BrianRxm Coins in Movies 31/131
Frisco Kid (1935)
James Cagney, San Francisco's Barbary Coast, coins in trays
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The 1935 Warner Brothers film "Frisco Kid" is set in San Francisco in 1854 during the California Gold Rush.
James Cagney arrives in the city and becomes a businessman in the city's infamous Barbary Coast vice district.
 
In a gambling casino, James sees trays and piles of gold coins, leading him to find ways to get some of his own.
Coincidentally, the first San Francisco Mint was opened in 1854, conveniently located in the Barbary Coast.
 
The practice of "shanghaing", or rendering men unconscious, kidnapping them, and selling them to
ship captains who need sailors is part of the story.
Frisco Kid
1. Title
 
SAN FRANCISCO 1854 --
A fantastic city swarming with miners, gamblers, renegades, and with those pioneers who were builders.
A port crowded with abandoned ships where shanghaing was the only means of getting a crew.
A seven-hilled metropolis on whose north shore flourished the infamous Barbary Coast.
 
THE BARBARY COAST --
A three-block section that earned San Francisco the name of the "wickedest city in the world".
 
James Cagney is Bat Morgan, who arrives in San Francisco on a ship.
He fights off a "shanghai" kidnapper and heads for the Barbary Coast.
 
Frisco Kid
2. Bat Morgan at a Barbary Coast establishment
 
He sees the piles of gold money.
 
Frisco Kid
3. Money on the table
 
This film features many prop coins which have turned up in other films.
Some imitate the "Barber" style of coins and some are copies of Spanish eight reales coins.
The "spread eagle on a stick" reverse is also quite common.
 
Bat quickly gives up his plan to head for the gold fields as there is more money to be made in San Francisco.
Bat becomes a celebrity by killing "Shanghai Duck", a local bully, in a fight.
 
Jean Barrat is a San Francisco society woman who owns a newspaper run by Charles Ford.
 
Frisco Kid
4. Jean and Charles
 
Charles is using his newspaper to campaign to rid the city of vice and violence.
 
Bat goes to work for Paul Morra who runs a gambling establishment.
Belle is the club's hostess and Paul's lady friend.
 
Frisco Kid
5. Belle, Paul, and Bat at work
 
Paul's Chinese employee weighs gold dust sometimes received direct from miners.
 
Frisco Kid
6. Counting the money
 
Another huge pile of prop coins.
 
Bat soon acquires enough money to open his own establishment and for that he needs political connections.
He goes to see James Daley, a city political big man, and makes a deal with him.
Later James visits Bat at his office to collect his money.
 
Frisco Kid
7. James Daley visits Bat at his office
 
Bat has met Jean and has started seeing her.
 
Frisco Kid
8. Bat and Jean
 
Bat proposes marriage but Jean, who is from the city's society, will not marry a "vice lord".
 
The city opens an opera house and during a performance Paul Morra shoots a local judge.
James Daley gets into an argument with editor Charles Ford and shoots him.
 
Public spirited citizens form a "Vigilance Committee" to deal with the violence and crime.
 
Frisco Kid
9. Vigilante meeting
 
The "Vigilantes" hang Paul Morra and James Daley for their crimes.
They capture Bat Morgan and intend to hang him too.
 
Frisco Kid
10. Bat, Jean, and Vigilante leader
 
Jean Barrat appeals to the Vigilante committee to spare Bat as he stopped a battle between Vigilantes
and Barbary Coast workers which would have killed many men and burned down the city.
 
The Vigilante leaders agree and Bat promises Jean and the city that he will work in legitimate enterprises.
Notes:
 
Cast:
James Cagney as Bat Morgan
Margaret Lindsay as Jean Barrat
Ricardo Cortez as Paul Morra
Lili Damita as Belle
Donald Woods as Charles Ford
 
Director: Lloyd Bacon
Writers: Warren Duff and Seton I. Miller
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