The Gold Rush Background

The Gold Rush Background

Charlie Chaplin took two years to produce The Gold Rush. During that time he got an underage girl pregnant and was forced into a marriage he didn’t want. That pregnancy incurred a change in leading ladies and by the time film was into full swing his new star has also become his new love in real life. The main supporting actor got fed up with the working conditions involving being in heavy fur coat and decided to part way with his director’s blessing. Soon thereafter, Chaplin decided he had to have his co-star back, but the production had to be put on hold until the actor regrew his burly beard. All signs pointed to a disaster, but instead The Gold Rush became the film Chaplin said shortly after its release that he hoped would be the film he was remembered for.

Indeed, he is remembered for The Gold Rush. In addition to consistently being the Chaplin film which ranks highest in polls of the greatest films ever made, The Gold Rush also contains two sequences most identified with Chaplin even by those who are not fans: the eating of his shoe and the dancing dinner rolls. Although subsequent Chaplin films like City Lights, Modern Times and The Great Dictator have eclipsed The Gold Rush in the view of many film lovers, critics and scholars, The Gold Rush still maintains its position as the film which turned the corner for Chaplin in terms of being a complete filmmaker capable of integrating set comic pieces for his character The Little Tramp into a larger and more expansive narrative.

The 1925 silent film was re-released in 1942 with the addition of sound effects and music. Somewhat ironically considering Chaplin’s distaste for the coming of sound, the 1942 version managed snag Oscar nominations for Best Musical Score and Best Sound Recording.

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