Great Movies with Coin Scenes

You may feel as if you just don’t get enough coin related enjoyment in your life. After spending hours organizing your collection or scouring the internet finding the perfect coin, you might want to settle down to watch one of these movies that include elements of coin collecting. Here is part two to our Great Movies with Coin Scenes blog!

Dear_John_film_posterDear John
While serving in the United States Army Special Forces in 2003, Staff Sergeant John Tyree is lying on the ground in Afghanistan, after being shot twice with his comrades around him. In a voice-over, he recalls a childhood trip to the US Mint and compares himself to a coin in the United States Military before stating that the last thing he thought of before he blacked out was “you.” — in reference to his Dad, a coin collector.

In 2001, John is on leave in Charleston, South Carolina. He meets Savannah Curtis, a college student building homes with a group of co-eds for Habitat for Humanity while on spring break, when he fetches her purse from the ocean. She invites him to a bonfire party where he meets her neighbor, Tim Wheddon, and his son, Alan. Over the course of two weeks, they go on several dates and fall in love. Savannah also meets John’s father, who is obsessed with his coin collection.

If you’re looking for a heart warming and tear inducing film, Dear John tells the story of a son’s relationship with his Dad, and a soldiers relationship with his lover.

 

Coin_Heist_film_posterCoin Heist
A 2017 American crime drama film based on the young-adult novel of the same name by Elisa Ludwig. The last place you’d expect to find a team of criminals is at a prestigious Philadelphia prep school. But on a class trip to the US Mint – which they learn, prints a million new coins every 30 minutes – an overlooked security flaw becomes far too tempting for a small group of students to ignore. Once they break in, they plan to create a limited edition run of coins to sell to collectors.

United by dire circumstances, these four unlikely allies – the hacker, the slacker, the athlete, and the perfect student – band together to attempt the impossible: steal from the US Mint. This film is a fun, suspenseful and compelling thriller, told from the revolving perspectives of four teens, each with their own motive for committing a crime that will change all of their lives – if they can pull it off.

 

Dennis_the_menaceDennis the Menace
Based off of the beloved comic strip, Dennis is a young boy who always tends to get into trouble. His neighbor, Mr. Wilson and his gentle, well-meaning wife, Martha, are babysitting Dennis during the night of a big garden party. Through all this, Dennis continually gets into Mr. Wilson’s hair. But then Switchblade Sam makes an appearance. Switchblade Sam is a homeless drifter who combs the neighborhood stealing purses and small home items.

Switchblade Sam steals Mr. Wilson’s collection of gold coins, Dennis comes to the rescue and inflicts Dennis the Menace-type tortures upon the thief in order to reclaim the coins for Mr. Wilson.

A fun and family friendly movie that centers on saving a coin collection!

 

MV5BNTUyZmYyN2ItYzdlYi00NzJjLTk5ZjAtZmY5OWM2M2Q0NzEyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTEwMjYxOTM@._V1_UY268_CR4,0,182,268_AL_The Seventh Coin
Retired British Soldier, Emil Saber travels to Jerusalem to seek the seventh coin of King Herod to complete his collection. As Saber searches for the coins, he becomes more and more unhinged, eventually believing that he is the murderous incarnation of King Herod. When he discovers that the coin is in the possession of two youngsters, American tourist Ronnie and pickpocket Salim, the two must struggle to avoid becoming Saber’s next victims.

This is a mild-mannered, family-orientated thriller! Emil Saber is hilariously over the top in his unusual fashion.

 

Banking_on_Bitcoin

Banking on Bitcoin
Bitcoin is the most disruptive invention since the Internet, and now an ideological battle is underway between fringe utopists and mainstream capitalism. The film shows the players who are defining how this technology will shape our lives.

If you’re looking for a serious documentary style film, Banking on Bitcoin, gives you a future outlook on what our economy may eventually look like.

 

 

 

Well_Wishes_posterWell Wishes
Miles is laid off from his job after his boss, needing to downsize the company, chooses who will stay and who will go on a simple coin toss. After his longtime girlfriend leaves him, Miles hits rock bottom. Making one wish on the very last penny in his pocket, he throws the coin into a wishing fountain at the local plaza.

He then retrieves his coin….then takes another….and another. Assembling a team with his best-friend Jack and a kind stranger Durwood, Miles builds an enterprise of harvesting coins from wishing fountains locally. But he soon takes to the American highway to cultivate riches from fountains nationwide. Along the way he discovers love in an indebted traveler while Jack and Durwood grow the venture from home. As the business booms the team quickly realizes that each has his own idea of what wealth and happiness truly means.


Grab the popcorn and sit back to relax as you enjoy this selection of movies about coin collecting. Any movies we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Seven Great Movies with Coin Scenes

 

 

Summertime is the perfect time to relax with a cold drink and a good movie. It’s not unusual to see a coin used as a significant prop in the film: here are seven of our favorites.

 

 

Presentation_of_Yapese_stone_money_for_FSM_inaugurationHis Majesty O’Keefe is based on the true story of David O’Keefe, an Irish American captain who ended up on the island of Yap in the South Pacific, which used large stone discs as currency. O’Keefe begins his time in the South Pacific exporting copra, a highly valuable coconut product, but eventually persuades the Yap islanders to mass produce the large Rai stone currency, before being defeated by his own hubris as inflation takes over the Yap economy. 

 

 

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most successful franchises of the 21st century. While later movies might have been less well received, the first movie in the series is still a fun watch. The Aztec gold coins (which admittedly bear no resemblance to any real coin) stolen by the crew of the Black Pearl form a central part of the film’s plot, and the machinations of Captain Barbossa to return the coins and restore his crew to full humanity are the core of the adventure.

 

 

nnc-us-1921-1-peace_dollarIf you look closely in The Dark Knight, you may notice two unusual things about the coin that  Harvey Dent constantly tosses to determine the outcome of an offender. For one thing, the coin has two heads (this allows Dent to threaten criminals without ever committing himself to harming them). The other is that in this movie, unlike other portrayals of the Harvey Dent/Two-Face character, his double-obverse coin is a real coin design: a US Peace Dollar.

 

 

Moby-Dicks mad Captain Ahab, desperate to motivate his men, nails an Ecuadorian gold doubloon to the mast and promises that whoever spots the White Whale first will get the coin. Of course, Ahab himself ends up spotting the whale, due to his obsession, and claims the coin, which does not endear him to his crew.

 

 

gVIaThe King’s Speech was nominated for 12 Oscars and won 4 of them. In this compelling story of King George VI of England and his friendship with speech therapist Lionel Logue, who cures the king of his persistent stammer. Near the beginning of the film, Logue bets the monarch one shilling that he can cure him. The shilling becomes a symbol of their friendship. When the actors playing the King and Logue (Colin Firth and Geoffery Rush, respectively) appeared at the Oscars, Firth gave Rush a pristine George VI shilling that had been given to him for good luck.

 

 

1979Somewhere In Time is not a well-known classic, but it is an interesting time-travel/romance movie in which a coin plays a significant part. A young actor is enjoying some attention after a show, when an old woman bursts in, hands him a locket, and begs him “Come back to me!” After some research, he realizes that not only was she a famous actress decades earlier, but that she was the lovely woman pictured in the locket. By concentrating on the era, he manages to travel back in time, find the young woman, and fall in love. Their love is doomed, though, by a single modern Lincoln cent. (No, we won’t give the whole thing away. Watch the movie.)

 

 

If you’re looking for lighter fare, check out Weird Al Yankovic‘s offbeat comedy UHF. In this movie, imaginative dreamer George (played by Al himself) is given a UHF station by his uncle, and the programming results are as odd as you might expect. Rife with movie references, quotable lines, and a truly fun story, the climax depends on a single error cent.

 

 

That’s our list! Do you have favorite movies with coin scenes? Tell us about it in the comments!

The Truth About Captain America’s Unique World Coins

With the third installment of Marvel’s Captain America movie franchise coming to theaters this week, it’s time to put his story into historical context. Often, it’s the odds and ends that tell us more about someone’s life than the big story moments. What stories would Steve Rogers’ pocket change tell?

 

The story begins

In June 22, 1943, a physically weak but passionate recruit, Steve Rogers, volunteered for an experimental Army super-soldier program, and was transformed into Captain America in New Jersey. Due to sabotage, Steve Rogers was the only such super-soldier made before the lab was destroyed. To avoid being used for research, he joined the USO for a tour of the US, the United Kingdom, and Italy.

So what United States coins might the new Captain America have carried?

s-l1600During WWII, the military needed all the copper it could get, and began minting steel pennies in 1943. This penny rusted quickly, and would not work properly in many coin machines; this made it unpopular with the general public. In 1944-45, the government began issuing “shell-case” cents, made from spent ammunition shells. Some of these coins contain streaks of other colors, due to the mixed metals they were made from. In addition to the unique steel and shell-case cents, the government issued silver nickels  from 1942-45, and silver quarters from 1932-1964.

Captain America likely would have had a mix of these coins in his pockets, as well as coins minted before the copper shortage, as he began traveling with the USO.

 

The UK and Italy Tour

For five months, Captain America toured with the USO as part of a “morale-boosting” show for troops at home and abroad. This show traveled through the United Kingdom and Italy, before Captain America broke away to raid a HYDRA facility in Italy and rescue his best friend,  Bucky Barnes, along with other Allied soldiers.

1280px-1937_George_VI_penny

British coinage did not change substantially in WWII, and Captain America likely would have found himself with a few British pennies with the 1937 George VI image, as well as the 50% silver shilling, minted from 1920-1946.

 

1000_Lire_AM

Allied troops in Italy were issued a unique banknote: the AM-Lira, worth $1 US. These notes were issued after the Allied landing in Sicily on July 9, 1943, a few months before Cap and the USO arrived.

 

Captain America Becomes A Hero

After the raid on the HYDRA facility in Italy, Captain America created his crack team, the Howling Commandos. Tired of having his abilities used for entertainment, Cap led his team on a whirlwind trip around occupied Europe, raiding HYDRA bases and freeing prisoners of war.

 

Belgium_zinc_coins_World_War_II_1940sIn January and February of 1944, the team destroyed HYDRA facilities in Belgium and Slovakia. Both countries had extensive coinage minted during the years of German occupation. Belgian francs and centimes were minted in 100% zinc as an emergency issue; the centime is 1/100th of a franc. Coins were available in 1 and 5 franc denominations, as well as 1, 10, and 25 centime denominations. While many coins listed the country as “Belgie-Belgique,” some coins reversed this order. 

korunaIn Czechoslovakia (Soviet Slovakia at the time), a wider range of coins were available. The 5 halier coin (1942-47) was minted entirely from zinc, while the 10 (1939-47) and 20 (1940-43) halier coins were minted in brass (92% copper and 8% zinc.) The 50 halier piece had two versions: one, minted from 1941-48, was cupronickel (80% copper, 20% nickel); the alternate piece was 100% aluminium. The koruna was minted in cupronickel in the 1 koruna denomination (1940-47), in nickel for the 5 koruna (1939-47), and silver for both of the 20 koruna coins (1939-47, 1941-47).

 

The End of an Era

In early 1945, Captain America and the Howling Commandos helped capture Nazi scientist Arnim Zola in the Austrian Alps. During this mission, Cap’s best friend and fellow solider,  Bucky Barnes, was lost over the side of the train and presumed dead. To avenge his friend and attempt to end the HYDRA threat, Captain America led a daring mission into the heart of HYDRA, and boarded the Valkyrie aircraft, which was on course to destroy New York City. Unable to change the plane’s course, Captain America chose to crash the plane off the coast of Greenland. He was presumed dead on March 4, 1945, and his disappearance released to the public on March 5. He would not be heard from for another 67 years, when an expedition dug him out of the ice.

 

5_Reichsmark_1938During his short time in Austria , Captain America might not have picked up any Austrian coins at all. Until 1938, the 1, 2, 5, and 50 groschen coins were minted (in bronze for the 1 and 2 groschen denominations, and cupronickel for the 5 and 50), along with 1 and 5 schilling coins (in cupronickel and silver, respectively). After the annexation of Austria in 1938, Austrian currency was replaced with the Reichsmark. 

 

We’ll never know exactly which coins Cap carried during his WWII days, but it’s fascinating to speculate. (And the romantic among us might carry a hope that he kept at least one British coin to remind him of Peggy Carter!)

 

Many of the coins mentioned here are for sale from The Stamp and Coin Place! Click the links above, or browse our selection here.

An American Legacy: The Story of Tarzan

For much of his life, Edgar Rice Burroughs was a drifter between jobs, never quite sure what his next job would bring.

But all that changed when Burroughs brought pen to paper in 1912, soon penning what was to be one of the most popular stories in American literature: Tarzan of the Apes.
Burroughs recalled years later that:

…if people were paid for writing rot such as I read in some of those magazines, that I could write stories just as rotten. As a matter of fact, although I had never written a story, I knew absolutely that I could write stories just as entertaining and probably a whole lot more so than any I chanced to read in those magazines.

After trying and failing in many other attempts at bringing in enough money for his wife and children, soon Burroughs discovered that writing would be his success story. He sent in half of a story to a magazine and after receiving encouragement, sent in the second half in return for $400.

Later he wrote, “No amount of money today could possibly give me the thrill that first $400 check gave me.”

From The New Adventures of Tarzan pop-up book (via S&C ETC.)

From a vintage The New Adventures of Tarzan pop-up book, published 1935 (via S&C ETC.)

He soon quit his job to write full-time.

At the time, pulp magazines (so called because of their cheap, high pulp paper) ran stories in installments, ensuring that readers would buy the next issues to find out what happened next in their favorite stories. But the editors of the All-Story magazine found Burroughs’ first Tarzan story so exciting that they published the full story in one issue.

Tarzan_All_Story

Burroughs’ daughter Joan later married James Pierce, who played Tarzan in the film Tarzan and the Golden Lion.

While Burroughs wrote many other successful stories like his Mars exploration series, the Tarzan series was by far his most popular. (Miss the Disney movie? See here for a good summary of the Tarzan story.)

Something about the primitive Tarzan struck a chord with readers – and continued to do so, leading to twenty-five sequels and countless radio, movie, TV, and other pop culture adaptations.

The poster for the 1933 movie Tarzan the Fearless

The poster for the 1933 movie Tarzan the Fearless. 

Tarzan is still a memorable character in literary history, and he’s not going anywhere. While the story may have resonated the most with its early 20th century readers, the amount of modern Tarzan adaptations prove that this is a character ingrained in the American psyche.

What is it about the story of Tarzan that has stuck to this day? Do you have any theories?