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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/chaplin.htm
USA 1925

 

Charlie Chaplin’s comedic masterwork—which charts a prospector’s search for fortune in the Klondike and his discovery of romance (with the beautiful Georgia Hale)—forever cemented the iconic status of Chaplin and his Little Tramp character. Shot partly on location in the Sierra Nevadas and featuring such timeless gags as the dance of the dinner rolls and the meal of boiled shoe leather, The Gold Rush is an indelible work of heartwarming hilarity. This special edition features both Chaplin’s definitive 1942 version, for which the director added new music and narration, and a new restoration of the original 1925 silent film.

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 26th 1925

Reviews            More Reviews           DVD Reviews

 Comparison:

Warner / MK2 (Sound Version [US]) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Warner / MK2 (Silent Version [US]) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

1) Warner / MK2 (Sound Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT + MIDDLE

2) Criterion (Silent Version) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Big Thanks to Finnur Eiríksson for his review of the DVD!

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Warner / MK2

Region 1 - NTSC

Warner / MK2
Region 1 - NTSC
Criterion Collection - Spine # 615 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:08:48 (4% PAL speedup) 1:35:18 (4% PAL speedup) 1:29:14.724 / 1:12:24.381
Video

1.32:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.35 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 / 1.20:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.99 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,380,387,916 bytes

Sound Feature: 19,216,041,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.24 Mbps

Silent Feature: 14,421,012,480 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Warner / MK2 (Sound Version [NTSC])

 

Bitrate:

 

Warner / MK2 (Silent Version [NTSC])

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion (Sound) Blu-ray

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion (Silent) Blu-ray

 

Audio English DD 5.1 (448 kb/s), English DD 2.0 mono (192 kb/s), French DD 2.0 mono (192 kb/s)

Musical accompaniment DD 2.0 stereo (192 kb/s)

Sound: LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

Silent: DTS-HD Master Audio English 3740 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3740 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, English (Hoh) Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese, Korean, Thai, none English (for sound version), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner / MK2

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.32:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by David Robinson (5:29)
• Chaplin Today - The Gold Rush (26:53)
• Photo Gallery
• Poster Gallery
• Trailers (8:46)
• Short introductory clips from other films in the Chaplin Collection

DVD Release Date: 2003
Digipak

Chapters 20
 

Release Information:
Studio: Warner / MK2

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1 / 1.20:1

Edition Details:

 

DVD Release Date:
 

Chapters 21

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion
 

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1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray
Disc Size: 46,380,387,916 bytes
Sound Feature: 19,216,041,984 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.24 Mbps
Silent Feature: 14,421,012,480 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.99 Mbps
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
 

Edition Details:
• New audio commentary for the 1925 version by Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
• Three new programs: Presenting “The Gold Rush,” (15:53) which traces the film’s history and features filmmaker Kevin Brownlow and Vance; A Time of Innovation: Visual Effects  in “The Gold Rush,” (19:12) featuring effects specialist Craig Barron and Chaplin cinematographer Roland Totheroh; and Music by Charles Chaplin (24:58), featuring conductor and composer Timothy Brock
Chaplin Today: “The Gold Rush” (2002), a short documentary featuring filmmaker Idrissa Ouédraogo (26:57)
• Four trailers (9:12)
• PLUS: An essay by critic Luc Sante and James Agee’s review of the 1942 rerelease

 

Blu-ray Release Date: June 12th, 2012
Transparent
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 19 + 19

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (May 2012): Criterion have provided the 2 versions of The Gold Rush - both in 1080P. Kevin Brownlow and David Gill state at the beginning Silent version: "The original was released in 1925 and Chaplin re-issued it in 1942 with synchronized music and narration. He removed all the title-cards, re-arranged some sequences and discarded some scenes. The 1925 version disappeared but a 35mm copy had been made by a private collector. By using this together with the 1942 reissue and three fragments preserved by the Film and Television Archive it has been possible to reconstruct the film almost exactly as Chaplin first released it. the picture quality varies considerably between the available sources. the Intertitles have been re-done using the original wording." For the 1942 version - Criterion have utilized a new 2K digital transfer of the reconstructed original 1925 silent film, restored in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with a newly recorded adaptation of director Charlie Chaplin’s score, presented in 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio.

There is significant difference between the US released SD version so highly lauded (but not by us) in 2003. This is despite the interlacing/ghosting from using an unconverted standard. The 1080P transfer is very impressive with the sound version being generally superior in terms of contrast but both image quality is notably superior to the 2-disc Warner DVD.

The sound version offers an authentic linear PCM mono track at 1152 kbps. The narration and wind effects are very clean. The silent has a dynamic DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a whopping 3740 kbps. The score is brilliant and rich giving a fine representation of sitting with a live orchestra. There are optionla English subtitles on the 1942 version. The Blu-ray disc is region 'A'-locked.

Supplements are extensive with a new audio commentary for the 1925 version by Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance (Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema). This is filled with informative details exported in a professional manner - a typically worthy Criterion commentary. There are three new programs: Presenting “The Gold Rush,” (15:53) which traces the film’s history and features filmmaker Kevin Brownlow and Vance; A Time of Innovation: Visual Effects in “The Gold Rush,” (19:12) featuring effects specialist Craig Barron and Chaplin cinematographer Roland Totheroh; and Music by Charles Chaplin (24:58), featuring conductor and composer Timothy Brock. Chaplin Today: “The Gold Rush”, is a 27-minute documentary, directed by Sergio Le Peron in 2002. It offers a thorough account of he making of The Gold Rush and features interviews with actress Georgia Hale and Hollywood legend Mary Pickford as well as observations by filmmaker Idrissa Ouédraogo. There are 4 trailers last just short of 10-minutes and a liner notes essay by critic Luc Sante and James Agee’s review of the 1942 rerelease.

Magnificent. The Criterion Blu-ray is strong recommended!  

Gary Tooze 

***

ON THE DVD: NOTE: The captures were saved in 640x480 instead of the usual 720x540 using bicubic resize so as not to blur the interlaced fields.

The Gold Rush is presented in two versions in this set, Disc 1 contains a version of the film issued in 1942 that removed all inter-titles from the silent film, added new credits, a new score and descriptive narration by Chaplin, removed some footage and used alternate angles/takes of certain shots throughout the film.

Disc 2 contains the extra material and a print of the original silent film in somewhat damaged condition (though supposedly a restoration effort) and with a somewhat emotionless piano accompaniment.

IMAGE QUALITY
Most people are of the opinion that the original silent issue of the film is the superior one, but in the way it is presented on disc makes me wonder which is the better choice. Both films contain pretty awful image quality. Being transferred from a PAL master (made by MK2), it incorporates the 4% speed-up of that master, and is also rife with interlacing artefacts (combing) as a side effect of the framerate conversion. It only further adds to the problems that the silent version was speed-corrected so that the master had plenty of combing/ghosting to begin with!

Looking past the flaws of conversion and focusing on the transfers as they are in their original PAL state we've unfortunately uncovered more problems that are in fact nearly as unpleasant:

Starting with the print of the silent version, the element used for transfer is in less than adequate condition. The transfer is firstly very unsteady and constantly wobbles to left, right, top and bottom, as well as it is missing a lot of frames throughout. Occasionally the film even goes off of it's sprockets and slips to the left revealing the sprocket holes (see capture 2)! For a so called restoration it looks pretty lousy. All the intertitles have been re-generated and appear distractingly clean and steady in comparison to the rest of the film.

The framing is based, in most cases, on the entire camera negative although several of the alternate angles are cropped on the left, possibly because it was the resting place of a soundtrack.

Chaplin's narrated reissue of the film has other problems. In direct comparison to the silent edition the reissue been consistently cropped on the left, top and bottom by a staggering 18 %. This is due to the fact that the soundtrack was put on the left portion of the originally soundtrack-less film, and the top and bottom cropped accordingly to bring the image down to 1.33:1 again, but this is hardly the way The Gold Rush was ever intended to be seen and, indeed, characters slip out of the frame at the left and tops of heads are occasionally clipped.

Close inspection of the image itself reveals that the right hand side of the image has an overexposed strip of image throughout most of the film, and the film takes on an alternating blue-ish and green-ish tint. Heavy noise reduction has been applied to the film introducing visible dropouts in image detail throughout. Sigh!

Narrated Re-Release: 2 / 5
Silent Original: 2 / 5

AUDIO QUALITY
Chaplin's narrated version is viewable in both 2.0 mono and 5.1 surround. Having what is essentially a silent film remastered in surround is to me pointless exercise but it does sound quite nice with a lot better fidelity than the mono track, but, alas, both are sped up because of their PAL origins.

The soundtrack score for the silent film was for me completely uninvolving. It is a very straightforward piano track played to technical perfection but to no emotional effect. A rerecording of Chaplin's own score to fit the silent would have been more welcome.

Narrated Re-Release (Mono): 3 / 5
Narrated Re-Release (Surround) : 4.5 / 5
Silent Original (Piano): 5 for technical quality, 1 for adequacy.

EXTRAS QUALITY
Not really impressive. The Chaplin Today documentary is very overlong as it spends an abundance of time focusing on some African film maker instead of Chaplin. The Introduction provides a much more concise overlook on the film's production. Trailers and Poster Gallery don't disappoint for what they are. The 1925 cut is also included on the extras disc as are short clips from all the films in the Chaplin Collection.

3.5 / 5

SUMMARY
The NTSC versions of the Warner Chaplin collection have ALL been ported from the PAL masters and are in all areas inferior to their PAL counterparts.

Bottom Line: If you can get the PAL version really cheap it's probably your best option, but avoid this NTSC version like the plague!

 - Finnur Eiríksson

 


Menus
(Warner / MK2 - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT)
 

 
 
 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Warner / MK2 (Sound Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion (Sound Version) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - SECOND

3) Warner / MK2 (Silent Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion (Silent Version) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Subtitle/intertitle sample

 


Warner / MK2 (Sound Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

 

1) Warner / MK2 (Silent Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP
2) Criterion (Silent Version) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner / MK2 (Sound Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion (Sound Version) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - SECOND

3) Warner / MK2 (Silent Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion (Silent Version) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner / MK2 (Sound Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion (Sound Version) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - SECOND

3) Warner / MK2 (Silent Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion (Silent Version) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner / MK2 (Sound Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion (Sound Version) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - SECOND

3) Warner / MK2 (Silent Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion (Silent Version) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner / MK2 (Sound Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion (Sound Version) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - SECOND

3) Warner / MK2 (Silent Version [NTSC]) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion (Silent Version) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Alternate Angle Used


 

More Blu-ray Captures (Sound Version)

 

 

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 
Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Warner / MK2

Region 1 - NTSC

Warner / MK2
Region 1 - NTSC
Criterion Collection - Spine # 615 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 




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