BrianRxm Coins in Movies 23/130
A Dog's Purpose (2017)
The 1907 St. Gaudens Golden Eagle requires a prop coin
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The 2017 Universal Pictures film "A Dog's Purpose", is a fantasy film about a dog who is reincarnated
several times with different human owners.
 
The longest segment is about the dog Bailey and the boy Ethan.
 
Ethan's father owns a small but valuable coin collection and the dog swallows the most valuable coin,
a "1907 St. Gaudens Golden Eagle".
 
A prop coin is used as the coin and in this case a prop would be required by the journey the coin makes.
 
The film has five stories about five incarnations of the dog, who narrates each segment.
 
The second and fifth segments are connected while segments one, three, and four are separate
and are not covered here as there is no numismatic element.
A Dog's Purpose
1. Title
 
After birth as a puppy, the dog is immediately euthanized, and reincarnates into another puppy.
 
The puppy ends up with an eight year old boy, Ethan, who names him Bailey.
 
Ethan and his parents live in Michigan in 1961 where his father is a travelling salesman and his
mother is a housewife.
 
A Dog's Purpose
2. Mom, Bailey, Ethan
 
Bailey meets another member of the family.
 
A Dog's Purpose
3. Bailey meets the cat
 
Bailey feels that the cat should behave more like a dog.
 
Ethan is taken to see his grandparents who live on a farm.
 
A Dog's Purpose
4. Grandparent's house
 
Bailey runs around the farm and finds a deflated football in a barn, which he brings to Ethan.
 
A Dog's Purpose
5. Bailey brings Ethan the football
 
Ethan plays catch with Bailey and the football will resurface later.
 
The parents have the father's work superior and his wife over for dinner.
The father plans to show the boss his coin collection.
 
A Dog's Purpose
6. Father's coin collection case
 
The coin collection is small and fits with a small case.
 
A Dog's Purpose
7. Coins in case
 
The coins are, top, from left to right, unknown, the 1907 gold coin, a Morgan dollar obverse,
bottom, a Peace dollar reverse, a Morgan dollar reverse, and a Walking Liberty half dollar obverse.
 
A Dog's Purpose
8. 1907 St. Gaudens Golden Eagle obverse
 
The coin is a twenty-dollar gold coin, and is usually called a "St. Gaudens Double Eagle", named after
the designer Augustus St. Gaudens. An "eagle" is a ten-dollar gold coin.
 
The St. Gaudens coin was first issued in 1907 in a high-relief version, and these are worth a lot of money.
There is also a less expensive 1907 low-relief version.
Nothing is said in the film about the relief version of the coin that the father owns.
 
A Dog's Purpose
9. Ethan holds the coin showing the reverse
 
The coin here does not look like a real 1907 double eagle and is obviously a prop coin.
The real 1907 coins did not have "In God We Trust" on them. The motto was added in 1908.
Note the printing underneath the "In God We Trust".
 
The following National Collectors Mint Tribute Coin appears to resemble the film prop coin.
 
Tribute Coin $20 1933
10. National Collectors Mint Tribute Coin - Double Eagle $20 1933
 
Gold-plated bronze, 39mm, 26.74gm
 
Obverse:
LIBERTY / 1933
 
Reverse:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / E PLURIBUS UNUM / IN GOD WE TRUST
COPY# / MG1225
 
These were struck by the National Collectors Mint and sold in magazine advertisements.
They are copies of the infamous and rare 1933 gold Double Eagle or $20 gold piece.
 
A real United States twenty-dollar gold coin:
 
United States $20 gold coin
11. United States $20 1908
 
This version does not have the motto "In God We Trust" as it was added later in the year.
 
Ethan spins the coin on the table.
 
A Dog's Purpose
12. Coin spinning
 
The coin falls off the table and right into the dog's mouth who swallows it.
 
Ethan nerviously attends the family dinner.
 
A Dog's Purpose
13. Dinner with the boss
 
The manager asks to see the "famous" 1907 coin later.
 
Ethan asks to be excused to take the dog for a walk and Bailey works fast.
 
A Dog's Purpose
14. Ethan retrieves the coin
 
Ethan has to put the coin back into the case, which is laying on the table.
 
He yells that there is a rat in the room causing a commotion, allowing him to replace the coin.
 
A Dog's Purpose
15. Replacing the coin
 
Mission accomplished.
 
The story jumps a few years and now Ethan is in high school where he is a football star.
 
The father has become a drunk and sits around the house watching television or arguing with his wife.
Presumably he sold the coin collection to pay for liquor as it is not mentioned again.
 
Ethan meets Hannah, a local girl, and they begin seeing each other.
 
A Dog's Purpose
16. Ethan and Hannah
 
Ethan convinces his father to move out of the house after he beats up the mother.
 
Ethan is awarded a college football scholarship but breaks his foot and loses the scholarship.
He becomes depressed and breaks up with Hannah.
 
Ethan and his mother move with Bailey to join the grandparents at their farm.
Bailey finds a "non-horse" playmate.
 
A Dog's Purpose
17. Bailey meets the non-horse at the farm
 
Bailey dies and the dog goes through two reincarnations, first as a police dog and then as a family pet.
 
He then has another reincarnation as Buddy, who remembers his past life as Bailey, and somehow
finds his way to the farm where a middle-aged Ethan is living by himself. Ethan then adopts Buddy.
 
A Dog's Purpose
18. Buddy and Ethan
 
Buddy returns the favor by locating Hannah, who is a widow living in town.
 
A Dog's Purpose
19. Buddy and Hannah
 
Hannah reads Ethan's name on the dog tag and returns him to Ethan.
The high school lovers decide to resume their relationship.
 
A Dog's Purpose
20. Hannah and Ethan together
 
The pair get married and Hannah moves to the farm.
 
Buddy tries to get Ethan to recognize him as his former dog Bailey by locating the old football and
bringing it to Ethan.
 
A Dog's Purpose
21. Buddy brings the football
 
Buddy chases his tail and catches the football in the same way that Bailey did, causing Ethan to first
wonder and then and recognizing that his old dog has returned.
 
A Dog's Purpose
22. Bailey returned
 
The dog's tag is now seen to read "Bailey".
 
A Dog's Purpose
23. Bailey
 
Bailey finishes with a statement that a dog's purpose is to have fun and to help people.
Notes:
 
Cast:
Josh Gad as the voice of all the dogs
Bryce Gheisar as Young Ethan
KJ Apa as Teen Ethan
Britt Robertson as Teen Hannah
Dennis Quaid as Adult Ethan
Peggy Lipton as Adult Hannah
Juliet Rylance as Ethan's Mom
Luke Kirby as Ethan's Dad
 
Director: Lasse Hallström
Writers: W. Bruce Cameron, Cathryn Michon, Audrey Wells, Maya Forbes, Wally Wolodarsky,
W. Bruce Cameron (novel)
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