The General is a 1926 American silent comedy film released by United Artists.
Western & Atlantic Railroad train engineer Johnnie Gray (Buster Keaton) is in Marietta, Georgia to see one of the two loves of his life, his fiancée Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack)—the other being his locomotive, The General—when the American Civil War breaks out. He hurries to be first in line to enlist in the Confederate Army, but is rejected because he is too valuable in his present job; unfortunately, Johnnie is not told this reason and is forcibly ejected. On leaving, he runs into Annabelle’s father and brother, who beckon to him to join them in line, but he sadly walks away, giving them the impression that he does not want to enlist. Annabelle coldly informs Johnnie that she will not speak to him again until he is in uniform.
A year passes, and Annabelle receives word that her father has been wounded. She travels north on the W&ARR with The General pulling the train to see him but still wants nothing to do with Johnnie. When the train makes a stop, the passengers detrain for a quick meal. As planned, Union spies led by Captain Anderson (Glen Cavender) use the opportunity to steal the train. Anderson’s objective is to burn all the railroad bridges he passes, thus preventing reinforcement and resupply of the Confederate army facing Union General Parker’s army. Annabelle becomes an inadvertent prisoner of the raiders.