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Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  The Gold Rush
 
Silent Era Films on Home Video
Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2014 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.
The Gold Rush
(1925)
 

Among the most beloved of Charles Chaplin’s films is this tale of the Little Tramp as a gold prospector in the frozen Yukon.

Thanks partially to the film’s temporary status as a public-domain film in the USA, collectors could easily obtain home video editions of the film during the 1980s and 1990s (although usually in substandard editions prepared from 16mm reduction prints), and the film became popular and recognizable among comedy fans even marginally aware of Chaplin’s work. — Carl Bennett

2012 Criterion Collection Blu-ray Disc edition

The Gold Rush (1925), black & white, 88 minutes, not rated,
and The Gold Rush (1925) [1942 rerelease version], black & white, 72 minutes, not rated.

Criterion Collection, CC2144BD, spine number 615,
UPC 7-15515-09551-8, ISBN 978-1-60465588-9.
Pillarboxed 1.33;1 pictures aspect ratio, 16:9 display aspect ratio 24FPS AVCHD, one single-sided Blu-ray Disc, Region A, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language narration [1942 version] and English language intertitles [1925 version], no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard BD keepcase in cardboard slipcover, $39.95.
DVD release date: 12 June 2012.
Country of origin: USA
This high-definition Blu-ray Disc edition features a recently-completed digital HD restoration of the 1942 sound version, presented with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray Disc, and a new 2K digital video transfer of the original 1925 silent version, restored in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with a newly-recorded adaptation of Chaplin’s own score presented in DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound.

This highly-anticipated BD will likely be the best available home video edition of The Gold Rush.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region A Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region A Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
2012 Criterion Collection DVD edition

The Gold Rush (1925), black & white, 88 minutes, not rated,
and The Gold Rush (1925) [1942 rerelease version], black & white, 72 minutes, not rated.

Criterion Collection, unknown catalog number, spine number 615, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, two single-sided DVD discs, Region 1, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language narration [1942 version] and English language intertitles [1925 version], no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, two-disc DVD keepcase in cardboard slipcover, $39.95.
DVD release date: 12 June 2012.
Country of origin: USA
This new DVD home video edition features a recently-completed digital high-definition restoration of the 1942 sound version, and a new 2K digital video transfer of the original 1925 silent version, restored in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with a newly-recorded adaptation of Chaplin’s own music score.

Likely to be the best DVD edition of The Gold Rush available.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
2010 Park Circus Blu-ray Disc / DVD edition

The Gold Rush (1925), black & white, 96 minutes, not rated,
and The Gold Rush (1925) [1942 rerelease version], black & white, 69 minutes, not rated.

Park Circus, unknown catalog number, UPC 5-060203-3401?-?.
Pillarboxed 16:9 24FPS AVCHD / full-frame 4:3 PAL, one single-sided Blu-ray Disc and one single-sided, dual-layered DVD disc, Region B / Region 2, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard BD keepcase in cardboard slipcover, £19.99.
DVD release date: 23 August 2010.
Country of origin: Scotland
This UK high-definition edition of The Gold Rush, from a Scottish distribution company and produced for home video by MK2, features a new high-definition video transfer from 35mm print materials controlled by the Estate of Charles Chaplin.

The film is presented with the established music score composed by Charles Chaplin.

The disc’s supplemental material includes an introduction by David Robinson.

Other than its HD transfer, and this edition being nearly identical in content to the 2004 Warner Home Video edition noted below, owners of that edition may not feel the need to acquire this Park Circus edition. This edition, currently the only high-quality edition in print, is recommended for those who want to add the film to their collection now.

North American collectors will need a Region B or region-free Blu-ray Disc player and/or a region-free PAL DVD player capable of outputting an NTSC-compatible signal to view this edition.

 
United Kingdom: Click to purchase this Region B Blu-ray Disc / Region 2 PAL DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
2003 Warner Home Video DVD edition

The Gold Rush (1925), black & white, 96 minutes, not rated,
and The Gold Rush (1925) [1942 rerelease version], black & white, 69 minutes, not rated.

Warner Home Video, 37945, UPC 0-85393-79452-1, ISBN 0-7907-8065-8.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc and one single-sided, dual-layered DVD disc, Region 1, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo and mono sound, English language intertitles, foreign language subtitles, 20 chapter stops (1942 rerelease version), cardboard wrap with two plastic DVD trays in cardboard slipcase, $29.95.
DVD release date: 1 July 2003.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 7 / additional content: 7 / overall: 7.
This Warner Brothers and MK2 Éditions edition represents the best available home video edition of Chaplin’s film The Gold Rush on DVD. The 1942 rerelease version of the film, prepared by Chaplin (which excised the intertitles, added sound narration and music by Chaplin, and altered the ending), has been digitally restored for this set.

Our first glimpse of this two-disc set is favorable in regards to the 1942 version of The Gold Rush, with its nearly pristene picture. But we are indifferent to the reconstruction of the 1925 version, produced years ago by Photoplay Productions in the UK, which doesn’t look much better than quality home video editions on lasersdisc and VHS videotape. The 1925 restoration has the moderately good qualities of previous editions, those being a slightly constrasty and soft picture that looks as though it has been transferred from 35mm duplicate prints that are two or more generations away from the original negative.

The 1942 rerelease edition fares quite a bit better, having been digitally restored from original 35mm elements held by the Chaplin family — materials that were previously utilized by David Shepard for the CBS/Fox laserdisc and DVD edition noted below.

That being said, we have had problems with the disc displaying properly to a 16:9 high-definition television when played from one of our DVD players. The picture fills the 16:9 monitor in width (already wrong for a 4:3 format picture) and crops the top and bottom of the picture to do so. No amount of manipulation of the picture settings ideally resolves the issue.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
2000 CBS/Fox Home Video DVD edition

The Gold Rush (1925) [1942 rerelease version], black & white, 71 minutes, not rated.

CBS/Fox Home Video, distributed by Image Entertainment, ID9179CUDVD, UPC 0-14381-91792-5.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 1, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, snapper DVD case, $29.99.
DVD release date: 16 May 2000.
Country of origin: USA
This out-of-print edition of The Gold Rush was transferred from materials previously held by Charles Chaplin; the sound reissue version originally rereleased in 1942. All intertitles were removed and replaced with spoken narration by Chaplin. Some collectors have objected to Chaplin’s altered version of the film, especially its truncated ending and running time. We say that there are editions of both the original 1925 release and this 1942 reissue to be seen and collected on home video. Criterion/Voyager released a very good edition of the 1925 version on laserdisc in 1991.

This edition of the sound reissue version, which has its own charms (Chaplin’s narration) and qualities (a fine video transfer, with open framing), includes a supplementary section with an interview with Chaplin’s wife Lita Grey Chaplin, an original scenario by Chaplin entitled “The Lucky Strike: A Play in Two Scenes,” basis for The Gold Rush.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
2000 Koch Vision DVD edition

Chaplin: The Artist in His Prime (1914-1925), black & white, 362 minutes total, not rated,
including The Gold Rush (1925), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

Koch Vision, KOC-DV-6302, UPC 7-41952-63029-6.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, three single-sided, single-layered DVD discs, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, three standard DVD keepcases in cardboard slipcase, $19.98.
DVD release date: 19 December 2000.
Country of origin: USA
We have not viewed this DVD edition. The Gold Rush was included in this budget-priced multidisc set.

We have no indication as to the quality of this edition of the film, and cannot recommend it at this time.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
2010 Nostalgia Family Video DVD edition

The Gold Rush (1925), black & white, 88 minutes, not rated.

Nostalgia Family Video, 1439D, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD-R disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $19.99.
DVD release date: 2010.
Country of origin: USA
This edition was likely mastered from a 16mm reduction print.

The film is likely accompanied by a soundtrack compiled from preexisting recordings.

 
NOSTALGIA FAMILY VIDEO has discontinued business and this edition is no longer available.
200? Front Row Entertainment DVD edition

The Gold Rush (1925), black & white, ? minutes, not rated,
with The Immigrant (1917), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

Front Row Entertainment, unknown catalog number, UPC 0-82554-37202-4.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 1, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound?, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested retail price.
DVD release date: 200?.
Country of origin: USA
This budget edition will show up on eBay and in chain drugstores, so be wary of its likely low-quality that would be consistent with other releases by this company.
200? unknown company DVD edition

The Gold Rush (1925), black & white, ? minutes, not rated,
with Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914), black & white, ? minutes, not rated, The Immigrant (1917), black & white, ? minutes, not rated, and A Burlesque on Carmen (1916), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

Unknown home video company, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, two single-sided, single-layered DVD discs, Region 1, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, two-disc standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested retail price.
DVD release date: 200?.
Country of origin: USA?
Where do these budget discs come from? This budget edition of two features and two short Chaplin films could source from the same company as the Front Row edition above. Don’t count on the quality of the film prints being very high.
1998 Digital Disc Entertainment VideoCD edition

The Gold Rush (1925), black & white, 90 minutes, not rated.

Digital Disc Entertainment, DDE 010, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered VideoCD disc, no region encoding, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound?, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested retail price.
DVD release date: 1998.
Country of origin: USA
This early edition of The Gold Rush was previously identified by us as a DVD release, but it is in reality a VideoCD disc — playable on most DVD players. It is also likely to be the worst production of all editions. We suspect that this low-budget production was transferred from a 16mm reduction print.
Other silent era CHARLES CHAPLIN films available on home video.
Charles Chaplin filmography in The Progressive Silent Film List
 
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