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

4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Gold Rush (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + City Lights (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + The Great Dictator (Criterion Collection)  [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

Product Description


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

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating!!! July 29 2003
By D. Mok
With two DVDs and a high budget at their disposal, the producers of this DVD should have been able to give us the film as it was originally intended to be seen. But no -- in this set, you get two versions, neither of which even came close to satisfying my memory of this film, watching a crappy TV version which nevertheless had the original score intact and no narration.
The two versions here are Chaplin's own retroactive tampering with his film, adding oodles of unnecessary narration which never tells us anything the images don't. It's strange that Chaplin himself didn't always realize that his was a highly theatrical, demonstrative comic technique of which he is a master, but which holds no element of naturalism whatsoever. Whenever he departed from the silent-film milieu, he never went too far (with the sole exception of Monsieur Verdoux). Chaplin's own dialogue technique is ill suited to film, being too magnanimous and self-conscious; when he employs it in a strange silent-film way (as in the singing sequence of Modern Times, or the "people-talking-gibberish" gag he uses in his later films) he succeeds grandly. When he tries to use sound naturalistically as in the narration here, The Great Dictator and Limelight, he tends to fumble.
Having been shell-shocked by the meddled-with version, I had hopes that the second version on Disc 2, billed as "the original 1925 silent version", would be better. Only marginally: Somehow they felt the need to replace all the titles (yes, the titles matter -- just look at Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo) and, more grievously, redo the score. And this new recording is even more problematic than the overly clean re-recorded orchestral score to the recent DVD re-release of Metropolis.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gold Rush Feb. 22 2004
By A Customer
I agree with one of the reviews above. Go right to the second disc and see the film as it originally appeared. Fantastic! (The first disc with the narration is very nice, but the narration is totally unnecessary). The film still holds up beautifully and the prints of this whole collection are amazing. Particulary if you've never seen this film, the best one to watch is the second disc original release. You won't be sorry!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still makes me cry! and i am 13! Sept. 15 2003
By A Customer
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! Breathtaking transfer i have two versions of this movie this one and the ... version from koch and this is simply beautiful. almost made me cry! the transfer well i have no speaker system but on HEADPHONES it was wicked good! and the extras well there is alot on there and it took me a weekend to watch all of them and i am an extra freak! One bad note though: The 1940's version ah how do i put it... is not that good aside from the original score it was worthless to me. and the "good" version is on the 2nd disc! what! it would have got a better transfer on the first disc oh well! sad that some people might overlook it! Well if u r wondering y i cry it is in the scene well..you'l have to see the movie yourself! sorry i did not talk about the movie much! one word describes it:brilliant. and beautiful. the two b's well see ya! can't wait for city lights! p.s. you know what i mean...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Please take off your boot, we're hungry July 17 2003
"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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic movie..holds up today in all ways
To view this film today..i am speakin gof the 1925 version..in comparison to the inferior 1942 rerelease and edited/rerelease is to see mr chaplin at the height of his creative... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Anthony Marinelli
5.0 out of 5 stars The is the best of the best of Chaplin
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 13 months ago by LP
2.0 out of 5 stars Not As Advertised ("the Gold RUCH?)
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
Published 17 months ago by Donna
5.0 out of 5 stars charlie chaplin
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 22 months ago by Liljana Sarandieva
2.0 out of 5 stars "Fate guided them to a spot where all was calm."
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 more
Published on March 18 2004 by Steven Y.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not normally a Chaplin-ite....
To be honest, I've never really been a fan of Chaplin. Too much pathos, too mush sentiment, too clever by half. Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2003 by Tony Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars, please!
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
Published on Sept. 3 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, the REAL Gold Rush is on 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. Read more
Published on July 22 2003 by Michael Gebert
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