Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray
Plot: A lone prospector ventures into Alaska looking for gold. He gets mixed up with some burly characters and falls in love with the beautiful Georgia. He tries to win her heart with his singular charm.
The "dancing rolls" sequence was so popular with audiences that, in some cases (such as the film's Berlin premiere), projectionists stopped the film and replayed the scene.
Charles Chaplin stated that this was the film by which he most wanted to be remembered.
The scene where The Lone Prospector and Big Jim have a boot for supper took three days and 63 takes to suit director Charles Chaplin. The boot was made of licorice, and Chaplin was later rushed to a hospital suffering insulin shock. The boot was made by the firm of Hillaby's in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England; Pontefract is famous for growing licorice and making it into "Pomfret [Pontefract] Cakes".
Originally a stagehand wore the chicken suit from Jim's hallucination. But when he couldn't mime Charles Chaplin's walk and manners, Chaplin himself donned the suit.
At the time of filming, Charles Chaplin and Georgia Hale were having an affair, so that when their finale's lingering kiss was filmed, it was (according to Hale in Unknown Chaplin ) "not acting". By the time the movie was re-issued in 1942, Chaplin was long done with Hale, and he trimmed their final scene to exclude the long kiss.
Mack Swain decided to quit, complaining that he couldn't bear such a vigorous role wearing a thick fur winter suit. Chaplin let him leave, but decided to coax him back. Unfortunately, Swain had already shaved and rather than have him wear a fake beard, Chaplin decided to pause production until Swain regrew his beard.
A real American Black Bear was used for the scene where the "Lone Prospector" encounters the beast. This was unusual for the time, when it was normal for very phoney-looking costumed men to play large animals.
In his autobiography, Charles Chaplin revealed he had the idea for this film at Pickfair, the home of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. Indeed, his two friends and associates were showing him pictures of Alaska and Klondike. One of them was picturing prospectors climbing the Chilkoot col, which gave Chaplin the subject of his next movie.
During production, Charles Chaplin's short-lived marriage to Lita Grey collapsed and he embarked on an affair with leading lady Georgia Hale.
The part of Georgia (the showgirl) was originally written for Charles Chaplin's new wife Lita Grey, but she was replaced by Georgia Hale when she became pregnant.
While searching for a new leading lady, Chaplin rediscovered Lita Grey, whom he had employed, as a pretty 12-year-old, in The Kid (1921). Still not yet sixteen, Lillita was put under contract and re-named Lita Grey. Chaplin quickly embarked on a clandestine affair with her; and when the film was six months into shooting, Lita discovered she was pregnant. Chaplin found himself forced into a marriage which brought misery to both partners, though it produced two sons, Charles Jr. and Sydney Chaplin. As a result of these events, production for The Gold Rush (1925) was shut down for three months.