Directed, written, and starring Charlie Chaplin, The Gold Rush is just a trampy story of a man’s search for the ultimate treasure…gold. Also, love. It takes about 20 minutes of silent snow fun for me to realize that slapstick comedy has its limits. It has a monotonous, repetitive score that seems fitting for some scenes and completely unnecessary in others. With interesting SFX for nearly a century ago, and a likeable, believable, cutesy romance, the film has its perks. And Charlie Chaplin is a character all his own, so naturally he’s the best at it. But The Gold Rush greatly overplays this simple plot and makes for a rather dull showing.
Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Directed by Sergei Eisenstein, Battleship Potemkin tells the interesting story of a ship mutiny and subsequent street demonstration. It has some shockingly bold and gruesome scenes, a wonderful score, and many brilliant on-location shots. But at times it seems like a “day in the life” story without much character development. Plus, it’s silent. Drab.