BrianRxm Coins in Movies 132/136
Winchester 73 (1967)
US silver dollars, Barber quarters, and an Indian peace medal
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The 1967 Universal Western film "Winchester 73" shows some US coins used as shooting targets
and an Indian wearing an Indian Peace Medal.
 
The film is set in the period around 1876 in a small western town. Three sons of two brothers
compete in a shooting contest for a prize Winchester rifle and later become in various adventures
with outlaws, Indians, Mexicans, and each other as the rifle is passed around among them.
 
The "Winchester 73" or Winchester Model 1873 was a rifle manufactured by the
Winchester Repeating Arms Company and was known as "The Gun that Won the West".
 
This film is an alternate version of the 1950 James Stewart film of the same title.
 
At the beginning of the film a Morgan silver dollar and a Barber quarter are shown as shooting targets.
Later an Indian chief wears a President Buchanan Indian Peace Medal.
Winchester 73
1. Title
 
A prologue describes the prize rifle and the period of the film.
It is noted later that President Grant owns one, setting the film in the period around 1876.
 
The town of Onyx is having a celebration.
 
Winchester 73
2. Town celebration
 
Many people have arrived for the celebration and the shooting contest.
 
In a saloon Meriden, a professional dealer, is dealing cards.
 
Winchester 73
3. Dealing cards
 
A closeup shows the tray of coins.
 
Winchester 73
4. Silver dollars in tray
 
Morgan silver dollars can be seen in the tray.
They were manufactured from 1878 to 1904 and again in 1921.
 
Winchester 73
5. Smaller coins in tray
 
Some smaller coins appear to the right of the dollars.
 
Ben McAdam and Bart McAdam are middle-aged brothers.
Ben has two sons, Lin and Dan and Bart has one son Dakin.
Lin McAdam is the sheriff of the town and Dan is his younger brother.
Dakin is an outlaw who arrives in town after spending six years in prison.
 
Winchester 73
6. Signing up
 
Dakin pays a boy to sign him up for the contest.
The entry fee is stated as five dollars in gold.
 
Winchester 73
7. Shooting contest
 
The three cousins compete in the shooting contest.
Younger brother Dan is eliminated and Lin and Dakin are the finalists.
 
A man throws silver dollars into the air as a target.
 
Winchester 73
8. Flying silver dollar
 
The silver dollar is a Morgan type.
 
Lin fires at the flying coin and the contest judge then shows the bent coin.
 
Winchester 73
9. It's a hit
 
The contest moves to using smaller coins, this time quarters (twenty-five cent coins).
 
Winchester 73
10. Flying quarter
 
The quarter is a Barber quarter, named after the designer Charles Barber.
 
A United States Barber quarter:
 
United States Barber Quarter 1915
11. United States Barber Quarter 1915
 
The Barber quarter was made from 1892 to 1916.
 
Dakin fails to hit a quarter but Lin does hit one, winning the contest for the rifle.
 
Ben McAdam has the rifle, Dakin visits him (his uncle), shoots him and steals the rifle.
 
Dakin then rides out of town to a saloon located in the desert, where he meets Meriden and
"High-Spade", who has a bunch of ordinary rifles and pistols which he plans to sell to Indians.
 
High-Spade sees the prize rifle and wants it.
 
Winchester 73
12. Closeup of the rifle
 
The two men play cards for the rifle with Meriden serving as dealer.
 
Winchester 73
13. High-Spade and Dakin play for the rifle
 
A scene shows the cash and the rifle on the table.
 
Winchester 73
14. Cards and cash on the table
 
High-Spade wins the rifle and gives Dakin an unloaded pistol as a gift.
He leaves to deliver his shipment to the Indian buyers but plans to keep the Winchester.
 
Winchester 73
15. High-Spade arrives with the guns
 
Two Indians arrive to pick up the rifles.
 
Winchester 73
16. Indian gun buyers
 
Wild Bear and the Chief are the buyers and the Chief is wearing a medal.
 
Winchester 73
17. Indian chief wearing peace medal
 
The medal is a President Buchanan Indian Peace Medal, around three inches in diameter.
 
The US Mint makes smaller 34 mm (1.5 inch) copies of these medals and sells them to collectors.
 
A President Buchanan Medal:
 
James Buchanan
18. President James Buchanan Indian Peace Medal 1857 - US Mint Copy
 
Obverse: JAMES BUCHANAN / PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES / 1857
Reverse: Two men with flag / LABOR VIRTUE HONOR
 
Wild Bear wants the prize rifle, kills High-Spade and, takes it.
The chief wants nothing to do with this and rides off.
 
Wild Bear wants to try out his rifle and spots a group of Mexican peasants riding and walking.
He begins shooting at them, Lin McAdam rides up, the two men engage in a gunfight with the Indian dying.
 
A Mexican girl finds the prize rifle, the men argue over it, then someone suggests that it is cursed,
and the men decide to take it to the Padre (Roman Catholic priest) at the nearby Church of St. Jude
to have it blessed.
 
Dakin has recruited two outlaws for a raid to steal gold relics at the St. Jude church.
Bart, Lin, and Dan have been pursuing Dakin and encounter him at the church.
 
Winchester 73
19. Bart and Lin meet Dakin in church
 
Bart tries to persuade his son Dakin to surrender and accept a trial, but Dakin's two partners
overpower Bart and Lin and hold them at gunpoint.
 
Dakin begins examining the gold church relics.
 
Winchester 73
20. Dakin eyeing the church goods
 
The little Mexican girl and her father arrive with the prize rifle.
 
Winchester 73
21. Little girl with a big gun
 
The girl's father surprises the men and a gunfight ensues between Lin and Dakin.
 
Winchester 73
22. Gunfight
 
Lin's brother Dan has gone outside and had his own fight with Dakin's outlaw partners.
Dan manages to dispatch both of them.
 
Lin has his rifle back, and he and his brother Dan walk away.
 
Winchester 73
23. Brothers together
 
The two men agree to work for the good of the town and each other.
Notes:
 
Cast:
Tom Tryon as Lin McAdam
John Saxon as Dakin McAdam
Barbara Luna as Meriden
Dan Duryea as Bart McAdam
Paul Fix as Ben McAdam
David Pritchard as Dan McAdam
John Dehner as High-Spade Johnny Dean
Joan Blondell as Larouge
 
Director: Herschel Daugherty
Writers: Richard L. Adams, Stephen Kandel, Borden Chase, Robert L. Richards
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