Gold (1974)

PG   |    |  Adventure, Thriller

Gold (1974) Poster

A South African gold mine manager discovers a plot hatched by the mine owners and London bankers to flood the mine in order to curb gold production and consequently manipulate its price on the stock markets.


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14 September 2018 | iandavidmacpherson
| Dying every day for Gold ! A 21st century reappraisal
Like many movies from the 1970's and 80's, Gold was perhaps not fully appreciated for it's insight into the world of precious metal mining during the Apartheid era, based on Zambian born, Wilbur Smith's novel "Gold Mine"

Roger Moore is the eponymous hero of the film, as first The Underground Manager and later General Manager of a deep gold mine in South Africa. Susannah York provides classic English beauty in the form of the love interest and John Gielgud and Bradford Dillman exude villainy in it's most obtuse form. Simon Sabela is the quiet spoken, understated "Big King", a giant of a black miner and champion of workers treatment underground.

Filmed in 1974, this was Roger Moore's first film since his debut as James Bond in "Live and Let Die" and was sandwiched between his next outing in "The Man with The Golden Gun". It was also Susannah York's first film for two years since taking time out to have children. Producer Michael Klinger wanted to take another Wilbur Smith novel, "Shout at the Devil" to the screen but couldn't raise the finance so he made "Gold" first, which allowed him to raise the finance for the former.

This film is a fascinating insight into gold production and how both the price and availability of gold was strictly controlled and the lengths unscrupulous speculators would go to in order to cut production and increase the price. John Gielgud excels as the quintessential English financier, a role he played again in the same year in "11 Harrowhouse".

Bearing in mind that Moore was 46 years old, he makes a fine, handsome hero, as Rod Slater and the 35 year old Susannah York oozes class as Terry Steyner, the grand-daughter of mine owner Hurry Hirschfeld (Ray Milland). And a little golden nugget to boot is the performance of Tony Beckley, the mildly camp but almost psychotic geologist turned henchman. The action underground is first class and indeed quite gory in parts. It is perhaps. surprising that a film showing a miner having his face ripped off in an accident only has a 12 rating on DVD but then we live in different times.

The soundtrack for the film, composed by Elmer Bernstein, is both very "hip" for the period and has some beautiful orchestral pieces, particularly for the love scenes. Jimmy Helms' title track rendition is superb as are the two Don Black penned songs "Wherever Love Takes Me" (Oscar Nominated) and "Where Have You Been All My Life".

Finally, on a somewhat sombre note, virtually everybody of note from the actors and crew are sadly no longer with us. Only the writer, Wilbur Smith, lyricist Don Black and title song singer, Jimmy Helms remain. However, the film is a poignant reminder of a world where the colour of your skin literally determined your worth in life and in death.

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

16 October 1974



Country of Origin


Filming Locations


Box Office


GBP1,000,000 (estimated)

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