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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Wilbur Smith's bestselling novels haven't been viewed by film-maker's as a good source of screen material. In spite of the fact that Smith has spent forty years writing one acclaimed novel after another, only a handful of his books have been adapted for the big screen - and of those films, none have been hugely successful. Gold is based on one of the author's shortest novels, originally entitled Gold Mine, and features a very attractive cast including the then-Bond Roger Moore, Susannah York, archetypal villainous actors Bradford Dillman and Tony Beckley, and old stalwarts Ray Milland and John Gielgud. Much of the film was shot in South Africa, amidst a volatile environment of political controversy, while the more dangerous-looking underground action sequences were done on an impressive studio stage back in the UK. On the whole the film is highly watchable and polished, though it is never quite as absorbing or exciting as it was obviously meant to be.

    An accident at a South African gold mine results in the mine's general manager being trapped and crippled. The underground manager Rod Slater (Roger Moore) tries his best to save his superior, but his efforts fail and the general manager dies. Later, it transpires that the managing director of the mine, Manfred Steyner (Bradford Dillman), is actually a member of a secret syndicate that is deliberately trying to destroy the mine in order to increase the value of their own gold stocks. Steyner has had his workers drilling in a highly dangerous area close to a water dyke, insisting that they are close to a precious gold strike when in reality they are metres away from flooding and destroying their own mine. Steyner is the grandson-in-law of the mega-rich gold entrepreneur Hurry Hirschfield, and is married to Hurry's grand-daughter Terry (Susannah York). However, Terry is having an affair with Slater, so Steyner's plan is to fulfil his act of sabotage for his syndicate whilst simultaneously exacting revenge on his cheating wife by ruining her family business. Eventually the dyke is breached and the mine is on the verge of catastrophic flooding, with Slater the only man brave (and foolish) enough to go underground and trigger an explosion to seal off the flooded areas before it is too late.

    Gold begins and ends with two very powerful and convincing underground sequences that are extremely well put together. In between, the plot unfolds rather slowly and laboriously, seeming to take a long time to reach its conclusion, though certain scenes along the way are quite well handled. Moore plays the hero fairly well, even though it is a much grittier role than his Bond persona. York is even better as the deceitful wife, while Dillman and Beckley provide thoroughly ugly baddies. Elmer Bernstein's very-70s music score adds a sense of drama to the proceedings, in spite of its dated sound. Peter Hunt (formerly a Bond editor and director) directs the film competently without doing anything out of the ordinary with his material. At 124 minutes, Gold is a pretty exhausting movie - certainly worth one, maybe even two, viewings but beyond that it doesn't particularly endear itself to repeat screenings. Still, if you like big, old-fashioned adventure flicks or are a fan of the stars, this movie is worth catching.
  • Gold is a superb adaptation of Wilbur Smith's novel. The plot concerns a group of greed-driven businessmen conspiring to flood a South African gold mine.

    Roger Moore is terrific as our mine manager hero (and unknowing pawn) and he shares an entertaining chemistry with co-star, Susannah York. Bradford Dillman also impresses in his role as one of the more conflicted of the conspirators. With Ray Milland, Sir John Gielgud and Simon Sabela supporting, it's a great cast all round.

    Director Peter Hunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) ensures that the audience feels the ominous, claustrophobic atmosphere of the mine, and he doesn't shy away from showing the impact of a flood in such surroundings. Along with Hunt, many James Bond veterans worked on Gold, and this shows particularly in how smoothly the location work in South Africa has been integrated with the soundstage work at Pinewood.

    Composer Elmer Bernstein uses Jimmy Helms' title song as an orchestral theme to stirring effect, while Maurice Binder (another Bond veteran) gets the ball rolling with his uniquely designed opening credits.

    Gold comes highly recommended!
  • Despite the collapse of the gold price in recent months here is a movie whose value is assured. Taken from the novel "Gold Mine" by the one and only Wilbur Smith we get to see just how dangerous the world of mining is. Nerve splitting scenes in the aftermath of a rock fall, explosions, underground amputations, the calamity of an underground flood, deceit, conspiracy, loyalty, betrayl, murder, sex, tribal dance, heroics, more heroics (it was penned by Wilbur Smith) and the lengths to which men will go just to put a charm around a ladys' neck.
  • 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.
  • I saw this film while living in Geneva Switzerland in 1981, courtesy of a borrowed video cassette copy. I was a lot younger then, thirty, and less discerning, but I was utterly enchanted by actress Susannah York, and have been ever since. It had the feel of a good James Bond adventure and I thought that actor Roger Moore was at his best, and in fact was better in this film then in any of his James Bond movies. I've never visited South Africa, but had studied the history of the country, and I enjoyed viewing the on-location scenes of the country. There are great scenes workers in the mines, as well as Zulu warriors in their regalia.
  • nrobertb10 December 2004
    This is not a great film, but it has its moments. In 1974 probably not too many people knew much about South Africa and the gold mining process, so for that reason it was educational. The mine sequences are interesting although undoubtedly filmed on a studio set. For me the most interesting action sequence though is when the hero is trying to land a plane on a tailings pile at a speed low enough to almost stall out. Most interesting of all, thirty years ago it was almost unheard of to see frontal nudity in a major film. When Susannah York's breast appeared out of the suds in the bathtub scene, my jaw dropped open. I couldn't believe I was really seeing it. For sheer surprise it ranks right up there with Charlton Heston kissing a black woman in that science fiction film that I think was called The Omega Man. Today of course such things are commonplace.
  • I was very surprised when I saw this film. After all, by the time they made "Gold", South Africa was already being roundly condemned by many nations for its apartheid policies. In fact, soon film projects in the country would be a thing of the past and the fact that American and British actors appeared in the film and that much of it was filmed in South Africa surprised me. Perheps, however, they studio chose such a project because it really made the mine operators look like scum...and thereby was a criticism, indirectly, of apartheid.

    The bosses at a gold mine in South Africa have a reprehensible scheme. They know that an underground lake is very close to one of their mines. And, if they accidentally drill too close, it will flood the mine and kill a lot of workers. BUT, it will also make the price of gold shoot to the moon...making them even richer! The problem is that the General Manager of the mine is killed in a mining accident and they trust that the new GM, Rod Slater (Roger Moore) will play along with their scheme. As for Slater, what he seems mostly interested in during most of the film is stupping the boss' wife (Susannah York).

    To me, a major defect in the picture is spending so much time on the affair. First, it really didn't make a lot of sense. Second, it really had little to do with the plot. Third, it just seemed like a lot of padding. And, fourth, you really don't care about these two...other than, perhaps, seeing it as a chance for Slater to do to his boss' wife what the boss plans on doing to everyone else!

    Overall, a rather pedestrian handling of material that could have been a lot better. Not a bad film...but not a very good one either.

    By the way, I have been to South Africa twice--spending about a month there. One thing I loved about the country were the lovely accents...none of which I heard during the course of "Gold"!
  • Shirt-shedding Roger Moore (as Rodney "Rod" Slater) works in a Johannesburg, South Africa mine. After a suspicious accident, Mr. Moore gets promoted to General Manager, by nasty non-smoking Bradford Dillman (as Manfred Steyner); then, he meets Mr. Dillman's unfulfilled blonde wife, Susannah York (as Terry). Ms. York is the granddaughter of cigar-chomping mine-owner Ray Milland (as Hurry "H.H." Hirschfeld). Eventually, Moore unbuttons his shirt, then York unbuttons hers. While his wife skinny dips with Moore, Dillman plots to flood Mr. Milland's mine, drive up the price of "Gold", and collect the cash.

    It's difficult to picture the suave, immaculate Moore spending years in the dirt - he sure cleans up well. But, the main problem with "Gold" lays with the boring romance - Moore and York look good together, but are saddled with a long, unexciting aboveground "who cares?" affair. The less seen Dillman and Milland are better without even kissing. And, frankly, the characters played by Tony Beckley (Stephen Marais) and Simon Sabela (John "Big King" Nkulu) seem more interesting. With at least six degrees of Oscar-connections, Maureen McGovern's non-hit "Wherever Love Takes Me" received "Academy Award" notice.

    ***** Gold (9/5/74) Peter Hunt ~ Roger Moore, Susannah York, Bradford Dillman, Ray Milland
  • Theo Robertson8 June 2003
    Warning: Spoilers
    GOLD centres around a shadey conspiracy involving a South African gold mine. Since it`s set in South Africa you can expect all the nausating cliches and stereotypes like the sadistic white racist who likes to beat up the " Feelthy blecks " , the noble black , the macho but anti racist white man etc. In fact much of the stereotypes are slightly offensive like " Big " King and his men who enjoy putting on a Zulu dance for the tourists . It wouldn`t be so bad if they kept to the Zulu diet of their ancestors but these " Zulus " seem to have been overdoing it on the beer and pizza a little bit and I doubt if Stanley Baker and Michael Caine would have had much trouble beating them . Luckily none of the secret illuminati are called Goldberg or Goldstien because that would have been racist , so the director has made these shadowey figures either English , Americans and Germans , the only exception being an Arab . But don`t worry about accusations of anti semetism because there`s a character called Hirschfeld . I don`t know if that`s a Jewish name but he`s portrayed as you`d expect a Jewish stereotype to be shown: Loud , vulgar , money orientated and is always smoking a big fat cigar .

    ***** SLIGHT SPOILERS *****

    Despite all the racist stereotypes and cliches ( Or because of them ? ) I did find GOLD a fairly entertaining thriller . If I`ve a problem with the film it`s that it tries to be too many things at once . In some ways it`s not so much a conspiracy thriller but a disaster movie , but it`s not really a disaster movie , and it involves a romantic subplot but it`s not really a romance . I did enjoy the ending when the walls explode and the water gushes into the tunnels . Watch this scene carfully and you`ll see a miner with a mutilated face which is obviously a dummy . Oh and if his face has been totally destroyed like that then how`s he still able to scream ?
  • 'Gold" is a well-crafted and entertaining film, with the positive taste 'Gold' is like a "who's who"for James Bond-fans lead star Roger Moore, there's a director Peter R. Hunt (e.g. "On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)" ) and editor/second unit director John Glen (who directed 5 Bond-films later on). the mine sequences are very effective and quite realistic. The claustrophobic feel of the dark, underground mine is well achieved and the sequences are tightly edited. John Gielgud, who gives a very stereotyped - even forgettable, performance (surprisingly so) Moore plays the usual, charismatic and handsome ladies man (it takes roughly 30 minutes before his character has a woman in bed and champagne at the bedside) and that he does always well. Moore is just Moore, and that's why we like him. The actor did "Gold" in-between his first Bond-films ("Live and Let Die (1973)" and "The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)").
  • Technically, "Gold" is rather uneven at best. There are quite a number of underground scenes that are simply too dark. Another problem is scenes that go on far too long drag on the film. The whirlwind romance between Roger Moore and Susannah York takes up too much time and could have been tactfully trimmed, thus tightening the overlong run time of 120 minutes. On the plus side, is an interesting plot to flood a South African gold mine, which would cut world production by 30%, and drive up the price of gold. Moore's heroic attempt to save the flooding mine and save 1000 trapped men provides plenty of excitement. .................. - MERK
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I just bought this film on DVD. It came free in The Mail On Sunday.To be honest, I didn't really expect it to be a proper adventure, but I thought it would be good for a laugh. And although this film does have some great one - liners, it also builds up a lot of suspense towards the end. And Sir John Gielgud was really evil as ONE of the MANY villains.

    When a general manager of a South African mine dies as a result of a cave - in, Roger Moore is appointed the new manager. However, is there a specific reason for him being appointed as the new one? As he works, he uncovers a plot to flood the mine, so that the price of gold in the Stock Exchange will be raised, and the villains of the piece will be able to sell their stocks of gold and make a huge profit...

    The only problem I have with this movie is that it ends a bit abruptly. It would have been nice to see the prices fall in the stock exchange, and maybe a closing scene showing good old John blowing a casket! But never mind. This still is great viewing!
  • On the continent of Africa you'll find many an area which can brag of owning a Gold mine. It's interesting that this film was more about the behind-the-scenes intrigue, than of the actual mining process. Yet, the story called which is about rich greedy men wanting to get richer, is central to this movie called " Gold ". Were it not for the serious actors involved in the project, this story would have remained underground. However, herein we have Roger Moore as Rod Slater, a top notch, engineer, who hates digging for Gold, only to have other men bury it again. Nevertheless, he is hired to oversee a very dangerous tunnel gamble which according to his boss, Manfred Steyner (Bradford Dillman), will make a nice bonus for the shareholders. What he is not told, is that the project could cost thousands of miners their lives. Oscar winner, Ray Milland plays Harry Hirschfeld the owner of the mine who as a straight-forward boss is a hindrance to conspirators who wish him ill. John Gielgud plays Mr. Farrell, a rich financier, who would like a Christmas bonus, regardless of the human tragedy. Simon Sabela is 'Big King' a man who the audience can tell is as big as the courage he displays. Susannah York is Terry Steyner, the boss's daughter and major player in the secret scheme. A good drama. ****
  • Interesting action-thriller concerning a private syndicate conspiring to influence the price of gold on the stock market, by flooding a mine under the control of one its members. Roger Moore plays Rod Slater the newly appointed mine GM, enlisted by owner Bradford Dillman to ostensibly carry out a plan to drill into an underground reservoir in which there are untapped gold deposits. Of course, Moore isn't in on the ruse to affect the stock market, and both he and his employees risk becoming collateral damage unless Dillman's plan can be foiled.

    Top-notch cast features Ray Milland as the mine's board director, his daughter played by Susannah York is Dillman's neglected wife who finds comfort in Moore's embrace, and Sir John Gielgud is the scheming syndicate boss, ruthless and double crossing in the extreme. Although Gielgud's role takes place in the boardroom back in London, his presence permeates the entire movie, such is his cold, sinister dominance. Gielgud's callous greed is shockingly immortalised in the scene in which he arranges for a Christmas 'present' to be sent to a betraying syndicate member that ends with catastrophic results.

    Long but relatively taut thriller has the ingredients for success, with realistic looking set design, commanding score, competently handled action sequences and stunt-work, and a plot that weaves an engaging tale of sinister ambition and double cross. Considering all its elements (brassy theme tune, comic book villains, Maurice Binder's title sequence), "Gold" is something of a Bond surrogate, leveraging off Moore's alter ego at the time, and incorporating all the villains and motifs appropriate for a 007 adventure - by any other name. Great cast, highly entertaining.
  • An underrated and forgotten thriller that offers something authentic to a contemporary audience. It stands out for its unique backdrop and realistic, gritty feel - not a surprise given its credentials: Directed by Peter R. Hunt, who also helmed the similarly non-gimmicky, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and produced by Michael Klinger, the man behind Get Carter. Roger Moore is largely an 'average' man, playing against type: a womaniser yes, but an under-achiever set up to take a fall. The rest of the cast is good, including Suzanna York, who holds her own in a well-rounded female role. An ideal match for Moore, their relationship is grown-up and believable. Ray Milliand is the dominant, straight-talking the patriarch. John Gielgud, Bradford Dillman and Tony Beckley are all excellent in their different ways as the bad guys.

    Unlike similar movies of the time, the production values hold up well, in part due to being filmed on location in South Africa, with a lack of green screen. In the mine scenes, you feel like you're under the ground - it's oppressive and claustrophobic - because that's where it was partly shot. That contrasts well with the action above ground, including some spectacular aerial work. The plot is fine, occasionally lacking pace, but engaging and entertaining, giving an insight into the gold industry and market. There is little social commentary: one of the villains of the story is a white racist; one of the heroes, a black man; there is a shadowy London-based elite. Overall, it does its job with some great set pieces - my favourite, a mountain-top scene with a Rolls Royce.

    The apartheid regime setting - controversial, when the film was shot - makes it a rare and interesting watch. Aside from actually being made in the country, there is very little that is objectionable specific to the film. Proceedings are captured in a matter-of-fact, almost fly-on-the-wall style, which includes the gold mines, city life and the beautiful surrounding landscape, with some authentic African dance scenes. There are no awkward verbal faux pas, as there can be from this period. Generally - wisely, perhaps - it doesn't make any strong political statements. The backdrop is presented as more a slice of life, with bigger themes going uncommented on and of less concern than its own particular story. It was not aiming to be on the right side of history - or the wrong side - it was just trying to be entertaining. It does that but also works on a relatively neutral, documentary level.

    I hadn't seen Gold for 20-30 years. The film stayed with me from my childhood but has largely disappeared from our screens, partly due its age but almost certainly because of where it was filmed (there was even a trigger warning on Talking Pictures TV). I don't fully understand the controversy as it is now more of a monument to its time, like being transported back to the 1970s - both literally and fictionally - without the social commentary or agenda that biases so much contemporary work. An initial choice for director was Steven Spielberg who probably wouldn't have given the film the same hard edge as Hunt. Laughably - for political reasons - Wales was put forward to double for South Africa, something that would have produced a hollow counterfeit of what the film is. Released between Moore's first two Bond films, it stands the test of time better than either.

    Gold is still very watchable and, with the passing of several decades and all that has happened since, has the added benefit of being an interesting and genuine historical work. Well worth your viewing time.
  • Suprisingly engrossing, old-fashioned adventure yarn, especially considering its length. Moore wisely vetoed the initial choice of Spielberg to direct, and instead surrounded himself with Bond regulars Peter Hunt and John Glen. These two give the story the epic feel that OHMSS had, and deliver tight, intense and claustrophobic action sequences down the mine. Moore does well playing a more flawed version of his James Bond interpretation.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***SPOILERS*** Tremendous yet almost forgotten action thriller set in the gold mines of South Africa involving a devious plan, by members of the world's gold cartel, to have as many as 1,000 miners killed in order to send the price of the precious medal sky high.

    Not realizing that he's being set up to be the stooge to take the fall for the coming mine disaster Sonditch, one of the biggest gold mining company's in the world, general manager Rod Slater, Roger Moore, is put in charge to break through the 80th level at its major gold mine and hit a mother load, some 5 billion dollars worth, of gold. What Slater doesn't know is that there's water not gold on the other side of the 80th that will flood the gold mine and kill everyone working in it! With the big gold profiteers licking their chops in anticipating in buying up all the world's gold stocks at record lows before the Sonditch Mine blows, together with the 1,000 miners working in it, one of them jumps the gun in getting in on the action and ends up paying for it with his life!

    Meanwhile Slater is set up by the boss' Hurry Hirschfel, Ray Milland, son-in-law acting Sonditch Mine president as well as clean freak Manfred Steyner, Bradford Dillman, to be out of town when the mine is to be sabotaged by foreman Kowalski, Bernard Horsfall. Kowalski is secretly working with Steyner, without Hurry Hirschfeld's knowledge, to have the Sonditch Mine go under!

    Unforgettable action packed heroics by both general manager Slater and gold miner Big King, Simon Sebela, in the depths of the flooded Sounditch Mine will leave you breathless and almost in tears, from emotion not the mine dust, in what men of courage can do when the sh*t hits the fan. With Kowalski cutting the circuit breaker cable to stop the water level in the mine from rising and thus drowning the entire work crew Slater and his good friend Big King willingly risk their lives to reconnect the cable to prevent that from happening. The explosive and heart-dropping final sequence is something that even the biggest action hero's in Hollywood would never attempt even knowing that it's all make believe and they'll live to see another day as well as paycheck.

    Roger Moore as general manager Slater is far better in the movie "Gold" then he ever was in any of the James Bonds movies that he stared in. Even without all the life saving gadgets that he had available, to pull him out of harms way, in them. Susannah Yok as big boss Hirschfeld's granddaughter, and Steyner's wife, Terry is far more interesting as a crack a jack pilot then as Slater's lover. Who was unknowing set up by her creepy husband Manfred to get involved with Slater thus having him be as far away from the Sonditch Mine, when it blew up, in order to keep him from being there and saving it.

    With out a doubt it was Simon Sabela as Big King who really stole the show with his courage dedication and willingness, without as much as a second thought, to risk his life in order to save others. Despite his supporting role in the film Sabela, as Big King, was who you cared for and remembered most when the film finally ended. Another plus for the movie is its stirring theme song "Gold" sung by Jimmy Helms that will have listening to it even when the movie is over and the final credits are rolling up the screen!

    P.S During the filming of "Gold" Roger Moore was kicking his smoking habit and in the few scenes where he was to smoke a cigarette he was always able to find an excuse not to light up!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Roger Moore in a neat little thriller about the plot to manipulate the price of gold buy flooding a South African mine with an underground lake. Moore is the new troubleshooter brought in to run the mine unaware that Bradford Dillman has other plans. This film came out during the disaster craze back in the early 1970's. I remember seeing the TV commercials and wanting to see it because the scenes of the flooding mine made it look like another disaster film. I never saw the film and the film pretty much disappeared before it turned up on bargain DVD. Its a shame that the film isn't better known since its a super little thriller. To be certain the film suffers from the casting of Ray Milland and Dillman who seemed to be playing the exact same roles in everything at the time this was made, but other wise this is a tense little thriller with some good action sequences, good performances and a plot that keeps you watching. Its not the best film ever but it is is one that has been wrongly buried in the discount bin. Definitely worth picking up if you run across it.
  • Petey-1030 December 2008
    The film takes us to South Africa, Sonderditch mine.Men are working there when the tunnel collapses.Soon we find out it was no accident.The crooks come up with a plan to flood the mine in order to make a killing in the international gold market.Rod Slater, the newly appinted general manager has to deal with this problem.Peter R.Hunt is the director of Gold (1974) and it was written by Wilbur Smith and Stanley Price.Roger Moore plays Rod Slater.There's that certain James Bond feel in this movie.And also Rod has some action with a beautiful woman.She's Terry Steiner, played by Susannah York.The legendary Ray Milland plays Hurry Hirschfeld.Also legendary Sir John Gielgud plays Farrell.This is not a masterpiece as a movie but it has something good in it.Those moments at the mine are somewhat claustrophobic.See this movie if you want some adventurous action.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    'Gold' or the far more interesting title 'The Great Gold Conspiracy' is a supposed Action Adventure Thriller, I'm afraid to say It's not Thrilling and is decidedly lacking in both Action & Adventure, I haven't read the Wilbur Smith Novel on which this is based, but I have to believe it's better than this boring old tosh - there are far too many pointless scenes and the romantic subplot between Roger Moore & Susannah York is overdone to a large extent and with co stars such as Ray Milland & John Gieulgud, I expected better - they are far too good for this nonsense, the best thing about it is Elmer Bernstein's Soundtrack

    Should have been so much better considering the talent involved.

    3/10
  • bkoganbing16 February 2007
    With a plot partially lifted from The Towering Inferno, Gold is a man made disaster of a film in every sense of the word.

    Ray Milland is the hard as nails South African gold mine magnate, Harry Hirschfeld. He's done something to get the gold traders mad at him because they're planning to do him dirt. John Gielgud is head a gold buying syndicate and he's planning with the connivance of Bradford Dillman who is Milland's grandson-in-law, to blow a hole in the Sonderditch mine that Milland owns, letting in the ocean and flooding the mine. The price of gold will go up because of the sudden shortage. The fact that a thousand men might be killed is of little importance to Gielgud and company.

    Nor is it to Dillman who's found out that his wife Susannah York has been cheating on him with Roger Moore the new mine general manager.

    The film is a sanctioned glimpse at the former Union of South Africa as the old apartheid government would like to show you. The mining sequences are quite well done and I wish that they had stuck to a simple disaster film instead throwing in the romance.

    In fact Roger Moore, intrepid hero that he is, looks ridiculous because when the ocean flood starts, he's out having a romp with Susannah York. Instead of applauding him for his eventual heroism, Milland should have had him canned and banned from the industry.

    Unless you like Roger Moore, I'd give iron pyrites a pass.
  • I saw this movie basically because I'm a Roger Moore fan, but his performance is rather rigid in this one; you can sense that he is limited by his role. Still, even a rigid Roger Moore is livelier than many other actors. It's also a pleasure to watch Ray Milland and (in a very brief part) John Gielgud. But Susannah York plays the typical movie character of the daughter/granddaughter/heiress of a billionaire who hasn't had to work for a day in her life but is still unhappy because she hasn't found true love yet....poor girl! "Gold" begins and ends as a disaster film, but the flabby mid-section is taken up by the Moore-York romance. When director Peter Hunt sticks to action, the film has some good moments, like a tense and realistic fistfight inside the mine and (at the very end) a vicious sequence in which a man tries to run down another man with his car. (**)
  • Much has been made (including the inevitable disclaimer on 'Talking Pictures') of the provenance of this muscular hokum adapted by Wilbur Smith from his own novel, set in a Johannesburg full of sleek airports, expensive hotels, macho violence and eye candy like Susannah York; and, worse, that it was made in the seventies.

    Mind you, the Victorian attitudes displayed by the owners (and the graceless way they treat their servants) and of course their cynical unconcern for the lives of their miners hardly paints a flattering picture of the South Africa - or any capitalist country - of the day.
  • In between "Live and Let Die" and "The Man with the Golden Gun" - one of my personal favorite James Bond flicks – Roger Moore took a little side trip to Johannesburg in South Africa, in order to star in this routine but nevertheless entertaining action/adventure movie. Rod Slater (Moore) is appointed as the General Manager of the prominent Sonderditch goldmine, but in fact the mine's owner and a couple of rich stakeholders in London have different plans with it. They intend to flood the mine and thus boost up the gold prices worldwide, so that they can profit more from prior investments. If their devious plans, loyally but unknowingly executed by Slater and his teams, succeed in time before Christmas, it will be the biggest mining catastrophe in African history. The basic storyline is quite thin and simplistic, so indeed the vast majority of the film exists of unnecessary padding footage, mainly focusing on the romance between James Bond and the bored wife of the corrupt mine owner. With a running time of two hours, "Gold" is definitely a bit overlong and we certainly didn't need so much "falling-in-love" collages with sappy musical guidance! The first fifteen and last twenty minutes are very exciting and tense, because these are the only times "Gold" actually looks like a disaster film. There are terrific performances from veteran actors Ray Milland (as the elderly and stubborn mining patriarch) and John Gielgud (as the brains behind the flooding conspiracy).
  • The main problem with this film is that it is set in South Africa during the apartheid era, but fails to comment in any way on apartheid. Was this because it was filmed in SA and had to be neutral as a result of government restrictions? Did they water down the novel? Well the screenplay was co-written by the author of the original novel, Wilbur Smith. Was anything political removed from the final cut? The only half comment on racism is when Roger Moore knocks out a white mining expert for attacking a black South African guy. Did they film that in pinewood? You do get the odd glimpse of apartheid: black and white segregation at a football match; poor black kids watching on from the sideline as privileged white kids enjoy an open air Christmas celebration. But we're talking about two shots here that last a couple of seconds. As for the film on it's own terms: the mining footage is exciting, there's chemistry between Moore and Susanah York, and Ray Milland puts in a sterling performance. The opening credits by Maurice Binder are good too. It's entertaining enough, but it's a little uncomfortable as well due to the racial thing. Oh, there's a black South African character who is a miner of the year or something and he dies nobly to save other miners, but in a slightly mishandled cliched way. Not that he was a developed character or anything.
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