised by what you see!  You can find the complete list at AFI Top 100 Movies.

Pop yourself some popcorn, pop in a movie and find out what country Groucho Marx governs in "Duck Soup" ... and have yourself a good laugh!


  1. I LOVE the Marx Brothers! We have all of their movies on DVD. Speaking of silent movies, I was looking at the top lists on IMDB and noticed Sherlock Jr. ( coming up a lot on more than one category. Have you ever seen that one?

    Some of our favorite comedy "classics" are:

    My Blue Heaven |
    Trapped In Paradise |
    Mystery Men |

    Have you seen any of those?

  2. No ... I can't say that I have, but now I need to :) Considering we love Steve Martin and Nicholas Cage - those two are winners! This was our first Buster Keaton film - but I think we might need to see a few others. Thanks for the ideas :)


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