Saturday, 29 October 2011

AFI 100 Movies #74 The Gold Rush (1925)

So then, after a break it's back to the AFI 100 list.

Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush was made in 1925, he had intended to film the majority of the shots on location but had to abandon this idea as the weather made filming problematic.

The little tramp character travels to the Yukon to make his fortune in the Klondike gold rush.

The weather is treacherous and he is forced to look for shelter amidst a terrible blizzard, he stumbles across a fellow prospector "Big Jim" they take refuge in a log cabin until the storm passes. They have a fellow cabin-mate in the form of Black Larsen (who unknown to them is a wanted fugitive).

When the blizzard shows little of slowing up, Larsen goes out to get supplies, and trapped in the cabin together the tramp and Big Jim start to get cabin fever, with Jim becoming so hungry that he starts to hallucinate and sees the tramp transform in to a giant chicken!

Needless to say the blizzard subsides and the three go their separate ways, another famous scene see the tramp perform the "Bread Roll Dance" which many consider a tribute to Roscoe Arbuckle, who was being shunned by many in Hollywood at the time. I won't divulge more of the plot incase anyone reading this intends to watch it themselves.

I have to admit to being a late convert to Chaplin, my wife really doesn't get Chaplin and finds him mawkish and overly sentimental, which I can kind of see, but if you look at his body of work, his writing, directing etc. you can see someone who had global fame and wanted to use it as a positive thing, his speech at the end of The Great Dictator is so moving, and such a brave thing to do.

So, Charlie, you're alright by me.

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