The General is a 1926 American silent film released by United Artists. It was inspired by the Great Locomotive Chase, a true story of an event that occurred during the American Civil War. The story was adapted from the 1889 memoir The Great Locomotive Chase by William Pittenger. The film stars Buster Keaton who co-directed it with Clyde Bruckman.


When Western & Atlantic Railroad train engineer Johnnie Gray arrives in Marietta, Georgia, he visits the home of Annabelle Lee, one of the two loves of his life, the other being his locomotive, The General. News arrives that the American Civil War has broken out, and Annabelle's brother and father rush to enlist in the Confederate Army. To please Annabelle, Johnnie hurries to be first in line to enlist, but is rejected because he is more valuable as an engineer, although he is not told that reason. On leaving, he runs into Annabelle's father and brother, who beckon to him to join them in line, but he walks away, leaving them with the impression that he does not want to enlist. Annabelle informs Johnnie that she will not speak to him again until he is in uniform.