Chaplin was the tramp, Lloyd was the go-getter, and Buster Keaton—Born Oct. 4, 1895—was the Great Stone Face. He was unflappable, no matter how hard he got hit or how hard he fell. The General is his best, maybe the greatest American movie ever made. It’s a Civil War comedy, with Keaton as the conductor of The General locomotive, a sought-after engine constantly under siege. Keaton keeps the motor running, no matter what. The movie is one death-defying stunt piece after another, and each is jaw-dropping by even today’s standards. Streaming on Kanopy.

The above review first appeared in Boulder Weekly Vol. 27, No. 44, “Home Viewing: Silent Clowns.”