The Chaplin Collection: The Gold Rush

Yet another charity shop find. In what I might rename ‘Bargain Buys,’ I have yet another Old Hollywood item that I bought for a great price from a charity shop. This time the DVD The Gold Rush from The Chaplin Collection.

The Chaplin Collection: The Gold Rush with The Tramp himself (Photo: Nicole Sherwood)

A few months ago I saw a two-disk Charlie Chaplin DVD consisting of special features and which I bought for £3. I have only seen the Chaplin film City Lights and Easy Street as I’ve only just began watching silent films this year, but I enjoyed both of those films and everything Chaplin and The Tramp represents.

I’m think this DVD is part of a much bigger Chaplin collection of films — which I cannot afford — but I’m glad that I bought and watched this. As well as having Charlie Chaplin’s original 1925 release of the silent comedy The Gold Rush, which I’d never seen, this collection also includes the reissued 1942 version.

I decided to watch the re-released version of the film without realising it was updated until I pressed play and I heard a narrator! That’s because with the 1942 version, Chaplin decided to modify the original film by adding a recorded musical score, narrating it himself, and tightening the editing therefore reducing the films duration. However with this DVD the silent version of the film has been restored with musical accompaniment.

I was pleasantly surprised to watch the 1942 version and hear Chaplin’s voice. I think the music and sound effects were a very fitting and beautiful addition to the already wonderful story. It still has the essence of a silent film with extras that means everyone can enjoy it. I loved the sentimental story and some of the sad, sympathetic moments that Chaplin always successful elicited from his audience.

Inside the yellow themed, two-disk version of The Gold Rush (Photo: Nicole Sherwood)

The special features on this DVD collection includes Chaplin Today: The Gold Rush, a 2003 documentary by French filmmaker Serge Le Péron. This documentary chronicles the making of The Gold Rush and the history and inspiration behind the story. Contemporary African director Idrissa Ouedraogo discusses the affect that Chaplin had on his life and career and how he continues to inspire children in his village.

The 26-minute documentary also includes archival interviews with film pioneer Mary Pickford and Chaplin’s second wife Lita Grey who was due to star in The Gold Rush but became pregnant and married Chaplin, and her replacement, actress Georgia Hale. The interviews provide insightful information, trivia and memories. Georgia Hale’s interview was particularly interesting as she remembered details and stories of the film first hand and also recalled what it was like to ‘work with and fall in love with’ Charlie Chaplin (they had an affair during filming).

FACT- The most notable change in the 1942 version of The Gold Rush is the ending. In the original, the film ended with a passionate kiss between Chaplin and Georgia Hale. When Chaplin re-released the film he cut the moment out and left the scene as a simple, happy ending.

The 12-page booklet pull-out for The Gold Rush. With an iconic black-and-white image of Charlie Chaplin (Photo: Nicole Sherwood)

The special features also includes a brief introduction by Chaplin biographer David Robinson writer of Chaplin: His Life and Art (1985, 2001), a poster gallery consisting of 24 international The Gold Rush posters, theatrical trailers and scenes from Chaplin’s films in the Chaplin Collection.

There is also a photo gallery consisting of 250 photographs, including production and exterior shots, pictures at the Chaplin Studios and onset images.

There is also a 12-page information booklet detailing the contents of the DVDs and putting them into greater context. Inside there are summaries of the film, the introduction and the Chaplin Today: The Gold Rush documentary. The illustrated booklet provides additional information about each individual bonus feature and the films themselves.

The back cover of the DVD with an iconic photograph of Charlie Chaplin from The Gold Rush (Photo: Nicole Sherwood)

I highly recommend this DVD to enjoy one of Chaplin’s classic films and for the option of which version you would like to watch first. I’m so glad I got this and for such a great price and amazing bonuses! For information and trivia from Chaplin’s personal favourite film, this is a great set.

Thank you for reading. I hope you liked this review post. I have more DVD, book and film reviews coming soon. Please recommend some for me to do too! Check out my Instagram accounts below for more Old Hollywood stars, quotes, facts, film and book reviews.