The Immigrant and the Gold Rush
CINÉPHILE SUNDAYS: 100 Years of Tramps
The Cinéphile Sundays series offers exemplary films—five each semester—from all parts of the globe and all periods of cinematic history. This fall, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin’s creation of the character of the Tramp, by showing three of his films (one short and two features), plus three other films made in the spirit of the Tramp’s subversive laughter.
About Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin was born Charles Spencer Chaplin in London, England, in 1889. His big break came when he was spotted by an American producer and shortly thereafter took on 35 small roles in a single year. To distinguish himself, he decided to play a single identifiable character. The tramp was born. His career spanned over 75 years with 11 directorial credits, 4 wives, 6 sons, and 5 daughters.
The Immigrant (1917)
The Immigrant is a silent comedy that follows the Tramp as an immigrant coming to the United States who is accused of theft on the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. The short film includes the famous scene where Chaplin’s character kicks an immigration officer that was cited later as evidence of his anti-Americanism when he was forced to leave the United States in 1952.
The Gold Rush (1925)
The film is the quintessential Chaplin/Little Tramp film, with a balance of slapstick comedy and pantomime, social satire, and dramatic moments of tenderness. It was Chaplin's own personal favorite film, showcasing the Tramp as a romantic idealist and lone gold prospector at the turn of the century, with his cane, derby, distinctive walk, tight shabby suit, and mustache.