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IB Film - Case Studies
The Gold Rush

Director: Charles Chaplin 

Country: USA 

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Romance, Western 

Synposis: The Tramp travels to Alaska to take part in the Alaska Gold Rush, where he ultimately decides to give up prospecting. He than takes a job looking after another prospector's cabin, he falls in love with a saloon girl (whom he mistakenly thinks has fallen in love with him). He finds himself waylaid by a prospector, who needs the Tramp to help him find his claim.


During the Great Gold Rush to Alaska, men in thousands came from all parts of the world. Many of them were ignorant of the hardships before them - The intense cold, the lack of food and a journey through regions of ice and snow were the problems that awaited them. The Gold Rush was the first of Chaplin's classic silents that he converted to a sound version in this fashion It was a huge success in the US and worldwide. It is the fifth highest grossing silent film in cinema history, taking in more than $4,250,001 at the box office in 1926. It is in fact the highest grossing silent comedy film. In its original 1925 release, The Gold Rush was generally praised by critics. The scene where Chaplin eats his shoe (in reality, made of licorice) has become iconic and has been referenced briefly in The Simpsons episode Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes? In 1992, The Gold Rush was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The "roll dance" the tramp character performs in the film is considered one of the most memorable scenes in film history. The bit was briefly homaged by Curly Howard in the 1935 Three Stooges film Pardon My Scotch. In more recent times, it was replicated by Johnny Depp's character in the 1993 film Benny and Joon and by Grampa Simpson in the 1994 episode of The Simpsons entitled "Lady Bouvier's Lover". The Gold Rush was the first of Chaplin's classic silents that he converted to a sound version in this fashion.

Roberta Kovacs




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