The Gold Rush (1925)

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  • directed by Charles Chaplin
  • starring Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Georgia Hale
  • A lone prospector ventures into Alaska looking for gold.

That’s it right up there; my very favorite scene from this 1925 masterpiece. It had a lot of competition–the storm, the first dance, the gorgeously shot and iconic “Oceana Roll” dance, the house on a cliff, on and on and on–but nothing is as memorable for me as when he boils his shoe on Thanksgiving night and goes to town on it, eating the laces like spaghetti and the sole nails like chicken bones. I’ve grown up with vague memories of most of Chaplin’s great works and I’m glad to see that I am as entertained as ever seeing them once more. I could excitedly watch these every year or so from here on out.

There’s really no way to break new ground here by reviewing Chaplin, but I do want to say that I’m equally as enchanted by his emotional side just as much as the comedic. I realize I’ll be seeing that even more with some of his other titles, but even here, his face and entire body can darken with unhappiness, loneliness, and even hunger like no other. I didn’t know that one can physically appear hungry, but leave it to the master to communicate every possible emotion through movement alone. In contrast to the belly laugh that’s always seconds away, The Tramp’s sentimental side–in this film provided by the fish-out-of-water plot and his lovesickness for the radiant Georgia–always packs an extra punch.

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About classixquest
all the things I should have seen

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