Today I decided to watch Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush, which is perhaps his most famous film and features some of his (and cinemas) most well known scenes. Whilst the film has undoubatdely dated quite a bit since it was first released in 1925, it still contains many giggles for the viewer. This is of course the film that features the famed scenes of Chaplin eating the old boot, the dancing bread rolls and the cabin balancing perilously on the edge of a cliff while the tramp and Big Jim try to scramble out.
I found this film to be quite amusing and interesting, but there weren’t as many ‘laugh out loud’ moments as I had when I watched The Circus, which was released three years after The Gold Rush. Perhaps the reason for that was because even though I had never before seen the Gold Rush, I had seen all the above mentioned famous scenes and had some familiarity with the film. I felt I knew the film bfore I had even seen it.
All this is not to say that The Gold Rush is a bad film, it is actually very good, as it keeps the viewer’s interest right through to the end. The version I saw was the 1942 re-release with Chaplin’s added music and narration, which made me wonder how the film could have functioned at all as a silent movie. I found that the narration enhanced my enjoyment of the film greatly, as Chaplin seemed to have quite a poetic way with words, however I would not like to see this sort of thing added to all silent films. I like this film a lot.