The Gold Rush
Director: Charles Chaplin
Writer: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman, Malcolm Waite, Georgia Hale
Part of: Film and Music Cycle in the Konzerthaus
With music by Charles Chaplin played by the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester under direction of Cornelius Meister
Seen on: 24.5.2016
A Lone Prospector (Charles Chaplin) makes his way to Klondike, hoping to find gold and with it, his luck. But the conditions there are more than harsh and soon he finds himself lost in the cold. By chance, he stumbles on a hut where he finds Black Larsen (Tom Murray) who tries to get rid of him. Instead, they are joined by a third gold digger, Big Jim MacKay (Mack Swain). In an uneasy truce they have to make it through the storm together somehow. But will their luck be enough to make it through?
The Gold Rush is an amazing film, no doubt about it. It is incredibly funny and touching at the same time, further proving that Chaplin is such an icon for a reason [even if it makes me deeply uncomfortable to say that about a guy who was way too much into teenage girls].
The Gold Rush is full of scenes that you know even if you’ve never seen it before, like the bootlace spaghetti or the fork in the bread roll dance scene. But even when you know countless references to those scenes, seeing them done by Chaplin himself in the context they were originally intended in has a special kind of magic indeed.
With The Gold Rush he again achieves the balance between tragedy and heartbreak on the one hand and humor and comedy on the other. I found myself wiping tears from my eyes and not knowing exactly whether they were there from laughing so hard or because my heart broke for the Lone Prospector, or both.
The music was extremel nice, too, though I don’t actually know what music they were playing – since I didn’t buy the program that day, and I can’t find the info online. Could have been the original music that came with the film (the 1940s version maybe), but I couldn’t say. In any case, it fit the film very nicely and enhanced what we saw on screen just like it should.
It was a lovely evening with a wonderful film and good music, probably the best way to see it. But even in a lesser setting, the film is bound to steal your heart.