The Film that Inspired Comedy

         Gold Rush, directed by Charlie Chaplin in 1925 was very amusing. I feel that the intentions of the movie were to illustrate a rag to riches inspirational/love story. The tone was comical and depicted original comedy acts that are the foundation for modern comedy. The script was easy to follow because the dialogue was completed by one person, which was the voice of Charlie Chaplin, dubbed in much later.

        In regards to characters, the main character was Charlie Chaplin. He played the "little fellow" of the movie. His character was the odd man in the group. For instance his wardrobe was very different from those of the other men in the movie. Although, his clothing was second-hand, ragged, yet inspired to be classy and sophisticated. The other men were dressed appropriately for the cold weather in warm heavy clothing. I thought the chicken costume was absolutely hilarious because it actually resembled a real chicken. For that time period, I feel the costume was crafted very well. As for the customers of the women, the dresses were elegant and classier than those of the other costumes in the movie.

         Gold Rush made several improvements in sound and art direction when compared to Erich von Stroheim's 1924 Greed, which was only directed one year prior to the film. The camera shots, along with the special effects, were far more advanced. Most of the film was shot in the log cabin, but several scenes were shot outside in the snowy mountains near Lake Tahoe. I was very impressed with the avalanche scene because it was believable due to the camera shots. This scene happened to be my favorite because of the simplicity of the repetitive action of the two men trying to escape from the falling cabin. The basic comedy act of this particular scene has been reinvented several times in film and television. Lastly, the music score was classical and enhanced the emotion of each scene. Overall, the film was very enjoyable and provoked a lot of laughter.

Ryan Hays

Table of Contents