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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Clyde Bruckman
USA 1927

The General is perhaps Buster Keaton's finest film and shows the great comic of the silent era at the height of his powers. Keaton's talent lay in his slapstick ability and his famous stoney face expression which he gave at moments of great confusion. Currently much of his work is being re-appreciated at the true extent of his comic genius re-evalued. Unfortunately for Keaton's career, after the introduction of sound, no one was interested in his comic abilities anymore. His brand of slapstick humour was most appreciated during the silent era when he and his contemporaries Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd ruled the screen but after sound all of their careers went into decline although their influence can still be seen today on comedians such as Steve Martin and Jim Carrey although fun as they are they are nothing compared to Keaton who should be enjoyed here at his best .

Excerpt of the Review by Alicia Forsyth at the Edinburg University Film Society website located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 5 February 1927

Reviews       More Reviews      DVD Reviews

Comparison:

MK2 - Region 0 - PAL (2 disc) vs. Eureka (SE) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Image - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Kino - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg, Bram Blijleven and  Gregory Meshman for the DVD Screen Caps!

(MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT vs. Eureka - Region 0 - PAL 2nd vs. Image - Region 0 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

  

The MK2 is also available in a 10 DVD Boxset - REVIEWED HERE - which Includes: College / Battling Butler / Our Hospitality / Seven Chances / The Navigator / Sherlock, Jr. / Go West / Three Ages / Steamboat Bill, Jr. / The General 

Distribution

Mk2 + Lobster Films

Region 0 - PAL

Eureka

Region 0 - PAL

Image

Region 0 - NTSC

Kino
Region 0 - NTSC
Kino
Region FREE-
Blu-ray

Mk2 + Lobster Films

Region 0 - PAL

Eureka

Region 0 - PAL

Image

Region 0 - NTSC

Kino
Region 0 - NTSC
Kino
Region FREE-
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:15:29 1:14:55 1:15:03 1:14:54 Total disc = 1:56:26 1:18:52.352
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: XX.X mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: XX.X mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.57 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate:
5.1 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 31,913,531,212 bytes

Feature: 21,170,878,464 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.95 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: mk2

Bitrate: Eureka

Not Available

Bitrate:

Image

 

Bitrate:

 

Kino

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Silent) (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)  - 1995 Robert Israel score OR English (Silent) (Dolby Digital 5.1 Mono) - by Joe Hisaishi  DD 2.0  STEREO Dolby Digital 2.0

English (Silent) (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Silent) (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1816 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1816 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Subtitles English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Portuguese, None None None None None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
MK2 - Region 0 - PAL

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

DISC 1

•  Introduction by David Robinson. A 8 min clip about the recording of the score and a 2 min restoration comparison.


DISC 2

• THE RAILROADER and BUSTER KEATON RIDES AGAIN. A 1 minute 'Making of The General' clip. a 7 min extract from the tinted version. A 11 min Keaton filmography with pictures. An 11 minute Orson Welles introduction (made for TV). A 11 min 1962 film RETURN OF THE GENERAL. The trailer for THE GREAT LOCOMOTIVE CHASE, THE IRON MULE (Al St John 1925, 13 min) and a Disney Alice comedy ALICE'S TIN PONY 6 mins.

A 20 page booklet is included with the DVD which is in French.

DVD Release Date: September 7th, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 21

Release Information:
Studio:
Eureka - Region 0 - PAL

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Keaton shorts: The Ballonitic (1921) (22:08) and Cops (1922) (18:11)

DVD Release Date: Feb, 19th, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 17

Release Information:
Studio: Image
Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Double feature with Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) - FULL LENGTH
• Music by The Alloy Orchestra

DVD Release Date: October 21, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 19

Release Information:
Studio: Kino on Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Keaton shorts: The Playhouse (1921) (23:00) and Cops (1922) (18:00)
• Music by Robert Israel

DVD Release Date: October 26, 1999
Snap Case

Chapters 19

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Video

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 31,913,531,212 bytes

Feature: 21,170,878,464 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.95 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
 Video Tour of The General (2008) - 18:05 in HD!

 The Buster Express (5:47 in HD!)

Tour of Film Locations (4:28 in HD!)

 Home Movie Footage (1:00)

 Intro by Gloria Swanson (2:13 in HD!)

 Intro By Orson Welles (12:21 in HD!)

  DVD Release Trailer (1:00)

 Photo Gallery (75 stills)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: November 10th, 2009
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino - Region FREE Blu-ray - October09: I know there are plenty of surfers to DVDBeaver who are far more knowledgeable about The General than I am - so my comments should be taken as somewhat of a novice in regards to the film. I am extremely impressed with this transfer from Kino. It is presently the oldest film to make it to this format for public consumption edging out 1927's Sunrise by Murnau made over 1/2 year later. My general impression of the appearance are that detail is far greater than I was anticipating. It really looks (and sounds) tremendous. I would have expected more grain - there is some niggling reddish/pink infiltration into the image which may be surfacing as chroma - I'm unsure. There is unnoticeable edge-enhancements - and flickering contrast is minimized but still exists and there are speckles - but seem frame specific and don't impinge upon viewing. It is a lighter sepia but IS 1080P and in motion is flawless. Being brighter more information seems visible in backgrounds. I'd say this is a huge success and most fans will surely appreciate the appearance. It is the longest running of any edition and has almost as much information in the frame as the MK2 French DVD edition. 

As advertised there are three musical scores to choose from:
(1) Music composed and conducted by Carl Davis, performed by The Thames Silents Orchestra (in DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1816 kbps or 2.0 LPCM uncompressed stereo)
(2) Music arranged and directed by Robert Israel in 2.0 Dolby at 224 kbps
(3) Theatre organ score by Lee Erwin
 in 2.0 Dolby at 224 kbps

I've only listened to option 1 - the Carl Davis score in HD and briefly sampled the other two. The lossless score sounds very robust with only minor separations but I LOVED it. There are obviously no subtitles and the title cards are the original with a very visible wood grain background. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

Extras all seem new - and everything is in HD! We get an 18-minute video tour of the authentic General - made in 2008, presented in association with The Southern Museum. This is highly interesting as narrated by Harper Harris. There is a tour of the filming locations, presented by John Bengtson, author of Silent Echoes, for less than 5-minutes. Some Behind-the-scenes home movie footage, a brief vintage introduction by Gloria Swanson and another by Orson Welles. The Buster Express, a brisk montage of train gags from throughout Keaton's career for less than 5-minutes. Perhaps les than some may have hoped but still viable extras and the 1080 video is appreciated.

For all my complaining of Kino in the past - this is an incredibly desirable release. I'm sure more restoration work could have further improved the appearance but I have never enjoyed my viewing of The General as much as I did with this Kino Blu-ray. I really felt like I was having an old-time theater experience. STRONGLY recommended!

- Gary Tooze

***

ADDITION - MK2 DVD (September 2004) - Well the newly restored MK2 project will not disappoint. No more sepia tones and the image is as sharp as ever been available on DVD - tack onto that an original score and a 5.1 option (by Joe Hisaishi), plus a whole 2nd disc filled with Extras. For Keaton fans this is the one!

NOTE: It shows all three previous version to be heavily cropped on the right edge!

- Gary Tooze

NOTE: 

In your Comparison of "The General" you say the Eureka has PAL/NTSC ghosting, but it looks as though it is interlaced - perhaps because it is playing back the original movie at something other than 25 frames per second?  (I'm not sure what frame rate is correct for "The General" see the discussion HERE ) I would expect that the Eureka DVD will probably play without any ghosting problem on many displays.

Conrad McDonnell

This is pretty hard. The Eureka has NTSC ->PAL 'ghosting', the Kino has the most apparent damage (see first capture) and the Image Entertainment disc is dark. The Kino is slightly cropped on both sides. Overall the Image disc is the sharpest. You may want to turn the brightness up on your system, but the Image is the better quality picture. All have further Keaton shorts as Extras - the Image disc has Steamboat Bill, Jr. , the Eureka has Cops and Ballonatic and the Kino has Cops and The Playhouse - all four shorts are worthy for Keaton fans. I can't comment on the sound only personally owning the Kino (Gregory own the Image, Pepsi owns the Eureka). I am troubled by the darkness of the Image DVD as background information is often removed from the film. I would suggest Keaton fans get all three discs (for the Extra features) and I still hope another, better DVD comes out for the main film.

 - Gary Tooze

NOTE: The Eureka disc is an officially licensed transfer of the Kino (despite slightly different extras).  

 


DVD Menus

(MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT vs. Eureka - Region 0 - PAL 2nd vs. Image - Region 0 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM RIGHT)


 

Extras Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 


(MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Eureka - Region 0 - PAL 2nd vs. Image - Region 0 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

1) MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Mk2

 

DVD Box Covers

 

  

The MK2 is also available in a 10 DVD Boxset - REVIEWED HERE - which Includes: College / Battling Butler / Our Hospitality / Seven Chances / The Navigator / Sherlock, Jr. / Go West / Three Ages / Steamboat Bill, Jr. / The General 

Distribution

Mk2 + Lobster Films

Region 0 - PAL

Eureka

Region 0 - PAL

Image

Region 0 - NTSC

Kino
Region 0 - NTSC
Kino
Region FREE-
Blu-ray



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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

 

 

Many Thanks...