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#74 - The Gold Rush

The third and final Charlie Chaplin film on the list, once again written, edited and scored by the do-it-all filmmaker. The earliest of the three (1925), Chaplin's comedic sense is well honed as the Lone Prospector (who is a dead ringer for the familiar Little Tramp) who bumbles his way through turn-of-the-century gold rush Alaska, avoiding starvation in a blizzard, courting the saloon girl who doesn't know he exists, and (of course) striking it big and getting fabulously wealthy, through no fault of his own.

This is the most unabashedly comedic of the Chaplin films I've seen. Still present are his touches of tragedy (unavoidable as he's making us laugh about people amidst starvation and heartbreak) but I probably laughed the hardest at this one. The two iconic scenes (Chaplin feasting on a roasted boot and Chaplin using two forked-impaled dinner rolls to effect a dapper dance) are just the tip of the iceberg of the comedy on this one. It also features the happiest ending of the three, which is sort of satisfying. We're left on a happy note as for Chaplin's characters, though it kind of seems strange to see the Little Tramp actually getting the girl at the end.

As for the rest, I again must point you to my previous two Chaplin reviews, all of which is still applicable as Chaplin is again at the top of his game. The fourteen months it took to put the movie together are evident in the attention to detail.

I can't be too clear about this: seeing Chaplin's films are one of the best things that have come out of this project. Though I probably won't seek out seeing any more, I'm very glad to have seen these three and have an appreciation for one of cinema's greatest figures.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 1, 2008 4:38 PM.

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