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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Gold Rush (1925)



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One of Charlie Chaplin's best films, The Gold Rush is a near perfect blend of the comedy and pathos Chaplin is renowned for. It's perhaps too easy to dismiss the brilliance of his art; modern audiences are trained to scoff at sentiment on sight, mostly because failed attempts at it come off as unpleasantly soppy. But there's no trace of unpleasantness or sop to be found in The Gold Rush. Instead, there is only hilarity and genuine human emotion. The best scenes combine the two: consider the famous scene where Chaplin makes a regal meal out of an old boot. Consider, too, the wrenching scene where Chaplin fails in his efforts to romance his beloved. In a hundred plus years of filmmaking, no one has so profoundly tugged the heartstrings while tickling the funny bone.