BrianRxm Coins in Movies 83/110
Rio Grande (1950)
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The 1950 Republic Pictures film "Rio Grande" shows some United States silver coins and a
Confederate ten dollar currency note.
 
The film stars John Wayne as Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke, a US Army Cavalry officer commanding a post in
Texas near the Rio Grande river and the Mexican border in 1879.
 
Maureen O'Hara is Kathleen Yorke, the Colonel's estranged wife who visits his post as their son has
enlisted in the Army after failing mathematics at the US Military Academy (West Point).
 
The marriage broke up in 1864 when Yorkes's troops burned Confederate Maureen's family plantation
during Union General Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign.
 
At one point Colonel Yorke hands Kathleen a Confederate $10 bill and she throws some silver coins
on a table.
Rio Grande
1. Republic Pictures Logo
 
Rio Grande
2. Title
 
Merian Cooper previously produced the 1933 film "King Kong".
 
Lt. Colonel Kirby Yorke appears.
 
Rio Grande
3. Colonel Yorke
 
Colonel Yorke is the commander of a US Army Cavalry regiment stationed in Apache Indian territory
in Texas along the Rio Grande river border with Mexico.
 
General Sheridan is now the US Army commander of the soldiers fighting the Indians.
He visits the post and informs Col. Yorke that his 16-year old son Jefferson Yorke, a cadet at the
US Military Academy at West Point, has failed mathematics and has been dismissed.
 
Eighteen new recruits arrive at the post and Col. Yorke finds his son Jefferson among them.
 
Rio Grande
4. New recruits arrive
 
Jefferson Yorke (on the right) is one of the recruits.
 
Rio Grande
5. Sergeant Major Quincannon
 
Sergeant Quincannon is a veteran non-commissioned officer who is in charge of instructing
the new recruits in army horsemanship.
 
A supply wagon brings a lady to the post, she is Kathleen Yorke, the estranged wife of the Colonel.
 
Rio Grande
6. Colonel Yorke and the Colonel's Lady
 
Mrs. Yorke has come to get their son out of the Army.
At the time a soldier could purchase a discharge for $100 but only if his commanding officer agreed.
 
The Colonel tells his wife that he believes the son's enlistment oath is sacred and will not go along
with the scheme.
 
Mrs. Yorke visits her son who has been in a fight with another soldier.
 
Rio Grande
7. Mother and son
 
The son tells her that even if his father signed the discharge request that he would not.
 
The regiment has a group of musicians and singers who perform at events.
 
Rio Grande
8. Musicians and singers
 
The "Sons of the Pioneers" were one of the top Western singing groups of the period, and recorded
such songs as "Cool Water", "Tumbling Tumbleweeds", and "Ghost Riders in the Sky".
 
Mrs. Yorke and the Colonel see each other often.
 
Rio Grande
9. Kirby and Kathleen discuss their son
 
Mrs. Yorke implies that if her husband releases their son, she will resume the marriage.
 
The officers hold a dinner to honor General Sheridan who is visiting the post.
 
Rio Grande
10. Officers drinking toasts
 
Captain St. Jacques is French and wears the medal of the French Army Legion of Honor.
How he got into the US Army is not explained.
 
Rio Grande
11. Colonel Yorke's medal
 
Colonel Yorke is wearing a US Army Medal of Honor, probably awarded for his service during
the US Civil War.
 
Mrs. Yorke joins the other women of the post in doing the laundry.
 
Col. Yorke arrives to pick up his laundry.
 
Rio Grande
12. Picking up the laundry
 
Col. Yorke pulls out a note to pay her.
 
Rio Grande
13. Paying for the laundry
 
Col. Yorke hands Mrs. Yorke an unusual note, a Confederate ten dollar note.
 
Rio Grande
14. Confederate note front
 
The note reads "Confederate States of America, Ten Dollars, Richmond".
 
Rio Grande
15. Confederate note back
 
The back of the note is fairly plain with the word "TEN" and the number "10".
 
Mrs. Yorke throws some silver coin change on the table.
 
Rio Grande
16. Change on the table
 
The coins are real United States silver coins, including Peace silver dollars and Walking Liberty half dollars.
However, they are 20th century American coins and are out of place in a film set in 1879.
 
Examples of United States Peace silver dollar and Walking Liberty half dollar coins:
 
United States dollar 1922
17. United States Peace silver dollar 1922
 
The peace dollar was made from 1921 to 1935.
 
United States cent 50 1942
18. United States Walking Liberty half dollar 1942-S (San Francisco)
 
The Walking Liberty half was made from 1916 to 1947.
 
The money is good here.
 
Rio Grande
19. Mr. and Mrs. together again
 
The command decides to evacuate the women and children of the post to Fort Bliss.
They leave in a wagon caravan guarded by some soldiers.
 
Rio Grande
20. Evacuating the women and children
 
The Indians attack the wagon caravan.
 
Rio Grande
21. Indian attack
 
The Indians capture one wagon with children and take them to their village.
 
The rest of the Cavalry then rides to the Indian village to rescue the children.
 
Rio Grande
22. Cavalry attack
 
The soldiers successfully rescue the children and return to the post with the women and children.
 
Rio Grande
23. Coming home
 
Mrs. Yorke waits for her husband who has been wounded in the fighting and is being carried on a litter.
 
A regimental parade honors some soldiers being awarded medals for bravery, including Col. Yorke's son.
 
Rio Grande
24. Regimental parade
 
Notes:
 
Cast:
John Wayne as Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke
Maureen O'Hara as Mrs. Kathleen Yorke
Claude Jarman Jr. as Trooper Jefferson Yorke
Victor McLaglen as Sgt. Maj. Timothy Quincannon
J. Carrol Naish as Lt. Gen. Philip Sheridan
Peter Ortiz as Capt. St. Jacques
The Sons of the Pioneers as the Regimental Musicians
 
Director: John Ford
Writers: James Kevin Mc Guinness, James Warner Bellah (Saturday Evening Post story)
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