Week 4: THE GENERAL
The 1926 silent film "The General" is both the earliest film MotR has shown and one of the greatest silent comedies. Based on a real incident from the Civil War, the railroad agreed to let Mr. Keaton use the locomotive from the original incident...until they found out the movie would be a comedy. The real incident -- in which Union soldiers sabotaged Confederate rails -- was not considered comedic material by the depot in Tennessee where the locomotive was kept.
Though not a critical or box-office success when released, it is now #18 on the The American Film Institutes "100 Years...100 Movies" greatest films list.
MotR Fun fact: Keaton's "The General" won out over Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" to avoid hitting too close to home this election year.