The Gold Rush (United Artists) (1925)

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special “Gold Rush” Feature Stories Chaplin Makes Laughs of Heartac hes a nd Tragedies Tears Trickle Into Laugh Wrinkles In Chaplin Film World’s Greatest Screen Comedian, Thru Artistic Genius and Sense of Humor, Makes Hilarious Comedy Out of the Hardships Beset ting Klond ike Gold Stampeders An artistic genius and a sense of humor that can convert tears and heartaches into joy and laughter—that can cause the tear of pathos to lose itself in the wrinkles of fun—is a combination seldom met in real life, and much less often encountered on the motion picture screen. But this is just what Charlie Chaplin does in his new film comedy, “The Gold Rush,” a United Artists Corporation re¬ lease, which is described by picture ex¬ perts and_ competent critics as the great¬ est Chaplin comedy ever produced. “The Gold Rush” comes to the . theatre next ... Out of a situation where a half-starved wanderer throws himself into a self- enforced faint at the door of a gold pros¬ pector s cabin, so the prospector will pick him up, carry him inside and revive him with hot coffee and a much needed meal, Chaplin builds a comedy scene that is said to excel anything he has ever done. “The Gold Rush” deals with the stam¬ pede into the Klondike, and Chaplin has cast himself in the role of a tenderfoot and lone prospector. And when he tears himself from the mob of thousands of prospectors crossing the Chilkoot Pass only stubbornly to go his own lonely way through a blizzard that shreds his shabby clothing and finally blows him like a piece of paper into the cabin of a fugitive from justice—again tragedy is turned into hil¬ arious comedy. There are tears and laughter, too, when Charlie is the wrong recipient of an en¬ dearing note of apology written to his rival by the girl whom he adores, and the note—not meant for him at all— sends him into the seventh heaven of en¬ amored delight. Again Charlie’s all important love af¬ fair is rudely interrupted by Big Jim McKay whose one and only interest in life is the search for gold. McKay lit¬ erally carries the lone little prospector away from his sweetheart—and straight to the treasure that is to make them both rich beyond their dreams. “There is a laugh in every one of the nearly nine thousand feet of film in ‘The Gold Rush’,” says one of Chaplin’s close associates. NO TIME CLOCKS IN CHAPLIN STUDIO “The Gold Rush,” Great Comedy Drama, Largely Product of Inspiration CHAPLIN AS CHICKEN CREATES COMMENT Comedian Actually Plays Role in His Latest Film, “The Efficiency experts, time clocks and other modern methods to speed up production played no part in the mak¬ ing of The Gold Rush,” and for this reason Charlie Chaplin took nearly two full years in painting the celluloid panorama of the humorous side of life m the Klondike in his great comedy- drama now showing at the . Theatre under a United Artists Cor¬ poration release. Every detail from the most insigni- ncant subtitle to the prospector’s trudging over Chilkoot Pass, 2500 of them in all, in a blinding blizzard, had the personal attention of Chaplin, the man who wrote the story, directed the picture and himself played the star role. Actual filming of the picture w£ Chaplin on February : after months of preparation, an taken on Apr 16, 1925. More than five hundre thousand feet of film were used in tt making, and the task of cutting an editing required months more It is stated that “The Gold Rush was made by Chaplin largely throug inspiration. At times he toiled fevei ishly on the production for days at tune, calling for utmost efforts froi his studio staff to meet his requin ments. Again, he rested for days awa from the studio until new idea brought him to activity again. Usually Chaplin employs very littl comedy, but in “Th Gold Rush” he is the center of a re: d^ma of the frozen North in the rol of a hardluck “sourdough,” dressed i the baggy pants, the floppy shoes, th old derby, and the cane of early assc ciation. Gold Rush” Ever since Charlie Chaplin presented “The Gold Rush” at the . Theatre, his friends have been accusing him of having spent most of his spare time in a barnyqrd so perfect in his de¬ lineation of a chicken in this great com¬ edy. And at the same time it has been ques¬ tioned as to who it is inside the feathers. Is it really Charlie? Manager . is authority for the statement that none other than the one and only Charlie Chaplin plays the part of the chicken, and that it is his keen observation of life in all its phases that enables him to give such perfect portrayal of the unusual. The photographing of these scenes is a matter of great interest—and much credit is due the photographer for the synchronizing and timing of what is known as a “lap-dissolve.” The action of this scene with Charlie in his charac¬ ter is carried through to the point of the “dissolve.” The camera is stopped and all action is held—the film is turned back a certain number of pictures, and, Charlie encased in the chicken frame, which weighs over 150 pounds, takes up his position in exactly the same action and continues the scene as the chicken. Great care and infinite patience is ex¬ ercised in the making of these dissolves, as the slightest difference of position means the tedious re-taking of the en¬ tire scene. However, all this is recom¬ pensed by the reception accorded this truly great dramatic comedy of Charlie Chaplin’s. Poetic Pathos and Whimsical Comedy Cleverly Blended in “The Gold Rush” in Which Tragedies and Heart- J aches Are Turned Into Hilarious Laughter Charlie Chaplin as a pathetic tender¬ foot struggling along with hundreds of others in search of gold in the Klondike, plus the Charlie Chaplin of comedy fame, with all the Chaplin tricks of old—this is the keynote of what has been described as the greatest Chaplin comedy ever filmed—“The Gold Rush,” which is an¬ nounced as the feature attraction for next . at the . theatre. Poetic pathos and whimsical comedy are blended cleverly in “The Gold Rush,” which was more than a year in the mak¬ ing, which will be shown in nine reels, and which has in it all the elements of “big production” which have been lacking in the earlier and short films of this laugh producing genius of the screen. The picture has its bits of deepest pathos which are swept instantly into moments of hilarious comedy; a picture where the tear of pathos loses itself in the wrinkles of laughter. There is the scene, for instance, where Chaplin, the tenderfoot, a lone bit of human flotsam and jetsam, just a be¬ draggled bit of lonely humanity, finds a sympathizer and a sweetheart—a girl in a dance-hall. In her garish finery she dances with the sad, little tramp, who beams over her shoulder into the eyes of his rival, a wealthy miner. There is Big Jim McKay, a giant with ox-like strength. He is enraged and the little Lone Prospector trembles as the big man menaces him. And the little man thinks that death, after all, is better than the loss of the queen of the dance- hall. To have the right types in Truckee, in Northern California, where many of the scenes of the picture were photo¬ graphed, Chaplin took a special trainload of tramps, with well-seared faces and tattered garb. In several sequences it seems an endless line of ragged humanity that is crossing the Chilkoot Pass. A blizzard rages, and men are blown about helplessly and hopelessly. They fight on doggedly, as this winding path cut through the snows over a precipitous mountainside, is the gateway to their goal—the Klondike, and Gold. In another stretch in the film is Black Larson a fugitive. He builds a little hut in the Alaskan mountains, and there lives as a hermit, amid snow and ice. To the hut comes the pathetic little tramp— Chaplin. He knocks at the door for rest and a bite of food, ere plodding on to the land of promised gold. Larsen does not care who starves. His only thought is of the police. The scenes aboard a stearnship show human interest at its big height. The luxury and comfort of the first cabin are contrasted with the misery, want and illness in the steerage. There is the little man, who a few years before went on the long hike to the Klondike, and now on board the ship is sep in rich raiment and costly furs. He is unhappy because he has lost his sweetheart. And in the steerage—there is a girl returning from Alaska, dreaming of, and wishing she could find her dear little tramp again. EATING BOILED SHOE MADE COMEDY SCENE And Charlie Chaplin’s Genius Robs It of: Repulsiveness in “The Gold Rush” To eat one’s own shoe—boiled—is something. But, to eat that same shoe—artistically —is an achievement! This, is done by Charlie Chaplin in his famous comedy, “The Gold Rush,” coming to the . theatre for an extended engagement. In what is claimed to be a delightful delineation of great artistry, the public sees Charlie Chaplin as the Lone Pros¬ pector and Mack Swain as Big Jim McKay in a lonely cabin; stormbound in the barren wastes of Alaska. They have been starying for days. In desperation, Charlie has removed one of his big, worn- out, dilapidated shoes, boiling it with ten¬ der care, he serves it a la Ritz Chef. The two eat this shoe. And in doing so, they make the spectator really believe they are enjoying their repast. This, is an achievement in art. For the fact, that the very thought of eating a shoe is offensive to good taste, but the shading of this subject—which could so easily be made repulsive—is so deftly portrayed, that while convulsed with laughter, the spectator will always re¬ member the scene as one of the delicious high lights of “The Gold Rush.” CHAPLIN LOSES ONE OF FAMOUS SHOES What Became of It Is Explained in “The Gold Rush,” Comedy Drama Extra! Extra! Another great tragedy in Movie Land. Charlie Chaplin will never be able to wear his big shoes again. Isolated in the vast snow wastes of Alaska. Lost and without food. Alone save for that grim companion, hunger. Starvation stalking outside his wind¬ blown cabin—driven to desperation by the pangs of an empty stomach, he— as others in like places have done be¬ fore—eats his good friend, tho’ that friend has carried him over the road to success, to the topmost peak of fame. But what is one friend to a man hungry—fame does not fill the stomach. So, Charlie eats one of his famous shoes. In “The Gold Rush,” now playing at the . Theatre, under a United Artists Corporation release, you actually see Charlie Chaplin boil and eat his monstrous shoe, with a delica¬ cy and relish that is an artistic triumph in pantomime. The question now arises how will he ever be able to amble through the rest of his comedies minus one of his famous shoes.