The Indie Film Corner: ‘The Gold Rush’

By Dennis Tavernetti
“The Gold Rush” from The Classics Series presented by Emerging Pictures in HD at USCB Center For the Arts Wednesday, April 11 at 7 p.m.
Synopsis: Despite its reputation as one of the great masterpieces of silent cinema, “The Gold Rush” has long been unavailable in its original form. Now, in collaboration with the Cineteca Bologna, the Chaplin Estate, Janus Films, Emerging Pictures is proud to present a restoration of the film, complete with a newly recorded orchestral score.  Moving, hilarious, and full of invention, this famous silent comedy has never looked — or sounded — better. A lone prospector ventures into Alaska looking for gold. He gets mixed up with some burly characters and falls in love with the beautiful Georgia. He tries to win her heart with his singular charm. This 1925 version is true to the original.
Ratings & Reviews:  The two leading film websites give this film an IMDb rating of 8.3 and Rotten Tomatoes critics rating of 100 and audience of 91. Outstanding marks! The original 1925 New York Times review stated:  “… one is often moved to mirth with a lump in one’s throat. Chaplin takes strange situations and stirs up tears and smiles. In his more boisterous moments he engineers incidents that at this presentation provoked shrieks of laughter … you find yourself stirred by the story, gripped by its swing and filled with compassion for the pathetic little hero. Here is a comedy with streaks of poetry, pathos, tenderness, linked with brusqueness and boisterousness. It is the outstanding gem of all Chaplin’s pictures, as it has more thought and originality than even such masterpieces of mirth as ‘The Kid’ and ‘Shoulder Arms.’ ”
Previewer Comments: Charles Chaplin is very effective in merging comedy with real pathos. He had experienced starving, often rejected in love, often bullied, and always stretching for new experiences beyond the fringe. He was a risk taker: He financed most of his own films, he formed his own motion picture company, and he was outspoken about politics and cared for the underdog.  He very effectively takes all those realities in his real life and turns them in to comedic actions, which belittle the reality of the disappointments … so we laugh at Charlie Chaplin, the tramp, as we laugh away our own disappointments and problems in life.
Rated:  Unrated, but can be considered likely to be G.
Preshow Interview: Host Dennis Tavernetti, will relate the development of silent films and the biography of Charlie Chaplin at 6:40 p.m.
Tickets for adults are $8, seniors $7, students $6. Call USCB Center for the Arts box office at 843-521-4145 or purchase day of performance. Box office opens one hour prior to show time.

Dennis Tavernetti is a resident of St. Helena Island who retired to the Lowcountry having a lifelong interest in the arts. He encouraged USCB‘s Center for the Arts to investigate the possibility of bringing Indie, World and Documentary HD films to Beaufort.

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