From the Ancient Egyptian goldsmiths and alchemists of the Middle Ages right through to our Euro Millions Jackpot winners, man’s obsession with gold and coveting wealth has become as basic an instinct as survival. A beautiful and alluring metal, gold’s extreme rarity means it’s high in value and one of the greatest measures of wealth and power – no wonder we’re so obsessed with it!
A number of TV & Film productions have used the premise of the ‘treasure hunt’ wrapped in a wild and fictitious adventure tale to intrigue and entice audiences. New mini-series Klondike walks a path less tread, telling the true story of the Klondike Gold Rush at the end of the 19th Century.
Klondike tells the story of one man’s raw desire to seek out riches and treasure. The six-part adventure explores the ruthless and cut-throat quest for gold across the treacherous Klondike region of the Yukon in turn-of-the-century Canada. Produced by the legendary, award-winning Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator), Klondike stars Game of Throne’s Richard Madden, Abbie Cornish (Limitless) and Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Lie to Me).
To celebrate the May 5th DVD release of Klondike we take a look at the Top 10 films about Gold.
Having just graduated from college, the ambitious Bill Haskell (Madden) sets off with his friend for the Yukon to stake claim on the gold that remains untapped in the hills near Dawson City. However, the trek quickly becomes more treacherous than they could have ever imagined with perilous rapids, avalanches and savage wolves standing between them and their fortune.
Klondike is set during the astonishing Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-1899, where a discovery of gold caused a stampede of prospectors to the region. Around 100,000 were thought to have made the perilous journey, with only 30,000 reaching their destination and even fewer striking the jackpot.
The Gold Rush (1925/1942)
Before Klondike Charlie Chaplin depicted his own take on the Klondike Gold Rush in his silent comedy film The Gold Rush. Chaplin’s most famous on screen character, ‘The Tramp’, embarks on his quest for gold and along the way finds love and a friendship. The film’s comedic take on men’s obsession with gold, and how the power of love may be the only thing to compete with such an obsession, earned itself an Academy Award nomination after its 1942 re-release.
The third film in the James Bond Series and part of the Sean Connery Era, Goldfinger gave us one of the most iconic Bond Villains of all time. 007’s nemesis is Auric Goldfinger a bullion dealer and whose obsession with gold drives him to smuggle it illegally and even paint his women gold. The villain loved gold so much he was even willing to destroy it so that no one else could have any. James Bond met his match with Auric Goldfinger making this film a huge success and the first Bond film to win an Academy Award.
Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Skip forward 10 years and the James Bond series has a new 007, Roger Moore, and a new take on the power of gold – by turning it into a weapon. Another one of 007’s famous arch-nemeses. Francisco Scaramanga, intimidates his opponents with his solid gold gun and golden bullets. The gun became one of the most memorable symbols of the Bond Series and was ranked sixth in a 2008 20th Century Fox poll of the most popular film weapons. While reviews and reception of the film have varied, the iconic golden gun has stood the test of time as one of the most coveted props of all time.
The Goonies (1985)
This pre-teen, adventure-comedy classic stands the test of time as a cult favourite. Themes of friendship and camaraderie are wrapped up in an action packed quest as The Goonies attempt to seek out the hidden treasure of the legendry pirate One-Eyed Willie in order to save their family homes from demolition. The quest premise is heightened by the memorable characters and looming threat of the Fratelli family of fugitives who are hot on The Goonies’ trail, but whose want for gold is not as admirable. This fun family adventure ties together all the elements of comedy, fantasy and a desperate hunt for treasure to create an instant classic.
City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold (1991)
The success of City Slickers in 1991 spawned the sequel The Legend of Curly’s Gold. The slickers reunite again for another adventure out West, however this time they are in search of stolen treasure. With their treasure map in tow the boys set off to unearth the secrets of the legend of Curly’s Gold only to discover along the way that the adventure itself can be worth much more than the prize.
Die Hard 3: Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
In the third instalment of one of the highest grossing action movie franchises of all time, the misfit police officer John McClane returns to take on Simon, the brother of an old nemesis. The film puts a clever spin on a treasure hunt premise by having McClane’s arch-rival use clues and riddles to send him on a tense and thrilling hunt around New York City to find and de-activate bombs. After an explosive chase, we learn man’s lust for treasure is all too great as it becomes clear Simon’s attempt at avenging the death of his brother is just a cover-story for stealing gold. While McClane remains distracted on hunting the bombs, his enemy has his sights firmly set on the $140 billion gold bullion treasure trove sitting in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Captain Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl take centre stage in this swashbuckling, sword fighting, adventure series. Pirates and treasure go hand in hand and after being swindled out of his riches once before, Captain Jack is determined to claim it back. When Lady Elizabeth and carpenter Will Turner unexpectedly become part of Sparrow’s journey, they help to uncover truth behind the cursed gold and how it may bring more trouble than it’s worth!
Fool’s Gold (2008)
This interesting take on a Rom Com updates the classic idea of a treasure hunt right into the 21st Century. A clue to discovering some lost treasure sets in motion a crazy rat race and rekindles an estranged married couple’s love for adventure and each other. While the film may have been criticised for its clichéd plot and predictable fairy tale ending, Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey’s chemistry keeps the story alive and the film acts as an early glimpse into McConaughey’s raw acting talent that saw him walking away with a little gold statue for Dallas Buyers Club earlier this year.
Tower Heist (2011)
Tower Heist opens with a shot of a man swimming in a pool shaped like a hundred dollar bill, setting the tone for this hilarious heist comedy in which a group of average Joes fall victim to a wealthy businessman’s scheme. Ben Stiller and his gang seek out to retrieve the money they are owed but instead stumble across riches beyond their wildest dreams in the form of a Ferrari made of solid gold.