The Gold Rush (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
The first feature-length comedy by Charlie Chaplin (Modern Times)—which charts a hapless prospector’s search for fortune in the Klondike and his discovery of romance (with the beautiful Georgia Hale)—forever cemented the iconic status of Chaplin and his Little Tramp character. Shot partly on location in the Sierra Nevadas and featuring such timeless gags as Chaplin’s dance of the dinner rolls and meal of boiled shoe leather, The Gold Rush is an indelible work of nonstop hilarity. This special edition features both Chaplin’s definitive 1942 version, for which the director added new music and narration, and a new restoration of the original silent 1925 film.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Besides containing two of Chaplin's most famous comic sequences - the boiled shoe and the dance of the dinner roles - THE GOLD RUSH radiates a warmth that contrasts beautifully with the cold, snowy locale of its story. I love everything Chaplin did, but if I had to pick one film that represents his genius, I guess it would be a toss-up between THE GOLD RUSH and MODERN TIMES (1936), depending on which one I saw last.
Criterion's Blu-ray edition of THE GOLD RUSH is a must, chiefly because we finally get a restored version of the original 1925 release cut. I've always preferred it over Chaplin's 1942 reissue (also included on this disc), which he shortened, and added his own narration and music score. The score is, like all of Chaplin's film music, sublime, and it's been adapted and expanded by composer Timothy Brock for the silent version.
THE GOLD RUSH contains all the ingredients needed to make a great, timeless comedy,
and Criterion's wonderful Blu-ray edition is the one to get. Like genuine gold itself, this film classic's sparkle will last forever.
Anyways, this release includes both the 1942 re-release and the 1925 original WITH CHAPLIN'S SCORE! The music is so beautiful and completely changes the viewing experience.
Also, the DVD is packed with amazing extras that reveal the special effects done in the movie, the making of the film, and the process of restoring the masterpiece. This is a must-have for any Chaplin fan or cinephile!
The Criterion Collection release features the 1925 original, along with the 1942 re-edit that omitted the intertitles in favor of narration (by Chaplin) and economically trimmed down of some excess plot developments. While the 1942 version does look better and the editing is better paced, Chaplin's voice-over actually dates the film far worse than the silent original.
Chaplin had a voice which carried well into the sound era. He intuitively knew that silent film was a different art form, however. Thinking about marketing, he seemed to have forgotten that fact. The 1942 version illustrates the artist's discomfort with sound. Chaplin never could wrap his art around the new sound medium, and he pointlessly tells us what we are already seeing. Some may prefer the 1942 version, but my concentration will be on the superior, original version that audiences of 1925 saw.
While The Gold Rush exhibits Chaplin's characteristic pathos, here it is far better balanced with his brand of comedy than any of his other features (when the pathos, often, nearly soaked the films).
Chaplin's increasing need for audience sympathy marred may of his later features. Here, he keeps that need in check, and all for the better. Chaplin's Mutual shorts are considered by many (including Chaplin) to be his best work. One of the reasons for that is the presence of his best nemesis in Eric Campbell. But, when Campbell was killed in an automobile accident in 1917, Chaplin was left without a great heavy. His first feature film, The Kid (1921) was able to bypass that. For this, Chaplin's second Tramp feature, two villains were needed: the bonafide villain Black Larson (Tom Murray) and reformed villain Big Jim McCay (Mack Swain). While neither Swain nor Murray could replace Campbell, they were aptly cast and give the film needed tension.
The Gold Rush`s most discussed scene is the dance of the dinner rolls, often imitated (and usually badly--Chaplin was a master at utilizing props for something other than their intended use). What may be the most compelling scene, however, is the surreal chicken hallucination. Everyone has seen this scene spoofed in countless Looney Tune shorts. The starving villain (Swain) imagines his buddy (Chaplin) to be a walking meal (in this case, a plump chicken). Chaplin's shoe-eating scene (complete with shoe laces substituting for noodles) and the rocking house at the edge of the cliff are additional surreal vignettes.
While Chaplin was never a Surrealist, many of his films contained surreal vignettes. The Kid had the dream of heaven, Sunnyside (1919) has the Tramp frolicking in a ballet with hill nymphs. Perhaps it was Chaplin's occasional, natural elements of Surrealism which endeared him to the movements luminaries, such as André Breton. Next to Harry Langdon and Buster Keaton, Chaplin was the filmmaker most cited by the Surrealists.
As The Gold Rush progresses, hunger, the struggle for survival, and harsh elements give way to a soapy romance with the dance hall girl Georgia (Georgia Hale). Chaplin had originally cast 15 year-old Lita Grey in the role, but his getting her pregnant necessitated a new lead actress. While Chaplin does milk sympathy as a rejected lover, he never does it (here) at the expense of the film's comedic tone.
As to be expected, the Criterion extras are abundant: both film versions, a 15 minute short (Presenting The Gold Rush), audio commentary, booklet, a look at Chaplin the composer, and James Agee's famous 1942 review of the film.
*my review originally appeared at 366 weird movies
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've seen several of Chaplin's films, but I never realized that he was almost as good a director as an actor.Read more