Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp was, and still is, beloved by many around the world. His universal appeal goes beyond the humorous situations and slapstick antics that occur. The character inspires through his frequent exhibition of heart and spirit. He's obviously down on his luck, regularly seen in shabby clothes and lacking a family or home, yet rather than be mean and resentful about his position in life, each day offers an opportunity to be better off than yesterday. With this attitude, it's understandable why the character, identified in the credits as The Lone Prospector, headed off with thousands of others at the close of the 19th century to the Yukon Territory with dreams up striking it rich during "The Gold Rush.
First released in 1925, The Gold Rush finds the Tramp pitted against nature, both the elements of the Yukon and a selfish few that populate it. During a storm, he finds shelter in the cabin of Black Larsen (Tom Murray), a wanted fugitive. Larsen threatens to kick him out into but another prospector, Big Jim McKay (Mack Swain), arrives at the cabin and tells Larsen they are both staying. Larsen heads out for food and discovers Jim's claim and takes it over. The Tramp and Jim are so hungry their desperation leads to an iconic scene where they boil and eat one of the Tramp's shoes.
When they part company after the storm has died, Jim returns to his claim. Black hits him so hard in the head he awakes with amnesia. The Tramp heads to town and is befriended by fellow prospector Hank Curtis (Henry Bergman), who allows him to stay in his cabin while he checks on his claim. He mistakenly assumes Georgia (Georgia Hale), a dance hall girl, is romantically interested when she dances with him to make Jack (Malcolm Waite) jealous. Later, he invites her and her friends over for New Year's Eve, which they accept with no intention of attending. While he waits, he falls asleep and dreams he is the most charming of hosts, entertaining them with another iconic scene as he uses a pair of rolls to dance for them.