Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Gold Rush (1925)

The Gold Rush, Chaplin said, is the movie he wanted to be remembered for.

Genre: Silent Adventure Comedy Family Romance

Starring: Charlie Chaplin (City Lights; Modern Times)

Directed By: Charley Chaplin (The Circus; The Kid)

Overview: A lone prospector heads up to the Yukon for some of that famed gold, but winter interferes with his plan.

Acting: How classic does a movie have to get to earn a top score just from reputation? Charley is no doubt perfect, but his supporting cast can only pale in comparison. His narration, added years later, is also fantastic. Perfect comedic timing.
Rating: 9

Cinematography: The settings, the camerawork and the special effects (like the model cabin) are all terrific. It's certainly a pleasure to watch this man in action. Obviously Chaplin knew that there was great stuff in his 'Tramp' character. Don't mess with perfection.
Rating: 8

Script: "Georgia, I will take you away from this life, and when I return... I shall come back!"

This particular version, though filmed originally in 1925 was later redone, and narrated by Charlie Chaplin himself. It's really well done, adding to the mood and providing a touch of comedic overdubbing. I'm certainly glad I saw this version.
Rating: 8

Plot: The story is so good that you can't help but get sucked in. A man goes up north to find riches, and 'the little fellow' finds only hardship and heartache. We all know this is going to have a happy ending, but the trip with all the villains and the twists and turns really makes it exciting.
Rating: 9

Mood: Three recognizably classic scenes without even having seen it: The eating of the cooked boot, the dancing with bread rolls and the cabin teetering off a cliff. The style of this film is memorable, comedic and truly original. Anyone would be enriched by this. What are you waiting for?
Rating: 10

Mmm! That's some great home cookin'! So tender!

Overall Rating: 88% (Rush Out To See This!)

Aftertaste: I still think Buster Keaton's better, but Chaplin's making me think long and hard about it. I'm waiting for the Fatty Arbuckle stuff to come in the mail, and THAT I'm expecting to be strange. He's the first 'fat man falls down' comic ever. We'll see how well Chris Farley compares.