Saturday June 10, 11:00am The Egyptian
This review is for the 1942 re-release version of The Gold Rush.
What a disappointment! For the 1942 release of this film, Chaplin trimmed 14 minutes out of the film, added a new score, and replaced the original intertitles with his own voiced over narration which sounds like Uncle Charlie telling a fairytale. The print was then processed at the wrong speed causing some of the action to look sped up (for more on silent film speeds see //www.cinemaweb.com/silentfilm/bookshelf/18_kb_2.htm). The result? A masterpiece reduced to a charming and funny children's film. This version may have been an appropriate, but still not the better choice, for inclusion in the films4families programming at SIFF. However, after the care shown in selecting the other silent film prints for the archival programming, it is a letdown. The benefit of having the Chaplin written score did not outweigh the above-mentioned drawbacks to the re-release print.
Bottom line, if you have children I can recommend taking them. However, if you want to see why The Gold Rush is a masterpiece rent the Warner Brother's Chaplin Collection and watch the original version which is on the second disc. Chaplin fans might want to see the re-release at SIFF to do their own comparison.