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NYFF Spotlight: The Gold Rush

Gold Rush

Film: The Gold Rush
Director: Charlie Chaplin
Program: Masterworks
Tickets: Oct 10

Why you should see it:
Master filmmaker/entertainer Charlie Chaplin considered this 1925 silent film his favorite among his many works. Appearing as his memorable character the Little Tramp, he sets out to find betterment in the Alaskan gold fields. The Tramp gets more than he bargains for when the elements and other difficulties foil his plans. But never lacking heart and resolve, our hero looks to change his fortune by seeking a job and even begins courting a saloon girl played by newcomer Georgia Hale. Moviegoers will enjoy the memorable scene where the Tramp eats his own boot while stuck in a cabin.

"The Gold Rush" was re-released by Chaplin in 1942 with several scenes cut out and with added narration and musical score. The film will be presented at the 49th New York Film Festival in a new restoration of the original 1925 version undertaken by the Criterion Collection and Cineteca di Bologna at L'Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory, a new score restoration by Timothy Brock, and live musical accompaniment by members of the New York Philharmonic. It promises to be an unique and unforgettable event.

Track record:
Selected in 1992 for preservation in the US National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." 1943 Academy Award nomination for re-released version containing Max Terr’s score and recording by James L. Fields. Fifth highest grossing silent film in history; highest ever for a silent comedy.

About the director:
Charlie Chaplin is a father of cinema. He wore many hats, writing, producing, directing and starring in numerous films in a stellar career spanning several decades. He also discovered and developed many talented artists and craftspeople. The three-time Academy Award winner has entertained and influenced countless generations with his brand of storytelling and comedy.

What the critics said:
Mordaunt Hall for The New York Times (1925): “Here is a comedy with streaks of poetry, pathos, tenderness, linked with brusqueness and boisterousness.”

Eric Kohn's Screen Rush blog on indieWIRE (2010): “Eighty-five years young, 'The Gold Rush' is still an effective tear-jerker.”

What the NYFF programmers say:
"The Gold Rush blends action, slapstick comedy and sentiment seamlessly, making it one of the most beloved of Charles Chaplin’s works.  The screening features a live musical accompaniment performed by members of the New York Philharmonic and a new score restoration by Timothy Brock—his 9th film commissioned by the Chaplin Estate—who will also conduct."

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