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Blind Spot Review: The Gold Rush (1942)

Posted July 31, 2012 by in Comedy







Musical Score

Total Score

81/ 100

What We Thought

Runtime: 72 Minutes
Bottom Line

Whatever version is your favorite, The Gold Rush is a fine example of the comedy and heart Chaplin put into all his films.

by Max
Full Article

The films of Charlie Chaplin always have an air about them. Chaplin was an iconic character all over the world. He created the persona of The Tramp in multiple films, but it always feels like the same character in different stories. In the case of The Gold Rush, Chaplin is poor wanderer who happens to find himself in situation that could lead him to fortune.

In 1942 movies were all about talking. Talking pictures were all the rage and with Charlie Chaplin being one of the biggest actors of all-time there was an urge to see more talkie films from him. Chaplin and the studios decided to go back and edit The Gold Rush to include voice-over. At the time of its release there wasn’t really a president for going back and changing a film for release. Today it seems as though the pattern is continuing with 3D updates to older films. There is a riveted debate over which version is better (silent vs talkie), but for this review we decided to focus on the talkie version.

The story of Gold Rush finds Chaplin as a Lone Prospector in Alaska searching for refuge from a horrendous storm. There he comes into contact with two other men, one of which is Black Larson (Tom Murray) a hunted outlaw who has hidden stash of gold. The only problem is that the storm has left them no food. This leads to a few sequences of timeless humor that Chaplin was famous for. In one instance they cook a boot and start eating it to prevent starving. It was a brilliant idea and had perfect comedic timing. As their hunger continues, one of the men envisions Chaplin as a chicken. There’s a lot of special effects used in The Gold Rush, but they are mostly camera tricks and amazing they still hold up today.

Eventually the characters go their separate ways and Chaplin ends up in a small village. He ends up falling for a young woman by the name of Georgia and desperately seeks her attention. A lot of physical comedy follows with Chaplin being tormented by another man who has fallen for Georgia.

Chaplin’s movies were always know for their ability to bring smiles to faces all over the world. The Gold Rush continued his acclaimed stature and presented another achievement in his career. While the voice over can be a little too literal and/or direct at times, Chaplin and his family state that this is the definitive version of The Gold Rush. It’s a little tighter than the silent version cutting out some scenes between Georgia and Chaplin. Whatever version is your favorite, The Gold Rush is a fine example of the comedy and heart Chaplin put into all his films.

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About the Author


Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.



    I totally forgot there was a "talkie" version of this. I loved the silent original, so I'll have to check this out someday.


      There's people who absolutely hate the talkie version. I though it was good, but I can understand the blaspheme of talkie Charlie Chaplin film. It's just that he always considered this version to be the definitive version.


    I had no idea there was a talkie version of this film. I've seen it multiple times, each the silent, and love the hell out of the film. I can only assume the talkie version isn't as good as the silent, as Chaplin shines much greater when he's left strictly to his physical comedy and not his voice. Great review, I always love seeing Chaplin ones.


      I've heard from a of different people that they like the silent version better. I guess I should also give that one a watch sometime.

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