Friday, 1 July 2011


I'm very much a born again Charles Chaplin fan. Years ago I lost interest in his silent comedies although I retained an admiration for some of his talkies like MONSIEUR VERDOUX and LIMELIGHT. A television documentary a couple of years back sent me back to his silent features such as CITY LIGHTS. As a kid I went to see THE GOLD RUSH several times at the old Electric Palace, Highgate. I loved it although as this was during the 1950's it must have been the version re-released by Chaplin the early Forties with with narration and dialogue spoken by Charlie himself rather than the original 1925 version which has a different and far more satisfying ending - which I'd nominate as one of the greatest romantic moments in cinema history. Today, I find the sound re-issue extremely irritating but luckily the DVD I viewed has both versions. THE GOLD RUSH in its original 1925 version is, undoubtably, a great American movies. Chaplin keeps the pathos in check with a touch of cynicism, provides some iconic comedy sequences and some extremely clever in-camera special effects. Chaplin had to refilm many scenes after getting the original female lead pregnant and she was replaced by the luminously beautiful Georgia Hale with whom he also had a romantic involvement - watch that final scene in the original verson! As with Bogart and Bacall in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, it's all there on the screen. Rating *****


Cerpts said...

Can you believe that's probably the only of Chaplin's major films I haven't actually seen. My favourite is CITY LIGHTS.

Weaverman said...

This is better, but make sure you see the original 1925 version and not the 40's reissue which is re-edited with a soundtrack - and worst of all a less satisfying ending.