charlie chaplinThis movie was made when Charlie was at his most popular and film studios could not afford him.  5 Years before he, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford started United Artists. 

The Gold Rush filming started with the whole story done which was unusual for Chaplin.
It took 1.5 years to finish

Charlie was 35 when he started filming the “Gold Rush.”

The leading lady to begin with was Lilitta McMurray who had been in The Kid at twelve years old.  Now she was 16 when cast as the leading lady of The Gold Rush.  Her name was changed to Lita Grey and a romance with Charlie followed and a pregnancy followed that which halted production and the introduction of a new leading lady, Georgia Hale.

charlie cooks bootCharlie married Lita and they had two sons, Charles Jr. and Sidney  Lita was wife two of four and the two boys were two of 11 children he had.  Married 1924 divorced 1927

Charlie would also have a romance from time to time with Georgia. Georgia was 19.  At the conclusion of the film Charlie was having an affair with Georgia so that the final kiss between Charlie and Georgia was not acting (see below).

In 1942 Charlie added music and commentary and removed the scene of him kissing Georgia at the end feeling a more chaste ending was appropriate.  The affair was over by then.w

600 extra were hired from among the derelicts and vagrants of Sacramento and they were taken by train to the Summit. See picture below.

Truckee ski club cleared the path up the “Chilcoot Pass” in what would become Sugar Bowl 14 years later.
The Sierra shooting took two weeks but a lot of the cast got colds and Charlie got the flu.  The remainder of the shooting took place in Hollywood were sets were constructed of
chicken wire
250,000 board feet of lumber

This was so different, the Alaskans wilderness in Hollywood that the set became a popular tourist spot.

Elaborate models were constructed and the filming was done so well you cannot see the transitions between models and sets.

singleclimberMuch of the Sierra footage was left on the floor

Charlie was the chicken

There was 27 times more film filmed than used
The scene where The Lone Prospector and Big Jim have a boot for supper (above to the left) took three days and 63 takes to Charlie. The boot was made of liquorice, and Chaplin was later rushed to hospital suffering insulin shock and had to have his stomach pumped. The boot was made by the firm of Hillaby's in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England; Pontefract is famous for growing liquorice and making it into "Pomfret [Pontefract] Cakes"

charliegeorgiakissingGeorgia Hale never made the transition to talkies.  She became wealthy through real estate

Length was 95 minutes for the original, 72 for the 1942 version, and 81 for edited version in 1925

Dance of the rolls was so popular that in some theaters the film had to be stopped and the dance run again and again.