It’s common knowledge that in times of economic crisis, the world turns to gold to find solace. The price of gold has risen in the wake of every major economic meltdown this country has ever endured, and it continues to be used as a hedge against everything from inflation, to the stock market, to the dollar. But when exactly was it that Hollywood jumped on the gold bandwagon?
Well, since you asked, it appears Charlie Chaplain was the first to star in a movie with “gold” in the title when Gold Rush hit the theaters back in 1925. Gold has remained a constant theme in Hollywood titles and storylines ever since.
Some of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest names have starred in “golden” movies including Frank Sinatra in 1955’s The Man with the Golden Arm, and Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor in 1967’s Reflection in a Golden Eye.
Even famed comedians Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers got on board as Murphy went head to head with the spirit world in The Golden Child, and Meyers took on Dr. Evil in Austin Powers in Gold Member.
Unquestionably, however, the award for the number-one Hollywood obsession with gold goes to Ian Fleming’s James Bond franchise, where Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Pierce Brosnan all starred as the charismatic British agent, 007, in Goldfinger, The Man with the Golden Gun, and Goldeneye, respectively.
Interestingly, in 1981, approximately one year since gold had hit its all-time high (at the time), the film On Golden Pond was released, starring big screen legends Katherine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, and Jane Fonda. While both Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda took home gold statuettes for Best Actor and Best Actress, the film itself lost for Best Picture as Chariots of Fire won the Oscar.
Not to worry though, earlier that year, the Hollywood Foreign Press had seen fit to present On Golden Pond with its own Best Picture award….A Golden Globe!