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MatchFlick Member Reviews
The Gold Rush
2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Charles Chaplin

Written By:
Charles Chaplin

Cast:
Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Henry Bergman, Tom Murray, Malcolm Waite, Georgia Hale


 
The Gold Rush (1925)
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Movie Review by James
January 21st, 2016

Charlie Chaplin can be argued as one of the greatest comedic geniuses of all time. By using silent comedy through expressions along with physical emotions, Chaplin made a name for himself by creating some of the greatest movies ever made. And there is no better example of Chaplin's comedy than his 1925 masterpiece "The Gold Rush", a wonderful little movie that not blends both comedy and drama very well, but still holds up to this day. Even after almost 90 years since its release, the movie still gets a good laugh out of audiences who watch it. "The Gold Rush" is a glorified masterpiece in comedy that more than delivers the distinct and unique style that Charlie Chaplin was known for.

The story involves a lone prospector (Chaplin) going out into the wilderness of Alaska during its infamous gold rush. While trying to find great success, the prospector meets up with Big Jim McKay (Mack Swain), another prospector in the hopes of getting rich quickly. The lone prospector also meets Georgia (Georgia Hale), a very beautiful woman in which our protagonist fall in love. Now, he must find gold, as well as winning the heart of Georgia.

"The Gold Rush" is a comedic piece of art, and that's saying a lot considering all of the high praise and recognition that this film has received. But what hasn't been said about this film that hasn't been said already? This is a great movie that needs to be seen. The story offers up some good comedic timing, as well as some good physical humor; it is also both funny and serious at the same time, which works towards the movie's advantage. And while the main plot is just a simple romance, this can be attributed from the brilliant direction and writing from Chaplin himself. He gives the audience some great slapstick as well as a wonderful romance that is both sympathetic and tragic at the same time. Combine this with a brilliant supporting cast, and you get one well-acted movie.

Some more positives for this film include the minimal usage of sound. Since this film came out in the silent era of cinema, the movie relies more on visuals to tell its story, and it works. Through the given title cards, the audience knows what is going on exactly as they have a clue with what they are watching. On top of all this, the scenery and the sets look great, and the special effects may look cheap, but this was revolutionary back in the day. Even the pacing gives the running time of an hour and a half a good chance to let the audience know what is going on. And with all this said and done, "The Gold Rush" really has nothing to complain about.

Now, in 1942, Chaplin re-released "The Gold Rush" with an updated soundtrack and added narration. But here's the thing: this version runs somewhat shorter as there are certain moments cut from the original production, and the narration feels like a modern day audiobook. It doesn't work.

In conclusion, "The Gold Rush" is a magnificent comedy from Charlie Chaplin and is definitely a movie that everyone needs to see at least once in their lives.

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