Lack of education had not held Charlie back... And he knew he must move on. It was a risk, but one that had to be taken. After some disappointments and anxieties, he eventually signed with the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company of Chicago. In December 1914, Charlie left for Chicago, his apprentice days in film behind him.
The Tramp was a big step forward. In it, the Little Tramp, whom most people remember when they think of Charlie Chaplin, put in his first proper appearance. He chose a bowler hat, slightly too small for him, a tight jacket, outsize pants, enormous boots and a jaunty little swagger cane-- the Little Tramp. And he had picked up the toes-out shuffle watching an old drunk when he was a child. The whole world was to take the character to its heart-- small and shabby, a strange mixture of child and man, gentle, wiseful, mischievous, brave, and always a survivor.
Charlie Chaplin was now famous-- only 26, he was a star, known throughout the world, probably the first person ever to receive the kind of mass adulation now common with rock stars."
Charlie Chaplin is a person in pursuit of perfection. He have to produce great quantities of work, and then cut it to shape. The film "the immigrant" released in June 1917, entailed forty thousand feet of film being shot. It took Charlie four days and four nights to cut it to the required eighteen hundred feet. He viewed each scene perhaps fifty times before he decided exactly where to cut.
In 1914, World War I had broken out. Chaplin contributed to the war in the best way he knew how-- he made a film "Shoulder Arms". He made a comedy set in the trenches. The returning troops enjoyed it. Being able to laugh at the insanity of war had been their only real defence. Two days after its release, Charlie married Mildred Harris, pretty in the same way as his first love Hetty Kelly. It was hopeless even from the very start. He had only one way to face such sorrow. He threw himself into work on a new feature-- length film called The Kid. The kid tackled another social concern that deeply upset Charlie Chaplin-- the treatment of abandoned children. The Kid was a success. But Charlie’s private world continued to fall apart. In November, 1920, they were officially divorced.
Then once again, he chose the most unlikely of subjects for his inspection, and once again he dedicated his comic genius to tackling a great social injustice. He had been reading about the sufferings of the gold prospectors in the Klondike. He decided to make Gold Rush, which was to be one of his most famous films.