review for The Gold Rush on AllMovie

The Gold Rush (1925)
by Lucia Bozzola review

The film he said he wanted to be remembered by, Charles Chaplin's masterwork seamlessly combined humor and tragedy as his refined and compassionate little tramp struggled to strike gold in 1898 Alaska. Chaplin's gift for sight gags and intricate mime is most memorably displayed as he feasts on a boiled boot sole, twirling the laces like spaghetti and sucking on the nails as if they were a gourmet delicacy. Even as Chaplin makes comedy out of starvation and struggle, he reveals the dehumanizing effects of greed as it impinges on the capacity to love. Over a year in production and filmed partly on location near Lake Tahoe to recreate the look of photos of Yukon prospectors, The Gold Rush became Chaplin's first hit for his United Artists studio, reaffirming his superstar status after a directorial detour through drama in A Woman of Paris (1923). The reedited 1942 reissue included music and new narration by Chaplin. The Gold Rush has often been paired with Buster Keaton's The General (1927) as the two greatest silent comedies.