Movie Name: The Gold Rush
Studio: United Artists
Release Date(s): June 26, 1925
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Gold has been discovered in Klondike and those seeking wealth and glory are traveling their to find both! The Lone Prospector (Charlie Chaplin) is one of those men hoping to go from nothing to wealth beyond belief. When the Prospector is trapped for the winter with Big Jim (Mack Swain) after the discovery of a big payload, the Lone Prospector’s dreams could come true…but the wilderness is rough and even survival could be difficult.
Written and directed by Charlie Chaplin, The Gold Rush is a 1925 silent movie. Chaplin updated the film in 1942 by adding sound and narration (voiced by Chaplin). The film was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in the National Film Registry in 1992 and a remastered version was released by Criterion (Criterion #615). The 1942 version of the film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Music and Best Sound Recording.
Almost anything Chaplin did was classic. The Gold Rush is no exception. Chaplin had allegedly said it was the film he wanted to be remembered for, but Chaplin didn’t realize that he’d be remembered for a lot. The Gold Rush is another classic from a classic actor.
Like a lot of silent pictures (especially comedies), the story is rather secondary. The 1942 added to the narrative (through an actual narrator and re-editing), but the movie primarily isn’t really about the story. The movie is about Chaplin and his Little Tramp character.
Chaplin really just knew how to sell his role. He knew how to work the camera and how visual gags looked on camera. He is backed by a group of nice silent actors, but he’s the real star of the show.
The movie has some great sight gags. The classic scene in the movie is his dance with the shoes. It is a bit of an emulation of a gag from Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle in The Rough House from 1917, but Chaplin made it his own. Other scenes likes the giant chicken, house on the cliff, and the shoe eating scene are all great and show Chaplin’s skill at making people laugh.
The Gold Rush is a comedy classic and should be sought out. The movie (probably due to its remastering in 1942) still looks great today and can be found in great transfers. Fans of silent films, Chaplin, comedy, and film in general should see this classic.