I am very honoured to co-host and participate in this wonderful Silent Cinema Blogathon. Also to be able to share my review of the great Charlie Chaplin film The Gold Rush.
The Gold Rush was written, produced, directed and starred Charlie Chaplin. It was released on June 26th 1925. It was later re-released in 1942. It had a budget of $923,000 but worldwide it made a profit of $4 million.
Charlie Chaplin’s character ( The Lone Prospector ) is a weak man but he is looking for fame and fortune through the tough men during the Klondike Gold Rush who marched across Chilkoot Pass. The Lone Prospector’s comrades mock him because of his different and patient ways. As a result, he becomes a victim of the harsh conditions of the North frozen parts. The Lone Prospector gets stuck in a blizzard where the storm ensues which nearly takes his life. This is when he comes across the Black Larsen’s ( Tom Murray ) cabin. Larsen is not happy and struggles to throw the Lone Prospector back out into near possible death when Fate, which saves the destinies of children, turns up as in Big Jim McKay ( Mack Swain ). The renegade is calmed by Jim and he and the Lone Prospector enter the cabin while the Black Larsen is forced to gain food for them. A bear comes into the cabin and is killed to alleviate the pair’s long hunger.
The storm subsides and so the two leave to head for the nearest town. Jim makes his way to his hidden mine, which is the richest in Alaska. Jim arrives at his property to find Larsen in there. A fight starts where Larsen hits Jim so hard with a shovel that Jim falls into unconsciousness. Larsen panics and quickly flees but is swept up to his own demise in an avalanche. Luckily, Jim recovers from the attack but has lost his memory.
The Lone Prospector makes his arrival in one of the gold trail’s boom towns. This is where he is the buffoon and amusement and victim of mockery from the dance hall people. He notices Georgia ( Georgia Hale ) and grows very fond of her too.
Georgia is the absolute queen of the entertainers in the dance hall. In his usual shy and foolish way, the Lone Prospector puts up with the jibes and pokes of the dance hall to adore and watch Georgia. A cruel joke by Jack Cameron ( Malcom Waite ) , who is the leader of the camp, gives him a note of love from Georgia. The Lone Prospector obviously thinks she has written the note and starts to look for her enthusiastically throughout the dance hall. This is when Jim enters the dance hall with part of his memory restored.
Jim’s only concern is to get to the cabin to find his lost mine. He located the Lone Prospector and takes him, screeching, to show the way to the cabin so they can be rich with millions of dollars. Not counting on the love struck Lone Prospector seeing Georgia on the balcony. This is when he breaks away to tell her that he loves her much to her surprise and the crowd’s too. Jim drags the Lone Prospector harshly from the hall as the Lone Prosoector is shouting to Georgia that he will return to have her when he is a millionaire. Jim and the Lone Prospector return to the cabin, which has food unlike before.
While they are sleeping at night time, there is another blizzard. The cabin gets blown half-way over a cliff. Hence, the Lone Prospector and Jim arise to a lot of tense moments before the Lone Prospector is luckily pulled from the cabinet by Jim as the cabin falls to the abyss.
A year later, the pair make a return to United States as wealthy men but much to the Lone Prospector’s disappointment, Georgia has disappeared and can’t be found. The Lone Prospector still adores her but gives up the search. Jim and the Lone Prospector’s strike of fame has magnified the news so much that the newspapermen march on to board the liner to get interviews. The Lone Prospector agrees to put on his old clothes for a photograph. He trips up and falls down the stairs into Georgia’s arms. She was on her way back to the United States as a steerage passenger. The reporters immediately pick up on the romance and ask who Georgia is. The Lone Prospector discreetly whispers in Georgia’s ear, who nods in agreement. They happily pose for pictures and the reporters shout ” What a great story this will make. ” Indeed it was too.
This film was said by Charlie Chaplin himself to be the one for which he most wanted to be remembered.
Amazingly, even though it was a silent comedy, it still received Academy Award nominations for Best Sound Recording and Best Music when it was re released in 1942.
I wish to thank Crystal for the kindness and encouragement you have shown me by asking me to co-host this wonderful blogathon.