BrianRxm Coins in Movies 126/136
Union Pacific (1939)
Union Pacific Railroad token advertises Cecil B. DeMille Western
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The 1939 Paramount Pictures film "Union Pacific" is an epic Western film about the building of the
Union Pacific railroad across the United States in the late 1860's as half of the transcontinental railroad
which was authorizatized in 1862 by the US Congress and President Abraham Lincoln.
 
The route of the railroad went from Iowa to Utah, where it was to meet the Central Pacific railroad
being built from San Francisco, California.
 
A wealthy financier Asa Barrows attempts to slow down the railroad effort in a scheme to lower the price
of railroad stock. The financier hires two men, Sid Campeau and Dick Allen to run gambling casinos
and saloons to distract the mostly Irish railroad workers.
 
Jeff Butler is a railroad troubleshooter who attempts to block Campeau and Allen.
Jeff and Dick were soldiers in the Union Army together but now they are on opposite sides.
Both are competing for Mollie Monahan who manages the railroad mail and telegraph office.
 
The film was one of Cecil B. DeMille's epic productions and was made in cooperation with the modern
Union Pacific Railroad.
 
The Union Pacific Railroad and the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) issued a series of
32mm aluminum tokens to advertise the trains and one to advertise the film.
 
Some silver dollar size prop coins appear on a gambling casino table.
Union Pacific
1. Title
 
The token issued by the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA).
 
Union Pacific Movie
2. Union Pacific Railroad 1939 Motion Picture "Union Pacific" Token
 
Aluminum, 32mm, 3.45gm
 
Obverse:
Railroad engine
CECIL B. DE MILLE'S / MOTION PICTURE "UNION PACIFIC"
 
Reverse:
Shield and two railroad engines
ROAD OF THE Streamliners AND THE Challengers / UNION PACIFIC
UNION PACIFIC - THE OVERLAND ROUTE
ALUMINUM IN THESE FAMOUS TRAINS FURNISHED BY / ALUMINUM COMPANY OF AMERICA
 
The film begins with an introductory screen with a short explanation:
 
FOREWARD
The legend of Union Pacific is the drama of a nation, young, tough, prodigal and invincible,
conquering with an iron highroad the endless reaches of the West.
For the West is America's Empire, and only yesterday Union Pacific was the West.
 
Jeff Butler, Mollie Monahan, and Dick Allen meet on the train.
Jeff and Dick fought together during the Civil War on the Union side.
Dick and Mollie also know each other, Dick has been pestering Mollie to marry him, but she refuses
as long as he is a gambler and interested in money.
 
Union Pacific
3. Jeff, Mollie, and Dick
 
Cheyenne, Wyoming - A railroad town where Sid and Dick have set up their travelling casino.
 
Union Pacific
4. Cheyenne
 
Cordray, a professional gambler, is trying to cheat an Irish worker.
 
Union Pacific
5. Cordray deals
 
Some silver dollar size prop coins are stacked on the table.
 
The Irishman calls Cordray out and Cordray shoots him.
Jeff then shoots Cordray who falls under the table.
 
Union Pacific
6. Cordray's goods on the table
 
FOR THREE VALIANT YEARS...
Indians redden the rails with the blood of tracklayers.
But the ROAD pushes on!
Spawning, in its wake, roaring, lawless towns -
and fighting the hidden hand that tries to stop it's progress.
 
Union Pacific
7. Working on the railroad
 
Sid's men, including Dick, rob the mail coach.
 
Union Pacific
8. Train robbery
 
Dick hides the money bag in Mollie's office and then Jeff arrives.
To prevent a gunfight, Mollie agrees to marry Dick if he returns the money.
 
Union Pacific
9. Dick hands back the cash
 
Dick and Mollie hold a quick wedding but the railroad work goes on.
 
Union Pacific
10. Railroad rolling
 
A buffalo skull lies in the foreground.
 
Another railroad construction problem appears.
 
Union Pacific
11. Indians attack the train
 
The Indians wreck the train and begin looting the baggage cars.
 
Union Pacific
12. An Indian meets his match
 
Unknown to the Indians, Jeff, Mollie, and Dick are in one of the cars.
Mollie is able to send a telegraph signal to a railroad military detachment for help.
 
The Indians spot the three and a battle ensues.
The soldiers arrive and chase off the Indians.
 
Union Pacific
13. Soldiers arrive
 
A mob of railroad workers, fed up with the casino activities, storm the place and destroy it.
 
Dick is still wanted for the railroad robbery, but his former friend Jeff gives him a horse
and some money to leave the area. Dick promises not to romance Mollie, now a married woman.
 
After solving more construction problems, the railroad work is completed, and the two railroad lines
meet at Promontory point, Utah for a ceremony joining the rail lines.
 
Union Pacific
14. The meeting of the railways
 
Jeff, Mollie, and Dick are at the ceremony.
After the ceremony, Jeff follows Dick into a nearby town where Sid is waiting and gunfight ensues.
 
Union Pacific
15. Dick and Sid meet their fate
 
Jeff returns to Mollie to inform her that her husband has died.
 
A modern day Union Pacific railroad train appears, ending the film.
 
Union Pacific
16. Modern day Union Pacific Streamliner train
Notes:
 
Cast:
Barbara Stanwyck as Mollie Monahan
Joel McCrea as Jeff Butler
Robert Preston as Dick Allen
Brian Donlevy as Sid Campeau
Anthony Quinn as Cordray
 
Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Writers: Walter DeLeon, C. Gardner Sullivan, Jesse Lasky Jr., Jack Cunningham, Ernest Haycox (story)
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