The Gold Rush – A Hollywood Comedy Classic

The Gold Rush, the 1925 silent screen comedy, is generally thought to be Charlie Chaplin’s most well known film. Throughout the history of motion pictures, both film critics and viewers have always considered this Chaplin film to be a true Hollywood comedy classic from the silent era.

It tells the story of the equally famous and loved Chaplin character ‘The Little Tramp’ (called The Lone Prospector in this film) as he travels to Alaska hoping to take part in the Great Alaska Gold Rush. Instead, as luck and bad weather would have it, he finds himself stranded in a remote backwoods cabin with another gold prospector and an escaped fugitive for company.

Eventually, when the weather subsides, ‘The Lone Prospector’ again sets out for a nearby gold-rush community. While there he takes the job of tending another prospectors cabin, and finds himself falling in love with Georgia, a saloon girl, whom he mistakenly assumes loves him as well.

While known as a great comedy, this film is also rich in social satire, drama, and emotional tenderness.

The film features a number of famous scenes that include the Chaplin character preparing Thanksgiving dinner for himself and another stranded and starving prospector by boiling and eating a leather shoe (provided by the American Licorice Company), and its laces as if they were noodles. In another, the cabins occupants scramble to exit as the cabin itself balances dangerously on the edge of a cliff before falling into the valley below.

A famous sequence, considered by many to be one of the most memorable in Chaplin’s career, shows The Lone Prospector entertaining his imaginary New Year’s Eve guests at dinner by piercing two bread rolls with forks and having them dance as though they were the legs of a real dancer. This scene was recreated in a 1994 episode of ‘The Simpsons,’ titled ‘Lady Bouvier’s Lover’.

The comedy classic is still being enjoyed by audiences today and ranks as the fifth highest grossing silent film, and the highest grossing silent film comedy of all-time.

The movie was again released by Chaplin in 1942 with sound narration and a musical score that were spoken and arranged by Chaplin. He also tightened the editing to reduce the films running time, changed some minor plot points, and removed the kissing scene at the end eliminating a subplot where the character is tricked into believing the Georgia loved him. This re-release was a huge hit world wide.

In 1992, The Gold Rush was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress. This motion picture is a must see for anyone interested in a Hollywood comedy classic from the silent era.

Do Romantic Comedies Really Do Well at the Box Office?

Every year around the holidays, we are faced with a new slew of romantic comedies addressing holiday themes. But do these films really do as well in the box office as other genres of film? If not, why do they keep getting produced as steadily as films of other genres?

I recently looked at the list of the top 100 highest grossing movies of all time. On the list only a meager two films on the list were romantic comedies. Namely, Meet the Fockers, and Pretty Woman. So only 2% of the top grossing films of all time were romantic? Seems rather dismal. I suppose, two other films loosely could be called romantic comedies: Ghost and Mamma Mia. However in my opinion Ghost qualifies more as a supernatural romantic film than a romantic comedy. Mamma Mia qualifies more as a musical.

So why does the box office year after year turn over whole new slate of romantic comedies when only two romantic comedies have been considered massive box office successes? How does any filmmaker get funding for a film, if its pretty much guaranteed to make less money than other films of other genres. In my opinion, the main reason that romantic comedies keep getting made is that romantic comedies are cheaper to produce than other genres. Therefore, it is easier and perhaps quicker to turn a profit on these films.

The genres that are the hugest box offices successes are also, no surprise, much more expensive. We have our massive budget blockbuster, record-breaking successes like Titanic and Lord of the Rings (loaded to the gills with special and visual fx, action, stars, and elaborate sets and costumes. Then we have our intensive animation category ie Lion King, Shrek and Cars, also very expensive to create(sometimes taking massive animation teams years and years to produce.)

Additionally, the Hollywood industry wants to make sure seats are filled once the film is released to theatres. Producing romantic comedies, or yes let’s just go ahead and say it, why don’t we, “Chick Flicks,” are a very safe bet. Women, year after year, are guaranteed to drag men into the theatres to watch romantic comedies.

Before you go ahead and view me as being sexist in this viewpoint, I just want to point out that I am a woman. And I am a woman who doesn’t really enjoy romantic comedies very much. Yet I too have to profess I have, on quite a few occasions, dragged a man, kicking and screaming even, to see a “Chick Flick.” Sometimes the occasion is just perfect for a romantic comedy and no other film will suffice. For example, romantic comedies are an enticing pick for dates and romantic occasions such as valentines’ day. You can bet (and Hollywood can bet too) that every single weekend there are countless couples on dates. Countless couples settle on the relatively safe bet of seeing a romantic comedy.

Romantic comedies do not fare so well at the box office when you look at the top grossing films of all time; however, it is easy to understand why they are churned out year after year. When adjusted for how much romantic comedies cost to make vs. how much they gross, I am certain the statistics would be much different. These films cost nowhere near as much to make as action films, animated films or fx-driven films and they have a steady and reliable built-in audience. Hollywood always enjoys a safe bet, and “chick flicks” are no doubt safe. There is always some newly dating couple out to see a movie, looking to choose something innocuous, yet romantic.

A Great Reason Why People Need to Watch Comedy Movies

Everyone needs a good laugh from time to time. That is when we go to see a good comedy. There are many reasons why this genre of movies is good. Everyone needs a little bit of laughter at some point in their life. They have to smile because things in this life just wear us out and break us down. However, there is a good thing or two to know about comedies.

Comedies are suitable for people from all age groups. There are cartoons for kids and more matured content for adults and teenagers. Comedy is a way to keep people from all walks of life entertained. Some comedies are based on family values, therefore making it suitable for parents and children to watch and enjoy together.

Nevertheless, some of the materials used to make people laugh have been pretty controversial. There have been some comedies that are based on jokes that demean a person’s sexual orientation. Gays and lesbians have been bashed greatly in most comedy flicks. It is very common to turn on your TV to watch a movie, and to find that there is a gay or lesbian in the movie that has all the perceived characteristics associated with homosexuals.

There are also some films that make comedy out of racist jokes. People tend to laugh when they show a movie where a Mexican is driving a van recklessly when there are other drivers on the road. Some make racist jokes about black people. Contrary to what is being fought for by human rights, our society has taught us that making fun with racism is very acceptable.

There might have been times that come you have gone to watch a comedy movie and left the cinema finding that the movie is not funny at all. There are some movies that just try too hard to be funny. You probably would have seen at least one of these lousy comedies. We wonder where the directors came up with such a plot for these films. It is almost as though someone who was smoking weed had put random videos together and called it a movie.

However, there are some comedies that touch the heart and stick to you. Many favored movies that made jokes about previous movies that have been released. Many of you will remember the Scary Movies films which made fun of several horror movies. We laughed because Scary Movie made fun of other horrific and scary movies, and turned it into a light-hearted movie.

We should have a little time for comedies in our lives. It is what we need after a tough or bad day. Sometimes, we don’t want the fairy tale ending. We don’t want to think. We just want to laugh and enjoy the show. This is what top 10 comedy movies do for us. It is also the type of movie you can go to when you want to watch something alone. And at the same time, you can watch comedies together with a group of friends. Finally, comedies will be perfect if you just need to calm down and lose yourself for the moment.