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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 3 reviews

Kids say

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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
Adult Written byChuck Reid March 24, 2012


This movie was AWESOME! The plot was action packed! The scripts were pretty good as well.
Parent Written by14728 August 8, 2012


This is an amazing movie. It's great for anyone in kindergarten and beyond

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

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

Character Strengths

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For kids who love classics

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