I mentioned in my review of The Phantom of the Opera that I was starting to watch more silent films, for two reasons: one being that I've really been enjoying silents lately, and the second being that Buster Keaton is the October Star of the Month on TCM, so I've watched a good bit of his work so far this month. The General is Keaton's most famous film. A lot of critics call it his best film, and, from what I've seen, I can agree.
Whether it's a comedy or a drama, Buster Keaton is a delight to watch in any of his silent films (I'm sure he is in the talkies he made, too, but I can't say as I haven't seen any of those yet). I think he and Charlie Chaplin possessed the same quality of always being able to entertain the viewer no matter what the genre is. I also really enjoyed Marion Mack, who played his love intrest.
It's hard to believe now that The General was a flop at the box office, considering the status it has in the film industry today (then again, a lot of films now ranked among the best were failures- look at It's a Wonderful Life and Bringing Up Baby). Overall, I'd recommend it if you're in the mood for a great comedy or are looking to see more silent films. Watch it here if you wish.