The Gold Rush

  • Review Date: June 3, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Classic
  • Release Year: 1925
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

Common Sense Media says

A great silent comedy classic, with comic gunplay.
  • Review Date: June 3, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Classic
  • Release Year: 1925
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

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.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
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.

Parents say

Kids say

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

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.

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 release date:July 10, 2003
Cast:Charlie Chaplin
Director:Charlie Chaplin
Studio:Image Entertainment
Genre:Classic
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.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byBestPicture1996 August 3, 2014
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

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
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

WATCH THIS TITLE RIGHT AFTER READING IT!

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
Adult Written byChuck Reid March 24, 2012
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Golden!

This movie was AWESOME! The plot was action packed! The scripts were pretty good as well.

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