copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

Gold Rush is a breed between a silent movie and a talkie. Characters are not talking but there is a narrator talking instead of there being title cards.

There was a time, long ago, when slapstick was still smart. This Charlie Chaplin movie is an example of that era. Gold Rush is actually funny despite the comedy being based on physical slapstick. There are no penis jokes or poop jokes needed to make this movie funny (unlike the modern "comedies"). Although most of the comedy comes from Charlie Chaplin's physical hijinks, the commentary of the narrator can be quite witty as well. You will probably not be laughing loudly, but Gold Rush is worth plenty of smiles.

The story is about Charlie Chaplin's character in Alaska during the gold rush there. Some of the content in which the film finds its comedy is actually surprisingly macabre. Although the movie is entertaining, it did get a little boring in the middle. The performances are not so captivating and the humour is not so great as to keep you entertained the whole time. Also, the ending seems to be an afterthought. It feels rushed, like the story skips about 10 minutes worth of story that should have explained what happened to a couple of the characters.

The movie looks interesting. There are some special effects done using miniatures and a technique whereby the characters from one film are pasted over the background of another film. The shots of mock up models are interchanged with the close up shots of the real thing, like for example there is a live bear involved but during certain scenes it becomes a dude in a costume. The effects look very fake, but nonetheless interesting. In 1925 these were probably really advanced special effects.

Gold Rush does not feel particularly special. It just an overall entertaining and well done semi-silent film.

The Gold Rush