GOLD RUSH, THE (1925, USA)
directed by: Charles Chaplin

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IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0015864

Submitted by Charley Leary on 2007-02-03

Charley Leary's comment:
Following the Liepa method here, but I'm sorry to say this measurement isn't perfect. I hit shot change instead of dialogue intertitle on 2 or 3 occasions in the last act of the film.


Name:
shot
exposit
dialog
Number of shots:
731
50
88
Length(min):
84.16
5
4.76
ASL(sec):
6.9
6
3.2
MSL 4.5 5.2 3.1
MSL/ASL
0.65
0.87
0.95
StDev 6.7 3.8 1.9
Min 0.6 1.2 0.6
Max 53.7 21.1 12.4
CV 0.97 0.64 0.59
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Step: Vertical resolution: Height:
Degree of the trendline: Moving average : Color code?


Users' comments:

Author: Yuri Tsivian Date: 2007-02-03

I assume this is the original version -- not the 1942 reissue which is shorter than I can see this graph is, and has less intertitles. You must have seen it projected at 18 fps -- at 20 fps (which I believe is the right speed for 1925 it should be around 80 minutes long.

An interesting and perhaps telling thing is the slow beginning and the fast ending here. Telling because the film begins in the vast snowy deserts of Alaska and ends with the narrow spaces of a ship decks and cabins. I think the character of a location does reflect on the cutting pace of a film, and of films like The Gold Rush in particular. This is something Charley has done for a Cassavetes movie and Matt for Stagecoach, but I think one day one of us should remeasure this film in the "locations" modes.

Author: Yuri Tsivian Date: 2007-02-03

One more: on the fact that this film is close to the Greek cross proportion (ASL=StDev). I must add here that Vanja Dukic (the statistics professor Matt and I talked with in December) said that the Greek cross concept makes sense as a yardstick to distinguish between films with larger or smaller dispersion of takes.

Author: Charley Leary Date: 2007-02-04

I watched the 1925 version on 2003 DVD...not sure the frame rate used...

The early scenes are also, by the way, heavy on expository titles (some quite long), while the end of the film priveleges snappy, quicker dialogue titles.

Author: Yuri Tsivian Date: 2007-02-04

How does one solve this mind-bogging problem?

Elementary, Charley Leary, elementary. Uncheck both title categories, go to Degree 6, then 12; the profile remains the same, though less pronounced. Now do the contrary. This means that both factors -- locations and titles are at work.

That the line does not change radically with any of the boxes unchecked is a good sign. To me it means that Chaplin was a smart editor who knew when he can afford a longer take and a verbose title -- and when they must be snappy to keep the gags changing.




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