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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Gold Rush -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Ask any knowledgeable cinephile for a list of what they consider to be the greatest silent films, and you can bet that The Gold Rush is on it.

    Produced in 1925, it was Sir Charles Chaplin's first feature length silent comedy. He followed it up with The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931), and finally Modern Times (1936), before he entered totally talking pictures.

    These are all great films, but while his later works saw occasional reissues, the silent version of The Gold Rush literally disappeared after he created a 1942 version with inter-titles removed, and additions of a score and speaking narrative. Public domain versions blossomed in the 1950s, and remained the only real means of seeing anything akin to the original version of the film for decades.

    Kevin Brownlow's Photoplay Productions, originally partnered with David Gill, and now Patrick Stanbury, created a reconstructed version, with the blessing of the Chaplin estate, and it is essentially that version, digitized, cleaned and adapted, that is the "extra" on Criterion's new Blu-ray of the film.

    It is the 1942 (Chaplin's preferred version) that takes first position, and is in better overall condition.

    My preference has always been the original, and I'm thrilled with what I'm seeing and hearing on this new Blu-ray.

    For those unfamiliar, don't read reviews. Do yourself a favor. Just get a copy of this Blu-ray, and enjoy.

    One of the greatest films in the history of cinema.

    Image - 3 (silent version)
    4 (1942 re-issue)

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Well-Known Member

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    Can't wait for my copy to arrive. I ordered it along with The 39 Steps, so I'll be waiting for the release of the latter before I can feast my eyes on the former. I was thrilled with Criterion's treatment of Modern Times and The Great Dictator.
    Here's hoping they'll release The Kid sooner than later.
     
  3. Eerik

    Eerik Well-Known Member

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  4. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Well-Known Member

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    So what are the origins of the Killiam version and the other public domain versions that floated around for decades. Are they prints of the original silent version?
     
  5. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Well-Known Member

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    Watched both versions. The silent version certainly looks a bit rougher, but considering the various elements used to reconstruct the original 1925 continuity, I'm amazed to see it looking as good as it does here. The 1942 version, of course, is much more consistent in terms of picture quality...but I find myself more impressed with the restoration of the original version. Both are wonderful presentations, and I'm absolutely delighted with this release.
     
  6. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I bought it for the silent version and am quite thrilled with how it came out. For a 1925 film to look (and sound) that good is remarkable.
     
  7. zoetmb

    zoetmb Well-Known Member

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    When I was in film school at NYU in the 1970s, they projected a 16mm print of "The Gold Rush" at the original Art theatre that was gorgeous. (Actually, all their prints were gorgeous: Greed, M, The General and others I can no longer remember). But I don't know whether their print was sourced from the 1942 version or the 1925 version.
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    If it was silent, it would have been 1925, as the 1942 had no inter titles.

    RAH
     
  9. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Went right on my list, no questions asked.

    And I do believe the month of B&N -- I'm sorry, I mean July -- is well nigh upon us...
     

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