Gold. Everyone loves it. Cherishes it. Covets it.
And hopefully…cleans it regularly and properly.
We previously took a closer look at some famous films revolving around diamonds — now we enjoy a sneak peek at five films inspired by another precious element, gold.
Of course, the iconic Academy Award of Merit statuette, long known as “Oscar”, is also the “gold standard” in filmmaking success — at least as far as film critics and discerning moviegoers are concerned. Even if “the most recognized trophy in the world” is actually made of eight-and-a-half pounds of solid bronze, plated in 24-karat gold.
(Except for a three-year stretch during World War II, when a metal shortage resulted in a less-than-golden painted-plaster version of Oscar).
Anyway, enough about old Oscar. Let’s go to the movies, shall we?
“The Gold Rush” – 1925, Chaplin
When it comes to the history and legend of American film, it’s impossible not to talk about Charlie Chaplin. Born into abject poverty in 1889 London, “The Little Tramp” came to Hollywood via New York in 1913 — and by 1919 he had gained complete control over his films by signing on as a founding partner of United Artists. In his 1925 tour-de-force, “The Gold Rush”, Chaplin wrote, produced, directed, composed/directed/edited the music for and played the starring role. The dark comedy film set in the Klondike Gold Rush now registers as some of the best-received work of Chaplin’s amazing and prolific 75-year career in show business. Chaplin’s third feature-length film received Academy Award nominations for Best Music and Best Sound Recording, and Chaplin himself said several times that he hopes to be remembered most for this particular “picture”.
“Goldfinger” – 1964
As time marches on, so does the James Bond film franchise. When the long-anticipated “No Time to Die” is finally released later this year or early in 2021, it will mark the 25th film in the franchise, which debuted when the debonair, dangerous British super spy first appeared on screen in 1962’s “Dr. No”. But when serious talk turns to the best Bond work ever, it usually revolves around one man: Sir Sean Connery. Connery turned 90 this summer, but when “Goldfinger” hit theaters in 1964, he was a prime-of-his-life, moves-like-a-panther 34-year-old charming his way in and out of trouble in Bond film No. 3. Today regarded as one of the best of the ever-expanding Bond bunch, this film features not only Vintage Connery and a garish, gold-obsessed villain, but several iconic moments, locations, shots, scenes and score — including a dead woman painted in gold from head to toe, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel pool (and ice skating rink) and Shirley Bassey’s dramatic title theme. On a far less serious note, Mike Myers paid homage to the film and its titular character with 2002’s “Austin Powers in Goldmember”.
“The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” — 1948
Perhaps best known as the film where Humphrey Bogart goes completely raving mad in the great outdoors, this 1948 film by John Huston remains a beloved adaptation of the 1927 novel of the same name. “Bogie” and his iconic, laconic weathered face star as desperate prospector Fred C. Dobbs, who joins Bob Curtin (played by Tim Holt) and salty old-timer Howard (played by the director’s father, Walter Huston) on a dangerous yet potentially lucrative expedition in the wilds of Mexico. The film was one of the first major Hollywood productions to be shot outside of the United States, with extensive footage filmed across the Mexican state of Durango and on the streets of the port city Tampico. Considered nothing less than a classic, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry — deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
“Gold” – 1974
It’s hard to leave a film titled “Gold” off this list. It’s even harder when the film stars a man who would go on to achieve fame as Sir Sean Connery’s successor to the James Bond throne. In this British 1974 action film by Peter R. Hunt based on the 1970 novel “Gold Mine”, Roger Moore plays Rodney “Rod” Slater, general manager of a South African gold mine who is instructed by his superiors to break through an underground dike in search of a rich gold deposit. Highly successful in the UK, this film was only released as part of a double-bill in the United States — where it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song (“Wherever Love Takes Me”). A true proto-action movie, The Los Angeles Times claimed the film “has more punch than a 15-round fight and more corn than Kansas. It is a travelogue of South Africa and a fascinating audiovisual essay on gold mining.” Controversially shot on location in South Africa during the apartheid regime, the then-47-year-old Moore and the crew descended deep into both West Rand and Buffelfontein mines during the production.
“On Golden Pond” – 1981
Not technically about gold, this 1981 film adaptation of the 1979 Ernest Thompson play achieved immense accolades upon its release, particularly for the work of stars Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda. A family drama set on a New England lake called Golden Pond (and filmed in a rented home on New Hampshire’s Squam Lake), the film received a staggering 10 nominations at the 54th Academy Awards, winning for both Best Actor (Fonda) and Best Actress (Hepburn), along with Best Adapted Screenplay for Thompson. Fonda’s first-ever Oscar came in what would end up being his final film, as he died the following year at age 76. More than just a critical success, the film grossed $119.3 million at the U.S. box office, second only to Raiders of the Lost Ark ($212.2 million) – and ahead of Superman II ($108.2 million) – in 1981. Henry Fonda’s real-life daughter Jane Fonda, who plays his estranged daughter in the film, purchased the rights to the play specifically so her father can play the role of the crusty, combative Norman Thayer.
And the Local Oscar Goes to…
If you’re reading this, odds are you don’t have an Oscar to showcase or safeguard (then again, maybe you do). But chances are you do have some gold (or diamond) jewelry that’s worth a lot or means a lot to you. In addition to finding a safe, secure spot at home to store your treasured jewelry, you should make sure to invest a bit of time and money in an award-winning jewelry insurance policy. While a policy with Zillion won’t ever take top-billing on the marquee, it can certainly serve in an inspiring (and protective) supporting role.
Our specialized jewelry insurance policies also work well on location — so when you decide to take your own show on the road, you can travel anywhere with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your jewelry is protected.