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Gold Rush (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Format: Black & White, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: June 12 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007N5YJMU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,538 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

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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

Special Features

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

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Swederunner on Jan. 7 2004
Format: DVD
Gold Rush is one of Charlie Chaplin's legendary films about the Tramp who seeks fortune and a better life in Klondike, Alaska, during the gold rush. In his quest for fortune he encounters several questionable characters which often lead to comic situations. Underneath the comedy there is a serious undertone of struggle for happiness and prosperity where the Tramp becomes easy prey as he helps those in need. However, through his kindness he ends up being hurt in several ways. Throughout the film, Chaplin conveys his messages with comedy that makes it easier to look at the hardships the Tramp encounters, and through this comedy he teaches the audience valuable morals. Overall, Gold Rush offers a brilliant cinematic experience that offers something for everybody.
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Format: DVD
"The Gold Rush" has been delighting audiences for almost 80 years -- it's one of the flat-out funniest films made in the silent era or any other. This is the movie Chaplin wanted to be remembered for.
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.
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By Joe Sherry on July 15 2003
Format: DVD
The Gold Rush is a silent Charlie Chaplin film from 1925. The version that I watched on this DVD was a reissue of the film where Chaplin himself adds narration to the film. Not having seen the unaltered original, I can't make any comparisons to that. However, for the film that I saw the narration mostly helps the story. The acting is done well enough that you would know exactly what is happening without any narration (the mark of a good silent film), but the narration does not take anything away from the film and it does not run through every scene. According to what I've read, the silent version is almost 30 minutes longer, but the 69 minute length of the film I saw was just right for The Gold Rush. The new DVD in the Chaplin Collection includes both versions.
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.
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Format: DVD
The real news here isn't the second video release of Chaplin's 1942 talkie reissue of the 1925 film, with narration in his plummy later voice detracting from much of the fun. What's significant here is on Disc 2-- the first video release of a definitive version of the original silent classic, which has been restored by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill from Chaplin family material and is about 14 minutes longer and noticeably better quality than the best previous version, the Killiam print which had seen assorted releases on tape and laserdisc. The Chaplin family had previously refused to release that version, believing that the 1942 version represented Chaplin's final thoughts on the film, when what it in fact represented was Chaplin's best idea of how to make an old silent film seem relevant to Casablanca-era audiences. Now it's the '42 version which seems old fashioned, while the '25 one is timeless as ever. Be sure you get this new Warner/MK2 version.
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