The Gold Rush

  • Directors: Charlie Chaplin
  • Producers: Charlie Chaplin
  • Writers: Charlie Chaplin
  • Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Romance, Western
  • Actors: Charlie Chaplin, Georgia Hale, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman, Malcolm Waite

The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) travels to Alaska to take part in the Alaska Gold Rush. Bad weather strands him in a remote cabin with a prospector who has found a large gold deposit (Mack Swain) and an escaped fugitive (Tom Murray), after which they part ways, with the prospector and the fugitive fighting over the prospector’s claim, ending the prospector receiving a blow to the head and the fugitive falling off a cliff to his death. The Tramp eventually finds himself in a gold rush town where he ultimately decides to give up prospecting. After taking a job looking after another prospector’s cabin, he falls in love with a lonely saloon girl (Georgia Hale) whom he mistakenly thinks has fallen in love with him. He soon finds himself waylaid by the prospector he met earlier, who has developed amnesia and needs the Tramp to help him find his claim by leading him to the cabin.

Particularly famous scenes include:

One sequence was altered in the 1942 re-release so that instead of the Tramp finding a note from Georgia which he mistakenly believes is for him, he actually receives the note from her. Another major alteration is the ending, in which the now-wealthy Tramp originally gave Georgia a lingering kiss; the sound version ends before this scene.

Modern Times

  • Directors: Charlie Chaplin
  • Producers: Charles Chaplin
  • Writers: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Stanley Sandford, Chester Conklin

Modern Times portrays Chaplin as a factory worker, employed on an assembly line. After being subjected to such indignities as being force-fed by a “modern” feeding machine and an accelerating assembly line where Chaplin screws nuts at an ever-increasing rate onto pieces of machinery, he suffers a mental breakdown. Chaplin is sent to a hospital. Following his recovery the now unemployed Chaplin is mistakenly arrested for leading a Communist demonstration when he was only attempting to return a flag (a red flag) that fell off a delivery truck. In jail, he accidentally eats smuggled cocaine, mistaking it for salt. In his subsequent delirious state he walks into a jailbreak and knocks out the convicts. He is hailed a hero and is released.

Outside the jail, he discovers life is harsh, and attempts to get arrested after failing to get a decent job. He soon runs into an orphan girl (the “gamine”), played by Paulette Goddard, who is fleeing the police after stealing a loaf of bread. To save the girl he tells police that he is the thief and ought to be arrested. However, a witness reveals his deception and he is freed. In order to get arrested again, he eats an enormous amount of food at a cafeteria without paying. He meets up with the gamine in the paddy wagon, which crashes, and they escape. Dreaming of a better life, he gets a job as a night watchman at a department store, sneaks the gamine into the store and even lets burglars have some food. Waking up the next morning in a pile of clothes, he is arrested once more.

Ten days later, the gamine takes him to a new home – a run-down shack which she admits “isn’t Buckingham Palace” but will do. The next morning, Chaplin reads about a new factory and lands a job there. He gets his boss trapped in machinery, but manages to extricate him. The other workers decide to go on strike. Accidentally paddling a brick into a policeman, he is arrested again. Two weeks later, he is released and learns that the gamine is a cafГ© dancer, and she tries to get him a job as a singer. By night, he becomes an efficient waiter though he finds it difficult to tell the difference between the “in” and “out” doors to the kitchen, or to successfully deliver a roast duck to table. During his floor show, he loses a cuff that bears the lyrics of his song, but he rescues his act by improvising the words in gibberish while pantomiming. His act proves a hit. When police arrive to arrest the gamine for her earlier escape, they escape again. Finally, we see them walking down a road at dawn, towards an uncertain but hopeful future.