Clare's Criterion Collection

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Review # 22 – The Gold Rush

TGRSpine # 615

Available on Blu-ray and DVD

Special Features:

  • New high-definition digital restoration of the 1942 sound version, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New 2K digital transfer of the reconstructed original 1925 silent film, restored in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with a newly recorded adaptation of director Charlie Chaplin’s score, presented in 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • New audio commentary for the 1925 version by Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
  • Three new programs: Presenting “The Gold Rush,” which traces the film’s history
    and features filmmaker Kevin Brownlow and Vance; A Time of Innovation: Visual Effects in “The Gold Rush,” featuring effects specialist Craig Barron and Chaplin cinematographer Roland Totheroh; and Music by Charles Chaplin, featuring conductor and composer Timothy Brock
  • Chaplin Today: “The Gold Rush” (2002), a short documentary featuring filmmaker Idrissa Ouédraogo
  • Four trailers
  • PLUS: A new essay by critic Luc Sante and James Agee’s review of the 1942 rerelease

    New cover by Patrick Leger

‘A dramatic comedy’

This is the inter-title that greets you at the start of the film.

There are two versions of this film, the original from 1925 and Chaplin’s remake with his own narration in 1942.  I watched the original first and followed up a few days later with the 1942 version.

Quite a few thoughts crossed my mind whilst I watched the film and here are a few of them:

  • Remember when German film Director Werner Herzog lost a bet and eat his shoe?  Well Chapin beat him by over 50 years as he did it in 1925 and it was for Thanksgiving!
  • Don’t complain about the weather, our Little Man had to contend with some very windy conditions
  • Ever been so hungry you have hallucinated? Well the next time you feel a little peckish make sure you have a good look at your food, make sure it is not actually a person
  • If you go for a walk in the mountains try to stay away from the edge and also watch out for the odd roaming wild bear
  • Do you need to earn a little cash, offer to shovel snow for local businesses. In order to keep your client list long move the snow from one store to another
  • Take time to look around, someone who seeks you may just be walking by any minute. Then again, fate does have a way of making sure two people eventually meet again
  • In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s house flew away. Thankfully a rock was in just the right place to save our Little Man and his friend from a similar fate. It was still an “edge of the cliff” experience though
  • Now, as usual for films with down on their luck men, there is a love interest. In The Gold Rush her name is Georgia and frankly she has no time for our Tramp 😦 She only sees him when it suits her; gets him into a fight and laughs about his affection towards her with her friends. What this does give us though is one of the most iconic pieces of celluloid, the Dance of the Bread Rolls

I won’t spoil the ending but if you do watch this film (both versions) you will see an alternative (and what Chaplin classed as the “real” ending) on the 1942 version.

Enjoy !

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