Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Gold Rush (1925)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Gold Rush (1925)

In Charlie Chaplin's early silent classic, featuring the Tramp's (Charlie Chaplin) trademark look: mustache, baggy pants, bowler hat, cane:

  • in the setting of the Alaskan Klondike gold rush in 1898, the inventive, pantomime scene of two famished, marooned fortune-seekers celebrating Thanksgiving Day dinner in their isolated cabin: the starving Lone Prospector (Charlie Chaplin) and his large cabin-mate and companion Big Jim McKay (Mack Swain); the Prospector cooked his own boot in a large pot; he took on airs as if he was a gourmet at a feast; when he served the shoe, he split the sole, cutting it like a filet, and set the smaller portion before his companion; Big Jim greedily switched the plates to get the upper portion of the shoe; the Prospector delicately chewed on the lower sole part, treating it like a delicate piece of fish as he picked his way through the leather - he treated the laces like spaghetti, coiling them about his fork; he daintily sucked the nails like they were the bones of a game bird
Thanksgiving Feast of a Boiled Boot
The Tramp Hallucinated as a Giant Chicken
The Cabin at Edge of a Crevasse
  • the scene in which Big Jim McKay during a blizzard hallucinated that the Tramp was a giant chicken and chased him with a gun
  • the later scene of the teetering cabin on the edge of a crevasse
  • the comical dance scene with saloon girl (Georgia Hale) in the Monte Carlo Dance Hall when he danced with her and his pants kept falling down; he improvised with a dog's rope to create a makeshift belt, until it chased a cat and dragged him across the dance floor
  • the Tramp's preparations for a charming, entertaining New Year's Eve dinner party with Georgia and her friends, although they never intended to attend and laughed at his foolish gullibility, but he fell more deeply in love with her nonetheless; as 8 pm approached, he had already set the table with lighted candles, table napkins, and a heart-shaped place card at Georgia's seat, with "To My Love" written on it; he dozed off while pathetically waiting for them to appear; he dreamt of the party - becoming the perfect host/entertainer; in a classic gag, "the Dance of the Rolls," he speared two crusty French bread rolls with forks and made them do a pantomime ballet-dance - the Oceana Roll; the two rolls were stand-ins for his big boots
Setting the Table
Dreaming a Festive Party
"The Dance of the Rolls"
  • after being awakened by a gunshot at midnight, the scene of the lonely Tramp's hearing (in profile) of the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" and knowing that he had been stood up at his party
  • in the closing, the Tramp - now a newly-made millionaire (due to a gold-mine strike), was an elegant, well-dressed gentleman on board a ship in first-class, returning home from Alaska; when the Tramp fell off the deck during picture taking for a reporter's story on his incredible rags-to-riches transformation, he tumbled onto the steerage level where he encountered Georgia who thought he was a stowaway; she offered to protect him but then, the truth was revealed that he was a wealthy millionaire, and the film ended with his fiancee Georgia having engagement pictures taken with him - the photographer was perturbed that they moved to kiss each other and spoiled the shot

The Tramp in Alaska

The Tramp Meeting and Dancing with Saloon Girl Georgia

Falling Off Deck Onto Steerage Level

Rendezvous with Georgia


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