Inspired by Thomas Hardys 1886 book The Mayor Of Castorbridge, The Claim is set in a Northern California town twenty years after the gold rush. Daniel Dillon (Peter Mullan) traded his wife and new born son twenty years previously for a bag of gold. With his loot he began to buy all the town’s major businesses and now runs the town like a dictator. Owning the bank, mine, hotel and the local watering hole. Three new unexpected characters arrive in town, Chief railroad engineer Donald Dalglish (Wes Bentley) was sent to survey the land for the coast to coast railroad. He has the power to put this town out of business by rerouting the rail to another location. We also meet his wife Elena (Nastassja Kinski) and their daughter Hope (Sarah Polley). This is a film about dreams conflicting with greed, as thousands immigrated to seek there fortunes during the gold rush with only a few prospering. Although a slow paced film, the scenic splendour alone is worth the price of admission.