Carole Lombard tested for the female lead after Lita Grey's unexpected pregnancy forced her to drop out of the film.
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.
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 1983) "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.
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #58 Greatest American Movie of All Time.
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.
Included among the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Jay Schneider.
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.
Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006.
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.
The 2,500 men playing prospectors were real vagrants who were hired for one day's pay.
The first of Charles Chaplin's silent films which he revived with the addition of sound for new audiences.
The movie's poster was as #13 of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere.
The only Charles Chaplin silent comedy in which he began to shoot with a story fully worked out.
The only location shot used in the final cut of the film is opening shot of the miners heading up Chilkoot Pass.
The part of Georgia (the showgirl) was originally written for Chaplin's new wife Lita Grey, but she was replaced by Georgia Hale when she became pregnant.
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 liquorice, and Chaplin was later rushed to hospital suffering insulin shock. 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".
There was 27 times more film shot than appeared in the final cut.
This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1992.
This movie was re-released in theaters in 1942 with a new musical score. Much of the new music was written by Charles Chaplin himself, in collaboration with musical director Max Terr. Chaplin also added sound effects to the film, and replaced the silent movie title cards with descriptive voice-over narration. (The 1942 version is included in the two-disc Special Edition DVD of The Gold Rush.) The new release of the film received two Oscar nominations in 1943 - for Best Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, and (ironically) for Best Sound.
Was voted the 15th Greatest Film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.