The Gold Rush

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
The Gold Rush Movie Poster Image
A great silent comedy classic, with comic gunplay.
  • NR
  • 1925
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the history of movies by experiencing this silent film. Some historical information that might pique kids' interest.

Positive Messages

This is a classic underdog story where a lonesome little guy, good-hearted and unpretentious, perseveres and finds success against the odds. Also, the idea that true love is more important than money or looks.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Lone Prospector is always polite and kind. While Georgia seems as flippant as her party-girl entourage, she comes to recognize the smitten LP's decency (though his newfound millions probably are no deal-breakers either).

Violence & Scariness

Rifles are menacingly pointed, and some men are shot with revolvers -- fatally but bloodlessly. Comical scuffling, as one hallucinating starving guy tries to eat another. The violence hardly makes an impact due to the silent format.

Sexy Stuff

Some romance.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Saloon drinking, New Years celebrating, and smoking by various characters.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Gold Rush is a classic silent comedy that includes men shot down with guns, some hand-to-hand roughhousing, and a villain falling off a cliff. There is some drinking and smoking among the characters.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written by14728 August 8, 2012


This is an amazing movie. It's great for anyone in kindergarten and beyond
Parent of a 8, 10, and 13-year-old Written byDenise A. June 2, 2019


A great family film for almost any age, our kids loved it and laughed all the way through. It's not too heavy, and the 'title cards' are easily r... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byLukeCon August 12, 2020

Witty silent-comedy mixes history with comedy; appropriate for kids

The Gold Rush is a blend of history, romance, and comedy. This is a very good concept used throughout the film. Witty humor also abounds and is effectively funn... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old July 19, 2020

It's for everybody!

The Gold Rush is very funny because Charlie Chaplin is such a great physical and visual comedian. Our favorite scenes are when Charlie wrestles a bear and eats... Continue reading

What's the story?

During THE GOLD RUSH, a nameless "Lone Prospector" (Charlie Chaplin), small, accident-prone and underprovisioned, is a long-shot among the roughneck maverick miners to strike it rich. In a remote, snowbound cabin he stays with Big Jim (Mack Swain), a prospector who has, in fact, discovered a mountain of gold ore. After the pair survive through a winter with little food, they part as friends, Jim promising to share his fortune. But Jim, beaten by a rival prospector-outlaw, loses his memory. The Lone Prospector spends a lonely New Years in a frontier boomtown, mostly ignored by the populace, including a saloon-girl (Georgia Hale) who has captured his heart. When Jim wanders into town and recognizes the Lone Prospector as his old friend, they embark together to return to the ramshackle cabin and stake their claim on the gold.

Is it any good?

What sets this film apart from other slapstick silent masterpieces is emotion and pathos. The Lone Prospector -- pretty identical to Chaplin's emblematic Little Tramp character -- has a wistful, sentimental quality that makes his pratfalls, disappointments, and victories as much human as humor.

Most best-of-all-time lists include The Gold Rush. It enriched young cinema with immortal imagery: The Lone Prospector not noticing he's being followed by a bear; the "little fellow" appearing to the hallucinating, starving Big Jim as a giant chicken; and the New Year's Eve dream where the hero entertains a group of beauties by making a pair of dinner rolls with forks stuck in them into adept dancing feet.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how well the comedy has endured. Some consider The Gold Rush not just the best comedy ever but one of top movies of all time. Do kids agree?

  • Talk about how movies have changed over time. What are some of the latest innovations in the film industry? Can modern kids still appreciate the classics?

  • Use The Gold Rush as a gateway to get young viewers to watch and enjoy other silent classics, including the comedies of Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and Harry Langdon.

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love classics

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate