101 Funniest Screenplays

There is more than mere laughter in The Gold Rush,” said Mordaunt Hall, film critic for The New York Times, in 1925. “Masked by ludicrous situations is something of the comedian's early life – the hungry days in London, the times when he was depressed by disappointments, the hopes, his loneliness and the adulation he felt for successful actors.” According to charliechaplin.com, Chaplin’s inspiration for The Gold Rush was twofold – “some stereoscope pictures of the 1986 Klondike gold rush,” and a book he’d read about the Donner Party, whose starving members had been forced to turn to cannibalism. Among the film’s memorable Chaplin moments are his use of two dinner rolls and two forks to create a dancing pantomime, and the sublime way he boils a boot, gutting it like a fish, before serving it for him and his starving prospecting compatriot, Big Jim.