EVENT! Sat Sept 24 Capitol Thr Rome NY KEATON SILENT!

A note from THS member PHIL WILLIAMS:

For train & theater organ fans —

Subject: Buster Keaton’s “The General” at Rome CAPITOL THEATRE Sat., 9/24

         April 12, 2012 will be the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Andrews Raid, aka The Great Locomotive Chase.  This dramatic incident inspired two major feature films, Buster Keaton’s silent “The General” (1925) and Walt Disney’s Technicolor “The Great Locomotive Chase” (1956).
     Rome’s landmark Capitol Theatre, 220 West Dominick Street, is showing Keaton’s silent Saturday evening, September 24 at 7:00 pm.  Their ad describes “The General” as “Buster Keaton’s epic comedy of love, railroads and the Civil War!  Newly-restored, tinted 35mm print, with live organ accompaniment”
     Admission:  adults $8.50, seniors and students (ages not specified) $7.50, RCT Friends $6.50, and children $1.50.
  “Trains Magazine’s” 2010 special issue, “100 Greatest Train Movies,” lists “The General” at number
8 and says, “Buster Keaton was one of the true geniuses of silent cinema. . . . “The General’ would mark the apex of his career, without doubt his finest and most ambitious film, and also his personal favorite. . . . the plot comes from a true story of the Civil War.
     “In 1862, Union spy James J. Andrews led a team on an undercover mission to disrupt Confederate supply lines.  Once in Georgia, they stole the Western & Atlantic 4-4-0 . . . The General [plus three boxcars] and headed north, destroying track and cutting telegraph lines all along the way [but mostly attempting to burn wooden bridges over the Chickamauga Creek].  The General’s conductor and engineer [and a railroad official] famously pursued the Andrews party by foot, handcar [push car], and [three different locomotives, running the last one – the  4-4-0 “Texas” – at full speed in reverse].
     “For this film, Keaton cleverly [some might say severely] embroidered on this tale to integrate his beloved and familiar sad sack character–and also inject elements of romance and suspense. . . .”
    The “Trains” article contains lots more information about the making of the movie which my slow typing on Margaret’s unfamiliar laptop prevents me from including.  Maybe in next April’s “Tower Topics!”
     Anyway, the movie is a classic well worth seeing, especially given the chance to see it as Keaton intended, on a big theater screen with musical accompaniment.  Kudos to the folks at the Capitol for giving us this opportunity!    

Leave a Comment

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


© Theatre Historical Society of America. York Theatre Building • 152 N. York Street, 2nd floor • Elmhurst, IL 60126-2806 • Ph. (630) 782-1800 • Fax (630) 782-1802 • info@historictheatres.org • Copyright © 2013 Theatre Historical Society of America. All rights reserved.