Director: Charlie Chaplin
Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Georgia Hale, Mack Swain
I don't know if I would call The Gold Rush Charlie Chaplin's best film (though I am going to argue that it features his best performance), but I think that it might be the film that best exemplifies Chaplin's ability to raise sentimentality to an art form. I'm not ashamed to say that as the film approached its end with The Tramp in a position of triumph and started to hint at how it might all be stripped away from him, I was actually tempted to stop the movie because I couldn't bear the thought of seeing The Tramp lose everything after all that. I should have known better, of course, since Chaplin is an unabashed master at happy endings, but it's a testament to how expertly Chaplin could play on an audience's emotions that he could potentially bring you to that point and make you feel so deeply invested in his silly little character, even if you're a cynical cinephile like me.