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“Gold Rush” to screen at Smith Opera House

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of Chaplin’s iconic Tramp. The masterfully clever classic, Charlie Chaplin’s “Gold Rush” screens at the Smith Opera House on Friday April 25, Saturday, April 26 and Sunday April 27 at 7:30pm and three short films by Charlie Chaplin: Pay Day, Sunnyside and The Idle Class on Sunday, April 27 at 2pm. The Smith is located at 82 Seneca Street, Geneva. In “The Gold Rush” Chaplin’s familiar tramp figure is a gold prospector, joining the mass of brave optimists to face all the hazards of cold, starvation, solitude, and the occasional incursion of a grizzly bear in the Klondike. The film abounds with now-classic comedy scenes. The historic horrors of the starving 19th century pioneers inspired the sequence in which Charlie and his partner are snowbound and ravenous. Charlie cooks and eats his boot, with all the airs of a gourmand. The lone prospector’s dream of hosting a New Year dinner for the beautiful dance-hall girl (Georgia Hale) provides the opportunity for another famous Chaplin set-piece: the dance of the rolls. The gag had been done before, but Chaplin gives unique personality to the dancing legs created out of forks and rolls. When the film was first shown audiences were so thrilled by the scene that some theatres were obliged to stop the film, roll it back and perform an encore. The Tramp is waylaid from wooing when his partner, who has developed amnesia, prevails upon the Tramp to help him locate his mislaid stash of gold. These and the Tramp’s other misadventures, expertly conveyed through Chaplin’s unhurried and patiently observant style and bashful pantomime, are what mark it as one of his greatest features, the clearest and cleanest fusion of his considerable capacity for pathos and comedy.The idea for THE GOLD RUSH took shape much more quickly than was usual for Chaplin: this was the only one of his great silent comedies that he began to shoot with the story fully worked out. Only two months after the premiere of his previous film, “A Woman of Paris” he had already sent a scenario (provisionally titled The Lucky Strike) for copyright, and set his studio to work on building sets. THE GOLD RUSH was the first of his silent films that Chaplin revived, with the addition of sound, for new audiences. For the 1942 reissue he composed an orchestral score, and replaced the inter-titles with a commentary that he spoke himself. Today, the film appears as one of Chaplin’s most perfectly accomplished films. Though he himself was inclined to be changeable in his affections for his own work, to the end of his life he would frequently declare that of all his films, this was the one by which he would most wish to be remembered. This film is unrated with a total runtime of 95 minutes.Sunday’s matinee features three short films by Charlie Chaplin: Pay Day (Running time: 22min): Charlie is a bricklayer who sets off to celebrate pay day with his pals. But his wife is waiting with the rolling pin; Sunnyside (Running time: 30min): Charlie is a farm laborer who’ll try anything to win over his pretty neighbor, but ends up spending a lot of time in dreamland; The Idle Class (Running time: 32min): Charlie is the spitting image of a rich woman’s drunk husband. At a masked ball, her inability to distinguish one from the other leads to much confusion.Tickets are $6 general admission, $5 students and seniors.The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street, Geneva. Box Office Hours are Monday through Friday, 10am to 5pm. Phone: 315-781-5483 Email: boxoffice@thesmith.orgFor event listing and more information about The Smith and The Smith Center For The Arts, visit our website thesmith.org.

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