Chains of Gold (1991)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  15 September 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 668 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 2 critic

Scott Barnes (Travolta) is an alcoholic turned social worker hellbent on saving a young boy named Tommy (Lawrence) from self-destructing when he finds out he has begun selling crack in an ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sergeant Falco
Lieutenant Ortega
Martha Burke
Rachel Burke
Raphael Rey Gomez ...
Jack Lam ...
Che Che
Anson Downes ...
Will Knickerbocker ...
Jafari Dunn ...
John Archie ...


Scott Barnes (Travolta) is an alcoholic turned social worker hellbent on saving a young boy named Tommy (Lawrence) from self-destructing when he finds out he has begun selling crack in an organization called YIP, run by Carlos (Bratt). Written by Angela Anuszewski <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the war on drugs... he was their secret weapon! See more »


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Release Date:

15 September 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cadenas de oro  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director of photography Dariusz Wolski was fired two weeks before the end of filming and replaced by Bruce Surtees. See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Cut-Throats Nine (2014) See more »


Composed by Robert J. Walsh
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User Reviews

A piece of trash, but Travolta (amazingly) carries it. +, he looks great and thin - making this a real rarity. Includes a theory about Travolta's career.

Good luck finding this - they're selling it on a cheapie DVD in Australia. One of the most obscure entries in Travolta's career, its one of those rare opportunities to see him looking this skinny.

Its absolute trash, of course, the kind of preachy exhibitionism that characterises mid-day movies, soap operas and tele-features.


The progression of Travolta's career seems to be characterised by almost total randomness. What is the explanation for the decisions John Travolta has made? Even his biggest, best decisions had a degree of randomness: from TV sweathog Vinne Barbarino to disco king in Saturday Night Fever? From family-movie icon in Look Who's Talking to hit-man in Pulp Fiction? Don't tell me these were the only roles available to him

  • not true. After Saturday Night Fever, he was the hottest thing since

James Dean. He would have been offered a million scripts - hundreds of them probably great, so why the strange bomb Moment by Moment? And after Grease, when he lucked-in again, he could have had any script in Hollywood, so why the strange western drama Urban Cowboy? , he was the hottest thing since The sad truth behind this randomness is that Travolta bases his decisions of what role to take on the Hollywood religion of scientology. So instead of good characters or good dialogue in the script, good directors attached, or his agent's advice - he appeals to whatever mystical devices scientology suggests. Travolta claims that scientology knows best because it was responsible for his great decisions in the 70's (Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Welcome Back, Kotter). But in truth, scientology has been responsible for about five hits (those three, plus Pulp Fiction), and about thirty misses.

Travolta is a great actor, with terrific looks (even in expanded form)
  • so why is it that his career has been a series of almost random ups

and downs, every now and then accidentally scoring a hit script, but mostly toiling away in rubbish like Perfect (1985), Two of a Kind (1983), Staying Alive (1983), White Man's Burden (1995), Michael (1996), Phenomenon (1996), Lucky Numbers (2000), Battlefield Earth (2000), Basic (2003). It was the same problem with Brando. Terrific actor, great looking (even in expanded form), but he picked roles based on the highest bidder. Money, instead of script and director quality. Contrast these guys with someone like Jack Nicholson - a pretty good actor, with terrible looks - but he's become a legend! He's been in scores of incredible films, one after another! What separates him? Terrific decisions - perfect decisions for that time of his life, and for his image, and for a projection of how good the final movie might be.


Only scientology could explain someone, even someone with not much weight in Hollywood, agreeing to do this script. Poorly written, it indulges in all the possible clichés of melodramatic trollop - and then is executed in the most trashy manner possible.

Still, Travolta is not poor. He makes us believe this crap, which is a real feat.

4/10 for Travolta, and that's very very generous.

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