I just love silent comedies. Sight gags work so well on film. Words get in the way sometimes and have a bigger chance of falling flat. In every one of my reviews of either Keaton, Lloyd or Chaplin, I’ve mentioned the others and I think I’ve seen enough of each filmmaker’s work to say they are equally great for different reasons and leave it at that.
In this film, Keaton plays Johnny Gray, a young train conductor who lives in the South at the time of the Civil War. He’s in love with Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack, THE CARNIVAL GIRL). When Annabelle’s father and brother rush off to join the Confederate army when the North comes knocking, Annabelle pressures Johnny to join. He doesn’t seem like he really wants to, but he’ll do anything for his girl. However, went the army won’t take him, Annabelle refuses to see him any more. However, when the Union army steals Johnny’s train with Annabelle on it, Johnny heads after them.