Gold Rush (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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After the box-office failure of his first dramatic film, A Woman of Paris, Charlie Chaplin brooded over his ensuing comedy. "The next film must be an epic!" he recalled in his autobiography. "The greatest!" He found inspiration, paradoxically, in stories of the backbreaking Alaskan gold rush and the cannibalistic Donner Party. These tales of tragedy and endurance provided Chaplin with a rich vein of comic possibilities. The Little Tramp finds himself in the Yukon, along with a swarm of prospectors heading over Chilkoot Pass (an amazing sight restaged by Chaplin in his opening scenes, filmed in the snowy Sierra Nevadas). When the Tramp is trapped in a mountain cabin with two other fortune hunters, Chaplin stages a veritable ballet of starvation, culminating in the cooking of a leathery boot. Back in town, the Tramp is smitten by a dance-hall girl (Georgia Hale), but it seems impossible that she could ever notice him. The Gold Rush is one of Chaplin's simplest, loveliest features; and despite its high comedy, it never strays far from Chaplin's keen grasp of loneliness. In 1942, Chaplin reedited the film and added music and his own narration for a successful rerelease. --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Disc 1 has the 69-minute reissue version of the film, prepared by Chaplin in 1942, with his own musical score and narration; disc 2 has the 96-minute silent original (some Chaplin fans prefer it silent). Along with photo gallery, posters, and trailers, there's a half-hour documentary that includes Burkina Faso filmmaker Idrissa Ouedraogo's comments. --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The tramp or little man..the insignificiant..was a popular literary figure in london, not popular with readers outsid eof england, but the Dickens character and other practitioners of this character, the uneducated bumpkin, charlie gives an interpretation of a type of this character whoose warmth humor and value has some source some way of moralizing this character..and we must peep through the drama to find it inthe Gold Rush. Like todays lottery ticket..som eplaces you could win hundreds of millions, and they are a part of modern culture the search for unlimited wealth to have it all and purchase and surround ourselves with all the trappings of success..here is the low class hero..on aa search for gold. He battles with big Jim...that too is a literary type..and all the obstacles..to get hearts desire the heart of the film is the romantic life and the woman featured throughout the film..women through all walks of life..Read more ›
Like other films in the Chaplin Collection (at least so far) the "Gold Rush" enjoys across-the-board improvements in video and audio, including digital transfers from Chaplin family elements and Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes. Imaginative bonus features inform and entertain without wearing out their welcome.
But this is Chaplin and so there is controversy. Image and Fox Home Entertainment felt the wrath of the faithful a few years back when they released Chaplin's audience-friendly 1942 sound version of the film, ignoring the classic all-silent film.
MK2 and Warner didn't dare blow off the original, but their "Gold Rush" package relegates the 96-minute silent to disc 2, as an extra. The 1942 version gets the star treatment, taking up all of disc 1. It runs 69 minutes, as transformed by Chaplin when he recut the film, added narration and recorded an orchestral score.
The 1942 edition will be more accessible to mainstream audiences, but it's a shame that most viewers will bypass the original, probably the grandest silent-movie entertainment of them all. (A new piano track by Neil Brand adds even more zest to the silent.)
The Chaplin Collection's 1942 film looks great, with most of the wear digitally scrubbed out., but some videophiles will stay with Fox's 2001 release, which retains a bit more contrast and detail with the tradeoff of wear. The Warner silent sports a decent restoration job, from Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, but its images tend to be flat and inconsistent, with wear throughout. Warner's two versions are presented full-screen (1.Read more ›
The story is that the Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) is a prospector heading to the Yukon Territory during the Gold Rush. He meets up with two other prospectors and during a storm they get stuck in one cabin. Here The Tramp cooks his own shoe and he and another man eat the shoe. The hunger scenes are actually quite funny. Later on in the film we see Chaplin do the little dance with dinner rolls that is later revisited in the film Benny and Joon. This is absolutely classic. The Tramp also falls for a dance hall girl (Georgia Hale) and throughout the film there is a definite air of loneliness.
This is a fun movie and there is something intriguing about watching classic Chaplin films. Even 80 years later, it is easy to see why Charlie Chaplin was one of the masters of early film and why he is still considered a comic genius. To top it all off, Chaplin usually wrote, directed, and starred in all of his movies. You can't get much better than that.
Most recent customer reviews
It recorded an important part of human history in Chaplin's way, funny, humane, and passionate. I think this should be ranked as top 10 greatest comedy film of all time.Published on Aug. 15 2013 by LP
The DVD I was sent was a bootleg-style version named "The Gold RUCH".
It was also NOT THE FAMOUS SILENT MOVIE - this is a later version in which a man's... Read more
How could I dare review the funniest man that ever lived? Gold Rush is classic that can never be repeated. Tremendous joy! The CD works fine. Thanks!Published on Nov. 15 2012 by Liljana Sarandieva
Charlie Chaplin's "The Gold Rush" is a mixed bag. The film itself is uneven as it is entertaining for certain stretches and just adequate in others. Read morePublished on March 18 2004 by Steven Y.
I agree with one of the reviews above. Go right to the second disc and see the film as it originally appeared. Fantastic! Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2004
To be honest, I've never really been a fan of Chaplin. Too much pathos, too mush sentiment, too clever by half. Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2003 by Tony Hughes
This movie is beautiful! The dvd is great! I read other reviews and they do not talk about the dvds that much (thank you for those who have) but the dvd is outstanding! Read morePublished on Sept. 15 2003
Amazons "average customers review" of 4 stars is an average for 3 DIFFERENT editions of this great, GREAT film:
1) A very poor, Public Domain reprint of the 1925... Read more