The Gold Rush
Recommended for ages 8 & up
Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Georgia Hale,
Chaplin said that The Gold Rush was the film for which he would like to be remembered; it glitters with some of his most memorable nuggets of comedy. In the frozen wastes of the Klondike, where hordes endure hardship in the quest for gold, Chaplin’s hapless Lone Prospector takes shelter in the cabin of a hungry giant, who hallucinates Charlie into a startlingly convincing chicken. In other oft-excerpted scenes, our hero is reduced to eating his own boot, leads a pair of rolls in a graceful soft-shoe dance, and tries to escape a cabin teetering on the brink of an abyss. But The Gold Rush is more than the sum of its moments: Chaplin’s comedy of desperation and get-rich-quick fantasies both looks back to the tragic folly of the Donner Party and also lampoons the mad American hunger for wealth that remains as ravenous as ever.