BrianRxm Coins in Movies 67/122
The Master of Ballantrae (1953)
Errol Flynn in 1745 Scotland flips a gold coin
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The 1953 Warner Brothers film "The Master of Ballantrae" stars Errol Flynn as a Scottish nobleman
who is on the losing side of the Battle of Culloden and has to flee the country on a ship.
His ship is taken by pirates and he is recruited to join them in the Caribbean.
 
The film was loosely based on Robert Louis Stevenson's novel.
 
Before the battle, Jamie and his younger brother argue over the estate, and he flips a gold coin to decide.
The gold coin appears to be a copy of an Islamic coin issued during the Crusades.
The Master of Ballantrae
1. Title
 
Jamie and Henry Durie are brothers and sons of Lord Durrisdeer and live on the Ballantrae estate
in Scotland in 1745.
 
Jamie wants to join the army of the Scottish Stuart king to fight the English king George II.
 
The Lord's councilor suggests that Henry stay home as those on the losing side will be
harsly treated by the winning side.
 
Jamie agrees but Henry wants to join the fight.
Jamie suggests that he flip a coin to decide which brother goes to fight for Scotland.
 
The Master of Ballantrae
2. Two brothers flip a coin for service
 
Jamie pulls out a gold coin to decide the issue.
 
The Master of Ballantrae
3. The coin
 
The prop coin appears to be a copy of an Islamic or Arabian gold coin of which there are many types.
It would be hard to decide which side is "heads" or "tails".
 
A Crusader imitation of an Islamic Fatimid gold dinar:
 
Crusader Dinar Fatimid
4. Crusader imitation of Islamic Fatimid gold dinar
 
Gold, 20mm, 3.90gm
Obverse and reverse: Imitation Arabic legends and quotes from the Koran.
 
Jamie calls his coin "heads" and goes off to fight at the Battle of Culloden.
He says goodbye to his girlfriend Jessie Brown and his fiancee Lady Alison.
 
The British are victorious and their soldiers are hunting down the Scottish soldiers.
 
Jamie meets an Irishman, Colonel Francis Burke, who also fought in the battle on the Scottish side,
and they flee to the coast to get a ship to France.
 
An informer directs some British soldiers to Jamie who is shot by them.
 
The Master of Ballantrae
5. Jamie's hat found but not him
 
Jamie is believed to be dead, but he makes a quick visit to his brother before joining a ship to France.
The ship is captured by pirates who recruit Jamie and Francis as crewmen and head for the Caribbean.
 
The Master of Ballantrae
6. The ship's flies the black flag
 
Jamie impresses the French pirate Captain Arnaud as a cultured gentleman who can recognize
valuable items like a "Ming vase".
 
The ship has a more traditional crew.
 
The Master of Ballantrae
7. Pirate crew
 
The ship heads for Tortuga, a pirate hangout, and the man go ashore.
A pirate captain of another ship wears his fancy uniform with various medals.
 
The Master of Ballantrae
8. Pirate captain wearing medals
 
Jamie convinces Arnaud to attack a galleon, and after successfully taking the ship, the two men fight
with swords over control of the ship.
 
The Master of Ballantrae
9. Jamie fights Captain Arnaud
 
Jamie bests the captain, takes his cut of the pirate treasure, and heads for Scotland with Francis.
 
The Master of Ballantrae
10. Jamie arrives home
 
Jamie arrives at the estate, surprising almost everyone, including his old girlfriend Lady Alison,
who is about to marry his brother.
 
Some British wedding guests spot Jamie as a fugitive and a swordfight ensues.
Jamie and Francis are arrested, but with some help, are able to escape.
 
Lady Alison joins them as they head into the hills.
 
The Master of Ballantrae
11. Jamie, Francis, and Lady Alison ride off
Notes:
 
Cast:
Errol Flynn as Jamie Durie
Roger Livesey as Col. Francis Burke
Anthony Steel as Henry Durie
Beatrice Campbell as Lady Alison
Yvonne Furneaux as Jessie Brown
 
Director: William Keighley
Writers: Herb Meadow (screenplay), Harold Medford
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