BrianRxm Coins in Movies 103/110
Under Mexicali Stars (1950)
Prev Back Next
The 1950 Republic Pictures Western film "Under Mexicali Stars" shows a Mexican centenario gold coin.
 
The "Arizona Cowboy" Rex Allen plays a cowboy working for US Treasury agents to locate
gold mine thieves and counterfeiters.
 
This film is set the California-Mexico border area, and is a modern period film with automobiles
and other 1950's items appearing, including a new type of flying machine.
 
At one point a Mexican police official shows Rex a Mexican centenario 50 peso coin,
which appears to be a real coin, not a film prop copy.
Under Mexicali Stars
1. Title
 
Rex Allen begins by winning a rodeo chuckwagon race.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
2. Rex Allen at the reins
 
Rex then reports to a massage parlor where his partner Buddy Ebsen is in a steambath.
The manager is a US Treasury agent who asks Rex to impersonate a counterfeiter named Jordan,
get a job at a ranch, and to find out who is stealing refined gold from local gold mines.
 
A Mexican Secret Service agent, Inspector Gomez, shows a coin to Rex.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
3. Inspector Gomez shows a coin to Rex and explains what it is
 
Some time ago my country minted a series of gold coins of various denominations called centennials.
This is one of them, worth around sixty dollars in your money.
My government discovered that those coins are being counterfeited by experts.
Coin collectors purchase some of them but most of them go to the black markets all over the world.
 
Rex looks at both sides of the coin.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
4. Mexican coin obverse
 
Under Mexicali Stars
5. Mexican coin reverse
 
The coin is a Mexican centenario 50 peso gold coin.
 
A Mexican centenario gold coin:
 
Mexico 50 pesos 1944
6. Mexico centenario 1944 gold coin
 
Mexican centenario coins were originally minted in 1921 to commemorate the centennial of
Mexican independence from Spain in 1821.
Mexico kept making them until 1947, then continued with the 1947 date until 1972.
They are normally classed as "bullion coins" and are made for gold investors.
They have a denomination of 50 pesos to make them legally "coins".
They contain 37.5 grams or 1.2 troy ounces of gold.
 
Back to the film:
 
Rex has invested $1500 and gone to work for a ranch and mine run by Dorothy Patrick and her father.
He is assigned to take a shipment of gold to town, he and the shipment are hijacked by outlaws.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
7. Outlaws pursue mine wagon
 
The outlaws leave Rex and ride off with the gold to a box canyon.
Dorothy and her father pick up Rex, then the father and Rex and head into town.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
8. Town with modern cars
 
An old car and a modern 1950's station wagon appear.
 
Rex reports the latest theft to the sheriff and a group heads out to the box canyon.
They find the wagon and footprints which suddenly stop.
 
Rex and Dorothy decide to visit the mine and look around.
Three outlaws show up and capture them.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
9. Outlaws capture Rex at mine
 
They find out how the thieves are transporting the gold to Mexico.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
10. Helicopter
 
This is probably the first appearance of a helicopter in a Western film.
 
One outlaw forces Dorothy into the helicopter and flies away to Mexico.
Rex manages to grab the helicopter undercarriage and drops off at the Mexican hideout.
There, other outlaws are manufacturing the coins.
 
Rex enters, identifies himself as the counterfeiter Jordan, and offers to distribute the coins.
The outlaws at first believe his story.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
11. Outlaws hold girl
 
The outlaw discuss eliminating Dorothy as a witness.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
12. Rex sings to the girl
 
Dorothy tries to avoid Rex, then one of the outlaws tricks Rex into revealing his true identity.
A gunfight ensues with Rex and Dorothy riding off on horses.
 
Two outlaws use a novel method of pursuing the pair.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
13. Helicopter pursues horses
 
Rex and Dorothy separate and the men follow Rex.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
14. Helicopter attack
 
The outlaws land near Rex, and a fight ensues.
The sheriff and posse ride up and capture the bad guys and their strange machine.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
15. Posse captures helicopter and outlaws
 
Rex and Buddy hit the trail and ride into the sunset.
 
Under Mexicali Stars
16. Goodbye, Rex
 
Notes:
 
Director: George Blair
Writer: Bob Williams
 
Cast:
Rex Allen as Rex Allen aka Mike Jordan
Buddy Ebsen as Homer Oglethorpe
Dorothy Patrick as Madeline Wellington
Prev Back Next