Dedicated to classics and hits.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Gold Rush (1942) d. Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin performs the "dance of the rolls" scene from The Gold Rush, among the most iconic single scenes in cinema history.

Movie Review
The Gold Rush (1942)
 d. Charlie Chaplin

  Originally shown as a silent film upon release in 1925, Chaplin himself added narration (spoken by Chaplin) and music to a 1942 re-issue that the Criterion Collection bills as the "definitive" edition.  To me, that is a little like calling the CGI enhanced versions of Star Wars that George Lucas put out last decade as being the "definitive" version of those titles.  Or like calling the colorized version of a black and white film the "definitive" version of that title.

  I guess at a certain level the Criterion Collection is about marketing, and considering that it is Chaplin himself who wrote AND spoke the narration AND picked the music AND he wrote AND directed the 1925 version, he can do whatever the eff he wants to The Gold Rush.

 The Gold Rush was an international hit for Chaplin and the so-called "Dance of Rolls" scene, which younger people might have only seen reenacted by Johnny Depp in the trailer for "Benny and Joon" is among the most famous single scenes ever shot on film.  Chaplin only has five titles in the Criterion Collection, so The Gold Rush, even in the narrated/music enhanced format- and by the way when I say "Music enhanced" I mean "flight of the bumblebee" used over and over and over again.

  The Gold Rush is a true classic of film: A work of art that has both maintained an Audience and critical esteem for over a century.  Surely that is a fair measure of a classic work of Art?  Audience and critical esteem fro 100+ years?  Using that standard, you don't really know until a 100 years have passed, but for The Gold Rush we are 12 years off from that point. 

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