Sunday, October 11, 2009

28. The Gold Rush (1925)

Running Time: 82 minutes
Directed By: Charles Chaplin
Written By: Charles Chaplin
Main Cast: Charles Chaplin, Georgia Hale, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman, Malcolm Waite


Well I've been waiting for old Charlie Chaplin to make his debut into my list of movies, and finally Chuck swings in and hits the nail right on the head with The Gold Rush.
Chaplin plays The Little Tramp in the Gold Rush, a lone prospector who heads north to Alaska, to take part in the Alaskan Gold Rush. It is here where he meets two men, Black Larsen and Big Jim. Black Larsen, a convicted fugitive and Big Jim, a morally bound older gent who wants nothing more than to find gold and retire a millionaire.

Early in the picture, we find out trio of gold miners starving, as they send out Black Larsen in search of food. While he's away The Tramp cooks up the most unappetizing looking meal...his boot. Charlie was great with physical comedy, moving his arms and putting on facial expressions, that really made the boot look quite tasty.

Later, The Tramp finds himself in a small town, at a dance hall where he first sees Georgia (Hale) and falls head over heels for the vivacious looking dancer. To make her suitor jealous, she requests a dance with the Tramp and in another great comedic scene, where the little fellow can't seem to keep his pants around his waist, they dance the night away.

The Tramp eventually is split from Georgia, only to take a job watching over another prospector's cabin, while he's away. While staying at this cabin, Georgia happens upon him, along with some of her friends and the Little Tramp is ecstatic with joy. Georgia promises to return on New Year's Eve and have dinner with the Tramp. When that day arrives, Georgia is nowhere to be found, leaving the little fellow to envision what dinner would've been like, had his guests shown up. He imagines a grand time with Georgia and her friends, putting on a show for them, with two forks pushed into two dinner rolls and doing a little dance with them on the table...a classic scene.

I don't want to spoil anything, but I would be remiss if I didn't, at least make mention of the climax, where Big Jim and Charlie are in their cabin, which is dangling on the edge of a cliff, a true exercise in comic suspense.

The Gold Rush is a great comedy that shows the talent and comic genius that Charlie Chaplin possessed. While I can't go as far to say that I enjoyed this more than any of the Buster Keaton silent comedies that I watched, I will say that Keaton and Chaplin were different in many, subtle ways, such as their mannerisms or the type of comedy they did. The Gold Rush sets up some great scenes and sequences that must be seen to be truly admired. The cabin dangling on the cliff, the dining of the boot, The Tramp shoveling snow for business owners and the dance hall scene are all classics.

RATING: 7/10 Good movie and can't wait to see more, but I don't get anymore until sometime in the 30's.

NEXT UP: The Big Parade...Couldn't find this one for quite sometime, but finally happened upon it on YouTube, so it should be ready for review either tonight or tomorrow.

October 10, 2009 10:16pm


  1. I remember watching this before and I remember loving this! It was so funny, If Keaton is funnier than Chaplin like you seem to believe I definately can't wait to see a Buster Keaton movie. I know I definitely want to check out more Chaplin in the future!

  2. Can this cover all the above Chaplins please.. I'm afraid , try as I have, I really dont see the full chaplin thing. Oh how I wish I did.. For me Keaton is miles ahead.. funnier, subteler, and avaoiding the rather tacky sentamentality Chaplin is prone too... (Still trying to get hold of the Harold LLoyd ones to compare..)

  3. I'm right there with you on the Keaton/Chaplin opinion, as I certainly enjoy Keaton more and he didn't have one film in the book that I didn't LOVE.


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