It finally premiered on February 5, with the engine bell from the real General train put on display in the lobby to promote the film. InThe General extended the family feud into an antagonism affecting the whole nation.
As emphasized by the picture of Annabelle — a young Lady whose photographic oval portrait adorns the engine room amidst its levers, pipes, pressure gauges, steam traps and valves — the train driver still has one foot rooted in the romantic world of the Old South. Because I took an actual happening out of the Porter,etc.
In less than a decade, from tohe created a body of work that stands beside Chaplin's some would say above itand he did it with fewer resources because he was never as popular or well-funded as the Little Tramp.
As the film opens, war has been declared and Johnny Gray Keaton has been turned down by a rebel enlisting officer he is more valuable as an engineer, although nobody explains that to him. Variety reported of a theater in which it played, "after four weeks of record business with Flesh and the Devil, looks as though it were virtually going to starve to death this week".
Keaton plays it with his face registering merely heightened interest.