Saturday, February 27, 2010

review: The Gold Rush

So, by now, we all know my love for Chaplin. I will say that the first time I tried to watch this movie, I was disturbed by the voice-over. It was the first silent film I had ever the chance to watch, and I was so disappointed that there was narration added that I refused to watch it at the time. Luckily, I got over that, and the next time I had a chance, I watched it, utterly delighted that this was Charlie Chaplin providing his own narration.
(Sorry, I had to provide that little background information.)
Now, as ever, I watch it and I love it. It is not ruined with sound being added so many years later, rather, it is increased by it. With Chaplin providing his own narration, it doesn't hinder the movie at all, it helps. The same humor is in the words that is in the silent moments.
This movie is on both of the AFI top 100 lists as well as the 100 Laughs list. It is also one of his most well known movies and one of his most beloved. Mostly because of 2 scenes: eating a shoe, and dancing rolls. What I love most about these films is that is beckons for out-loud laughter. I would love to watch his movies with someone who would appreciate them as much as I do. And this movie does just make you want to share the experience.
This is, I think, the movie with the best introduction of the little Tramp ever. After a quick narration of where we are, the scene cuts to a mountain side where the litte Tramp is walking along. He looks so out of place in the Klondike with his cane and little hat and overlarge shoes. You just have to laugh.
This film is a little different from the others. It is not so much of a social commentary. It is more of a traditional comedy, although he does deal with issues like hunger. What I love most about this movie is the physical comedy. He's brilliant with physical comedy in all of his movies, but it is in scenes like the tilting house or the wind keeping him from getting outside of the cabin. Just the way Chaplin moves, it's extraordinary.
Chaplin is the best comic, I think, of all time. He has mastered every aspect.
5 out of 5 stars

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