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Author Pierre Berton tells the history of his hometown of Dawson City at its heyday during the Klondike Gold Rush.

Directors:

Wolf Koenig, Colin Low

Writers:

Roman Kroitor (storyline writer), Pierre Berton (commentary) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Pierre Berton Pierre Berton ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

The writer Pierre Berton narrates the story of his childhood hometown's history during the Klondike Gold Rush. In doing so, Berton surveys the general history of the last great gold rush and what those people struggled for in that time really achieved. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A nostalgic recollection of the Klondike Gold Rush by Dawson City-born Pierre Berton


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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

1957 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Capitale de l'or See more »

Filming Locations:

Dawson, Yukon, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Winner of the Prix du documentaire - court métrage (Best Documentary Short) at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Well, that's my hometown-Dawson City.
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Connections

Featured in The Magical Eye (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Golden Touch
4 November 2018 | by CinePeteSee all my reviews

As with many of its films in the 1950s, the National Film Board again has a golden touch. The film was one of two NFB films nominated for the 1957 Academy Award in the Short Subject category. (The other was Norman McLaren's A Chairy Tale.)

Using archival photographs of the period, filmmakers Colin Low and Wolf Koenig turn City of Gold into a cinematic scrapbook of the era. This is the summer of 1898, when Dawson City became the base of operations for thousands of gold-seekers in the Klondike.

The film owes much of its impact to its innovative moving-camera technique. The camera roams over the photographs, giving us the feel of living history. Things seem to still be alive, happening now as we watch. This technique is a forerunner of what later became known as the Ken Burns Effect.

Several of the photographs have become part of the gold rush's visual history, particularly those of Eric A. Hegg, who gave the Klondike its famous shot of a long line of prospectors climbing Chilkoot Pass.

Narrator Pierre Berton looks back with a mixture of both regret and affection. The hindsight of history has not turned our narrator unsympathetic or critical - no harsh judgment, no scorn, no melodramatic sentiment. There may even be some admiration here for the foolhardy willfulness of the human spirit.

Well worth a look. City of Gold is a short companion piece to Berton's history Klondike, published in 1958. It may also bring to mind Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush, made thirty years earlier and which, despite the obvious comedy, presents a much harsher picture of the Klondike era.


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