The Gold Rush Movie Poster Image

The Gold Rush



A great silent comedy classic, with comic gunplay.
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Classic
  • Release Year: 1925
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this classic silent comedy 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.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

During the Yukon 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 The Gold Rush 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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:June 26, 1925
DVD/Streaming release date:July 10, 2003
Cast:Charlie Chaplin
Director:Charlie Chaplin
Studio:Image Entertainment
Character strengths:Perseverance
Run time:85 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of The Gold Rush was written by

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


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byChuck Reid March 24, 2012


This movie was AWESOME! The plot was action packed! The scripts were pretty good as well.
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 August 3, 2014

Not Charlie's best, still comedy brilliance!

For now I'll still hold he's done better work in "The Circus" and "City Lights" especially, but this was an adorable piece of comedy genius from Chaplin, the undisputed slapstick king. The dinner roll scene is the cherry on top of this movie, which, for my taste, dragged a bit near the end, especially the tedious tipping cabin scene.
Parent Written by14728 August 8, 2012


This is an amazing movie. It's great for anyone in kindergarten and beyond
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?