BrianRxm Coins in Movies 55/131
The King and Four Queens (1956)
Clark Gable and $20 dollar gold pieces
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The 1956 MGM Western film "The King and Four Queens" uses United States $20 gold coins
as shooting targets and as jewelry.
Clark Gable rides into an 1880's SouthWestern town and then to a ranch searching for stolen gold.
He encounters four beautiful women and their rough mother-in-law, Jo Van Fleet.
Jo's sons are outlaws, the women are their wives, three of the sons died in an explosion,
and the fourth son's whereabouts are unknown.
King and Four Queens
1. Title
Clark Gable, outrides a posse and heads into a saloon.
Clark asks the saloonkeeper about the town/ranch of Wagon Mound, the man tells Clark the story
of the McDade outlaw brothers who, two years ago, robbed a mine of $100,000 in gold dust.
($100,000 in gold then at $20.67/ounce would weigh around 332 pounds)
The gold is believed to be hidden on the ranch and there is a $5,000 reward for it.
The outlaws were cornered by a posse in a barn, a fire caused a gunpowder explosion,
killing three of the men and leaving their bodies unidentified.
The fourth son got away.
The saloonkeeper shows Clark a $20 gold piece which has a bullet hole in it.
The outlaw brothers were proud of their shooting ability and all wore such coins.
The saloonkeeper warns Clark that the women living at the ranch, the outlaws' mother and
their four wives, are also excellent shooters and will shoot any man who comes near the place.
King and Four Queens
2. Saloonkeeper shows Clark a shot $20 gold piece
Unknown to the saloonkeeper, Clark has one of his own.
King and Four Queens
3. Clark holding his shot $20 gold piece
Clark rides out to the ranch, which is a former Spanish mission or church, the building had also
been used as a gambling place at one time.
A United States $20 gold piece:
United States $20 gold coin
4. United States $20 gold coin 1876-S
This coin was minted in San Francisco in 1876 and would fit the period of the film.
Clark rides out to the ranch.
King and Four Queens
5. The ranch
Jo Van Fleet shoots Clark but only wounds him.
The four wives then appear to assist Clark.
King and Four Queens
6. The four wives (Jean Willes, Sara Shane, Barbara Nichols, Eleanor Parker)
The wives take Clark into the house.
The young women haven't been close to a man for two years and are all excited, except for Eleanor.
Three of the women try to bed Clark and one succeeds.
Clark asks Eleanor for a $20 gold piece.
King and Four Queens
7. Clark shows Eleanor a whole $20 gold piece
Clark shoots a hole in the coin, causing Eleanor to wonder if he knew any of the outlaws.
King and Four Queens
8. Clark shows Eleanor the shot coin
Jo sees the coin and also wonders.
King and Four Queens
9. Jo examining the coin
Jo makes it clear that she wants Clark to leave.
King and Four Queens
10. Jo and Clark argue in front of the wives
Clark realizes that it is time to leave, and meets Eleanor to say goodbye.
She is the only woman of the group who did not respond romantically to Clark.
King and Four Queens
11. Clark tells his story to Eleanor
Clark tells her that he did come looking for the gold, and that he found it.
Eleanor then tells Clark her story, "we are two of a kind".
King and Four Queens
12. Eleanor tells her story to Clark
Eleanor tells Clark that she met the surviving outlaw, who, trying to impress her, told her about the gold,
and was then killed.
She decided to get the gold by claiming to have married the man, and that she found where
the gold was hidden by watching Jo, but needed a man's help to retrieve it.
The pair ride off in a horse-drawn wagon, then a posse shows up and pursues them.
Clark sends Eleanor off in the wagon with $5,000 in gold, takes the rest and waits for the posse.
Clark tells the posse sheriff that he found the gold and wants to turn it in, and that he kept $5,000
as the reward.
The sheriff is impressed with Clark's honesty and lets him go.
Clark visits a mission and the padre tells him that his "wife" came by and withdrew money he had
left there.
Clark rides off and finds Eleanor waiting.
King and Four Queens
13. Eleanor hands Clark his money
They agree that they are meant for each other.
Clark Gable as Dan Kehoe
Jo Van Fleet as Ma McDade
Eleanor Parker as Sabina McDade
Jean Willes as Ruby McDade
Barbara Nichols as Birdie McDade
Sara Shane as Oralie McDade
Director: Raoul Walsh
Writers: Margaret Fitts, Richard Alan Simmons
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