Never before and probably never again. Not in a little berg like this one, anyhow. I love The General. And Buster Keaton was a gorgeous man with a magnetic screen presence, amazing directing and acting talent, and colossal daring (those stunts! he really does them). But I’ve never seen The General on anything larger than a mid-sized TV.
Took a while to get things started. First they had a presentation by a “real film buff.” She had obviously gotten all her information about The General and the historic Great Locomotive Chase that inspired it from the same place I got my information — Wikipedia. But she had a Master of Fine Arts, so her info must be better.
The movie itself seemed sloooooowww and static at the start. Modern movies are not only a lot better, but they know how deliver more information during their opening credits than old films delivered in their first half hour.
But once the comic railway chase got underway … wow. This experience I’ll remember forever.
The General is about a dauntless (if also hapless and inept) Southerner in the War Between the States. Movies may be better now, but that’s something you couldn’t pull off today without some government-schooled jerker-of-knees accusing you of being a racist.
Now, for the chance to see Fritz Lang’s Metropolis on the big screen ….