In the earliest days of cinema men strapped themselves to the fronts of trains to film the moving countryside. Buster Keaton, the lesser-known god of silent cinema, did all of his own stunts without faking it. In THE GENERAL, he actually sits on a train's rotating gears as it carries him up, actually rode on the front of a charging train, and actually blew up a bridge with a train on it in the most expensive silent film scene ever filmed. THE GENERAL is his most accessible film, a gorgeous confederate's tale with the train as a central character, around which Keaton perhaps proves himself a better physical comedian than Chaplin himself. Keaton's career wouldn't know the longevity of Chaplin's, but in the decade that he directed SHERLOCK JR., THE GENERAL, THREE AGES, and a handful more dazzling comedies, he cemented himself in cinema history, and in the funny bone of everyone who has enacted physical comedy since.