BrianRxm Coins in Movies 81/122
Nowhere to Go (1958)
Confidence man steals valuable coin collection
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The 1958 Ealing/MGM film "Nowhere to Go" is set in England and Wales, and is about a
Canadian confidence man who convinces a middle-aged Canadian widow to allow him to sell her
late husband's valuable coin collection for her.
 
The man finds that he can not retrieve the money he has hidden and becomes a fugitive.
Along the way he becomes friends with a young woman who likes the excitement from hanging
out with criminals.
 
This film has a numismatic theme, the goods stolen by the protagonist are coins in a collection,
and various types of old coins are mentioned, including "nobles", "groats", "ryals", and "tetradrachms".
Some coins are shown but not clear enough to identify them.
 
One woman even has a lampshade with pictures of coins on it.
Nowhere to Go
1. Title
 
Paul Gregory is a Canadian confidence man who has been living in England since World War II.
He has friends in the London underworld and a part-time assistant, Victor Sloane.
 
He has read in a newspaper society column that a Mrs. Harriet Jefferson has arrived from Canada
to sell her deceased husband's coin collection, valued at £60,000.
 
Harriet likes to watch ice hockey games and Paul has arranged to sit next to her at a match.
 
 
Nowhere to Go
2. Paul meets Harriet
 
After the match, Harriet shows Paul a newspaper article about her visit to London.
 
Nowhere to Go
3. Harriet in the news
 
Paul tells Harriet that he is writing a play and asks her how she is enjoying London.
 
Harriet:
And I don't mind admitting to you, Mr. Gregory that I can't tell the difference between a groat and a noble.
(A groat was a medieval English silver coin worth four pence and a noble was a gold coin)
 
Of course, Joe was crazy about them, but to me they're just so much idle capital.
And dealers are such cheats.
 
Do you know, that man at Dodds had the gall to offer me £55,000?
(Dodds & Dodds is a coin dealer in the film)
Why, they're insured for £65,000!
 
Paul:
You'd better watch your language, Mrs. Jefferson, one of my best friends is a dealer.
What do these coins look like?
Harriet:
I'll show them to you one day.
 
At their next meeting, Harriet shows Paul the coin collection.
 
Nowhere to Go
4. Harriet shows Paul the collection
 
Paul:
Well, they're beautiful, Mrs. Jefferson
Harriet:
Oh, they're pretty enough, I guess. All the same, I'll be glad when they're sold.
I want to get back home.
 
Harriet asks Paul how his play is coming along.
 
Harriet:
How's that second act coming, Paul?
Paul:
Terrible. I can't figure out what to do with the old lady.
Harriet:
Kill her off.
 
Harriet:
By the way, Paul, have you heard from your friend lately?
The dealer you were telling me about. What's he like?
 
Paul:
Oh, he's honest, and what's more, he's rich.
12 years ago we both came out of the army together, flat broke.
Now he's got branches in Paris, Rome, and New York.
 
Paul asks Harriet if he could sell her collection on commission.
At an antiques auction the bids are heard in "guineas", an old term for a British pound.
Paul introduces Harriet to Victor Sloane, a confederate posing as a coin dealer.
 
Nowhere to Go
5. Paul introduces Harriet to Victor
 
Harriet:
I'm trying to sell my husband's collection?
We were hoping you might be able to help us find a buyer.
 
Victor:
Well, what sort of offers have you had?
Harriet:
Well, Dodds & Dodds have offered me £55,000.
 
Victor:
Well, from what I know of the collection, you'd be mad to take anything under £60,000.
I mean those 4th-century tetradrachmas alone are worth £10,000.
(A tetradrachm is an ancient Greek coin)
 
Paul gets a letter of authorization from Harriet and heads to Dodds & Dodds, the coin dealer
who originally offered Harriet £55,000.
 
Nowhere to Go
6. Dodds & Dodds sign
 
Dodds & Dodds is a old established rare coin dealer.
 
Nowhere to Go
7. Paul meets the Dodds
 
Paul presents his letter of authorization to the dealers and asks for £55,000.
Once the dealer agrees, Paul asks for cash claiming that Harriet doesn't trust banks and is a "little crazy".
 
Harriet leaves town for a resort with Paul agreeing to follow.
He then goes to her place and finds the cabinet with the collection.
 
Nowhere to Go
8. Harriet's coin cabinet closed
 
The coin cabinet is quite an ornate one with an easily broken lock.
 
Nowhere to Go
9. Harriet's coin cabinet open
 
Paul loads the coin trays into his bag.
 
Nowhere to Go
10. Coins in the bag
 
Paul then heads for Dodds & Dodds with the goods.
The dealer sees the coins in the bag.
 
Nowhere to Go
11. Coin dealer examines coins with cash in background
 
Dealer:
What made you do this, Mr. Gregory? Completely irresponsible, packing them like this.
Don't you realize the slightest scratch can destroy the value of a coin?
However, let's check through the contents, Miss Rogers (the assistant).
Strange woman, Mrs. J. Have you been working for her long?
 
Paul:
No, not long. Just filling in.
 
Dealer:
It's obvious, if you'll forgive my saying so, that you're a stranger to the world of numismatology.
Paul:
Yes
 
Nowhere to Go
12. Coin dealer's office
 
Dealer:
We may have given you a wrong impression on Friday.
As a matter of fact, cash transactions aren't all that rare.
Have you ever been to the Yemen?
 
Paul:
No
 
Dealer:
There's only one kind of currency there, solid silver coins called riyals.
I have a friend out there who's paid by the month.
He has to collect his wages in a shooting brake.
(A shooting brake is a car used to transport hunting parties)
Though I dare say you'd call it a station wagon, wouldn't you?
Eh, Mr. Gregory
 
Paul takes the cash and deposits it in a bank safe-deposit box.
He then allows the police to arrest him.
He pleads guilty in court, expecting a five-year prison sentence.
 
Nowhere to Go
13. Paul pleads guilty
 
The judge sentences Paul to ten years because he will not return the money.
Paul's confederate Victor arranges for Paul to escape from prison and stay in a fancy apartment.
 
Bridget Howard, a young woman, comes over to see the offical tenant who was her boy friend
until he fled England and moved to Tangier (Morocco).
 
Nowhere to Go
14. Paul meets Bridget
 
Bridget likes associating with criminals, sees that Paul is one, and becomes his girl.
 
Paul and Victor have a fight over money with Paul accidently killing Victor.
 
Nowhere to Go
15. Paul at the bank
 
Paul tries to retrieve the money from the bank but does not have the right safe-box key.
He meets with a major underworld figure who, with his assistants, rides in a chauffeur-driven car.
The man tells Paul that Victor's body has been found and that the police are looking for him.
 
Nowhere to Go
16. Paul gets a light from his friends
 
Paul asks for help but the underworld men refuse to help a murderer as he is "too warm".
 
Paul's last hope is Bridget and he heads for her apartment.
 
Nowhere to Go
17. Bridget at her apartment
 
The lamp shade continues the numismatic theme with a design based on the ancient (BC 400)
Syracuse silver tetradrachm coins of Arethusa by the artist Kimon.
 
Bridget is from a wealthy Welsh family and owns a car.
 
Nowhere to Go
18. Bridget and Paul in her car
 
Bridget takes Paul to her family's place in Wales where he is to live in a cabin on the property.
 
The police (who know her associates) visit her and ask about Paul as she had been seen with him.
She tells them that Paul made a pass at her and she rejected him.
 
Paul sees Bridget with the police and believes that she has informed on him.
He leaves the cabin to find another place to stay.
 
Nowhere to Go
19. Paul tries to steal a bicycle
 
Paul tries to steal a bicycle but is shot by a farm worker.
He steals a truck but then collapses and is pulled from the truck.
 
Nowhere to Go
20. Crime does not pay
Notes:
 
Cast:
George Nader as Paul Gregory
Maggie Smith as Bridget Howard
Bernard Lee as Victor Sloane
Bessie Love as Harriet P. Jefferson
 
Directors: Seth Holt, Basil Dearden
Writers: Donald MacKenzie (novel), Seth Holt, Kenneth Tynan
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