The Wind (1928)
Two cowboys flip a Barber half dollar for Lillian Gish
The 1928 MGM film "The Wind" stars Lillian Gish as a young Virginia girl who moves to a very windy part
of the American Southwest to live with her male cousin Beverly and his wife.
A wealthy businessman wants her as his mistress and two cowboys want to marry her.
The cowboys, as a joke, flip a half dollar to decide who gets her.
real Barber half dollar as the prop coin. The coin reverse or "tails" is shown in a man's hand.
Man - puny but irrestible - enroaching forever on Nature's vastnesses, gradually, very gradually
wresting away her strange secrets, subduing her fierce elements conquers the earth!
Letty, a young girl from Virginia, is on a train headed to the Southwest to live with her cousin Beverly
and his wife and family on a ranch in the town of Sweet Water.
2. Wirt meets Letty
Letty mentions the wind and Wirt tells her about them.
Injuns call this the 'land o' the winds' - it never stops blowing here - day in, day out,
whistlin' and howlin' - makes folks go crazy - especially women!
At the railroad station, two cowboys, Lige and Sourdough, meet Letty to take her to the ranch.
3. Sourdough drives Letty and advises her
Mighty queer - Injuns think the North Wind is a ghost horse that lives in the clouds.
Letty meets her cousin Beverly his wife Cora, and their three children.
4. Cora, Beverly, Letty
Cora takes an immediate dislike to Letty.
5. Cora's family and friends
The two men on the left are Lige and Sourdough.
The stereoscope here resembles the popular Holmes stereoscope, invented by
Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, the father of the US Supreme Court Justice.
Everyone rushes for the tornado shelter and, while there, Wirt asks Letty to be his girl.
She politely refuses when he tells her that he has a wife.
8. Sourdough and Lige propose
How can I decide? You're both so fascinating.
9. Flipping for Letty
Lige hands Letty a coin and she flips it onto the floor.
10. Barber half reverse
The coin shows the reverse of a "Barber" half dollar, named for the designer Charles E. Barber.
These were made from 1892 to 1915 and were still in circulation in 1928 when the film was made.
They are silver, 31mm in diameter, and weigh 12.5gm.
They are also called "Liberty Head" half dollars.
A United States Barber half dollar:
11. United States Barber half dollar 1906-S (San Francisco)
The Barber half dollar was made from 1892 to 1915.
At the house, Cora becomes upset with Letty.
You don't think I ain't seen through your tricks, Miss Sly Boots!
You love Beverly - but you'll never get him away from me - he's mine!
Cora orders Letty out of the house, and, in desperation, Letty marries Lige.
They hold a small wedding and head for Lige's cabin.
12. Lige takes Letty
Lige roughly begins maritial relations but stops when she refuses, then tells her that as soon as
he gets some money, he will send her back to Virginia.
which can be sold to the government for three dollars a head.
His recovery includes playing with the stereoscope.
13. Wirt recovering with Stereo
Wirt begins eyeing Letty and then becomes aggresive.
14. Wirt and Letty
His intentions become clear and Letty handles the situation.
15. Letty gets her gun
Letty buries Wirt outside and then imagines that he has revived.
16. Letty sees something outside
She watches as Wirt is uncovered.
17. Wirt uncovered
Lige arrives home and sees the state that she is in.
She tells him about the burial but Lige doesn't see anything and tells her:
There's nothin' out there - nothin' but sand!
Wind's mighty odd - if you kill a man in justice - it always covers him up!
18. Lige and Letty together
Don't hate me, Lige! Don't send me away from you!
I'm not afraid of the wind - I'm not afraid of anything now because I'm your wife
to work with you - to love you!
Lillian Gish as Letty Marsh
Lars Hanson as Lige Hightower
Montagu Love as Wirt Roddy
Dorothy Cumming as Cora
Edward Earle as Beverly
William Orlamond as Sourdough
Writers: Frances Marion, Dorothy Scarborough (novel)