“Far into the icy north, deep into the silent nowhere, came an undaunted lonely prospector.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
… Swain chasing Chaplin around a cabin because he imagines his friend’s a chicken”:
… Chaplin doing the “dance of the dinner rolls”.
However, I’ll admit to finding this film more successful as a comedy than as a romance; Chaplin’s longing for Hale is, for the most part, simply painful to watch. While Buster Keaton’s repeated pursuit of a beautiful woman in each of his films is inevitably accompanied by frenzied attempts to demonstrate his worth (which ultimately pan out), Chaplin’s stance as “the ultimate outsider” makes us feel he can only win the girl through luck and patience. Therefore, The Gold Rush is a film I’ll return to simply for its laugh-out-loud, expertly crafted comedic sequences — not for its central tale of unrequited longing.
As Peary notes, “Chaplin serves as a narrator in his revised 1942 version”, which is the one I watched before writing this review; however, it seems to be widely reviled as the lesser-choice, with purists preferring his original silent version (accompanied by inter-titles). For what it’s worth, I believe Chaplin’s narration is unnecessary, but found it fascinating to see the creative way in which he attempted to help later audiences find connection with his earliest work — and for that reason alone, I think film fanatics should check out the narrated version.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)