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The General (1926) at the Revue Cinema - with live musical accompaniment

 

The General (1926) is a silent comedy from the great Buster Keaton.  The film is based on the Great Locomotive Chase, a military raid that happen during the Civil War in 1862.  Buster plays a locomotive engineer who has two loves - his girl Annabelle, and his locomotive, The General.  When he is rejected from joining the Confederate Army he is branded a coward by his girl and her family.  When his locomotive is stolen by the Yankees he turns into a one-man army to catch those responsible.  Live musical accompaniment to the film will be provided by Australia’s Viola Dana Quartet.

The General is ranked as the number one silent film of all time on the ongoing Top 100 poll at SilentEra.com, a leading site for information about the silent movie era.  The American Film Institute ranks The General at #18 on their most recent Top 100 American films of all time list and the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound critics' poll of 2012 ranked the film at #34 of Greatest Films of All Time.  Roger Ebert has the movie on his recent list of ten greatest films of all time and Orson Welles said that The General is "the greatest comedy ever made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made."

As a special bonus they will be preceding the feature film with Buster Keaton's other great railroad adventure (and one of my personal faves) The Railrodder (1965). This National Film Board of Canada film is a silent comedic travelogue of Canada and runs about 25 minutes.  Unlike most silent movies this one is in vibrant colour in order to best show off the Canadian scenery shown throughout the film.  This is the last silent movie Mr. Keaton ever did and one of the very last film projects he did before passing away in 1966 at the age of 70.

These film are being presented as part of the Toronto Silent Film Festival.  Tickets for festival screening must be purchased online at the festival's ticket page.  Tickets purchased online will be available at the venues ticketbooth just prior to the screening and will not be mailed out. Tickets are $15 each (or $12 for students and seniors with valid ID).

UPDATE: As it is raining today, we will meet inside the Revue in the small lobby/snack bar area around 6:25-6:30pm.  Look for the organizer (Mark) who will be wearing white jeans and has messy black hair and a blue and white messenger bag.  In case you don't see me, keep an eye out for Belinda (of the Thumbs Up Toronto meetup group), who may or may not be wearing a pink hat, and she will help you get together with our group.  At 6:30-6:35pm we will go grab our seats together.

I hope to arrange an outing after the movie at a nearby restaurant, pub, or coffee shop.  I am not familiar with places near the Revue Cinema and I am hoping that some of the group's members can make suggestions on where we can meetup afterwards. More details to follow.

If you are a fan of silent films with live musical accompaniment then you should also check out the Thumbs Up Theatre Toronto meetup group who are going to see Mary Pickford's My Best Girl on Monday April 8th at Casa Loma with live music being performed on their Wurltizer organ.  This movie is also part of the Toronto Silent Film Festival mentioned above.

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  • Jon A.

    The magic of movies doesn't get any better than this. Great effort to bring the group to play - wow. Tough act to follow, but looking forward to the next one!

    April 11, 2013

  • mark

    Thanks to everyone for coming out tonight and it was nice to have everyone (even Peter!) go out for a drink afterwards. I've seen both of the movies before, but it was much better on a big theatre screen and the music for The General was wonderful. When I go to Hollywood later this month there is a chance I might be seeing The General again, with another group of musicians (the Alloy Orchestra). I'll let you guys know how they compare.

    Sorry you didn't meet up with us James - just keep an eye out for a guy in skinny white jeans next time. We'd love to have you join us after the movie.

    1 · April 10, 2013

  • Jeannie

    as expected. perfect

    April 9, 2013

  • Jeannie

    Thanks for lovely film,Mark.

    April 9, 2013

  • Penny

    Fantastic night with Buster Keaton and you all!

    April 9, 2013

  • James M.

    Sorry I couldn't find the rest of the group.

    April 9, 2013

  • mark

    Oops, I forgot to mention that the movie starts at 7pm. As it looks like it might start raining, it does not make sense to try and meet each other outside. The lobby/snack bar area is a bit tiny at the Revue and the Toronto Silent Film Festival people will likely have a table there (which therefore reduces the amount of space for us to try to meet in). Look for myself (white jean, messy black hair, and a blue and white messenger bag) in the lobby around 6:25-6:30 and we'll try to grab our seats around 6:30-6:35. Belinda (and her pink hat?) will also be with us - so keep an eye out for her too.

    I already have my ticket, but I will look for people in the ticket line before I go in. If you notice me, flag me down.

    April 9, 2013

  • Ellis B.

    I noticed there is one parking lot around the corner, although it is not the cinema's. I hope it will be ok to park there since I didn't notice any other convenient parking nearby.

    April 8, 2013

    • mark

      There is a Loblaws (and a Zellers?) with a large parking lot just south of bloor (about two blocks north of the theatre). Check the signs to see if you think it would be OK to use.

      April 8, 2013

    • Shirley H.

      you can park on the side streets, limited parking on Roncesvalles though

      April 9, 2013

  • Shirley H.

    actually the Revue box office will be open early at 6:15 tonight due to the expected number of people attending. You can buy tickets at the door $15 adult $12 senior/student

    April 9, 2013

  • mark

    According to Toronto Silent Film Festival the box office should be open 30 minutes before the screening. For those that ordered tickets online please try to bring a printed receipt to make the ticket pickup quicker.

    April 9, 2013

  • mark

    I talked with one of the people involved with the Toronto Silent Film Festival and she said that there will be tickets available at the door, but she did suggest arriving early. Unfortunately I cannot find any info on when the Revue's box office opens.

    Monday night's presentation of Mary Pickford's My Best Girl at Casa Loma was wonderful - great music and lots of laughs.

    P.S. Just noticed that they have closed the online sales for The General and they point out that the box office sales are CASH ONLY.

    April 9, 2013

  • Jon A.

    All set - looking forward to it!

    April 8, 2013

  • Amal

    sorry, won't be able to make it like I hoped

    April 8, 2013

  • Christina

    sorry i dont think i can make it on time after work. next time...

    April 7, 2013

  • Jeannie

    There are lots of nice restaurants along Roncie.
    Let's go somewhere where we can hear each others' golden voices.

    April 6, 2013

  • mark

    The General is just a week away and I hope everyone has their ticket(s) already. Although it is likely that there will be tickets at the door, I do suggest that you reserve your ticket online at torontosilentfilmfestival.com to avoid disappointment in case of a sellout.

    I have had only one suggestion on where we can hangout afterwards and it was for a nearby pub called The Local, but online reviews say it can be noisy. There are lots of food places nearby so maybe we can just do a group vote after the movies.

    April 2, 2013

    • Jeannie

      I got my ticket at The Carlton,where I saw the Ozu silent film.

      April 6, 2013

  • jane

    It's Intolerance after all :-)

    March 22, 2013

  • Ania

    Oh no, this looks like a great outing :( I already purchased ticket for a concert on that day though. See you next time!

    March 19, 2013

  • Ellis B.

    Tickets have been purchased

    March 3, 2013

  • Shirley H.

    you can also buy your tickets at the door for The General. The Casa Loma screening tends to sell out, so buy those in advance if you are going to My Best Girl.

    March 1, 2013

  • Shirley H.

    also as a bonus will be the Viola Dana, a quartet from Australia that's on tour that will be playing their original score live.

    February 12, 2013

17 went

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