BrianRxm Coins in Movies 120/122
The Wonderful Country (1959)
Mexican silver pesos or eight reales coins
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The 1959 United Artists film "The Wonderful Country" shows Mexican silver pesos or eight reales coins.
 
The film is based on the 1952 novel by Tom Lea, set in 1880's Mexico and Texas.
It stars Robert Mitchum as Martin Brady and Julie London as Helen Colton.
 
Mitchum was raised by two powerful Mexican brothers afte he killed the man who killed his father.
He works for the brothers making delivers over the border to El Paso, Texas.
 
At one point he brings a load of Mexican Chihuahua pesos to El Paso to buy goods.
The coins spill out when someone opens a bag.
 
The novel had a more detailed explanation of the monetary situation in Mexico at that time, and told the
story of the Chihuahua mint, silver eight reales or peso coins, and gold eight escudo coins or onzas.
Wonderful Country
1. Title
 
Martin Brady is an American in 1880 who lives in Mexico and works for two
wealthy powerful brothers, the Castros.
 
Martin fled El Paso Texas after killing the man who murdered his father,
the Castros adopted him and raised him to be a gunfighter.
Gen. Marcos Castro sends Martin to El Paso with a load of Mexican pesos to buy rifles.
 
In El Paso, Martin breaks his leg in a horse accident and stays in Texas to recover.
A Texas Rangers captain tells Martin that he is no longer wanted for killing the man
and offers him a job.
 
Martin meets US Army Cavalry Major Colton and Mrs. Helen Colton, a beautiful woman
who is bored with the life of an Army officer's wife.
Major Colton makes an arrangement with Governor Cipriano Castro to bring his troops
into Mexico to chase Apache Indians.
 
In El Paso, a drunken bully pulls a gun on Martin, Martin shoots him, and heads back to Mexico.
General Castro is unhappy that Martin didn't deliver the rifles and send him to his brother,
the Governor.
Governor Castro asks Martin to kill the General, Martin refuses, leaves, followed by the
Governor's men.
 
Martin eludes the men and arrives at a small ranch, where he spends some time working.
Apaches attack the ranch, resulting in a gunfight.
 
The US Cavalry arrives, including Sergeant Tobe Sutton.
They lost many men in a battle with Indians, and Major Colton is seriously wounded.
Martin offers to guide the remaining troops back to the US.
 
They encounter some Indians and there is a fight over a wagon containing rifles.
They arrive at the Governor's house to find the Governor is dead and his brother the
General is now the Governor.
The new Governor orders the Americans to leave Mexico and to turn over Martin to him.
 
Martin takes off followed by one of the Governor's gunmen.
The gunman finds Martin, shoots his horse, Martin then kills him, and also has to kill his horse.
Martin lays down his guns and heads back to the US.
 
Wonderful Country
2. Martin Brady
 
Martin heads for El Paso Texas with bags of something.
 
Wonderful Country
3. Rifles in boxes
 
Wonderful Country
4. Martin watching
 
A local man wants to see what is in the bags Martin has brought.
 
Wonderful Country
5. Opening the bag
 
Wonderful Country
6. Silver pesos
 
Some kind of merchant or gaming tokens fill in for the Mexican pesos.
They have "Good for $1.00" on one side.
 
Wonderful Country
7. Silver pesos
 
Another view
 
A Mexican peso (eight reales) from the Chihuahua Mint:
 
Mexico Reales 8 1879
8. Mexico eight reales 1879 Chihuahua Mint
 
Wonderful Country
9. Martin meets Helen Colton
 
Wonderful Country
10. Martin meets Major Colton
 
Wonderful Country
11. Martin in bar
 
The bartender is played by Tom Lea, who wrote the novel.
 
Wonderful Country
12. Heading back to Mexico
 
Wonderful Country
13. Gen. Marcos Castro
 
Wonderful Country
14. Martin heading into the state capitol
 
He is going to visit the governor.
 
Wonderful Country
15. Diplomatic meeting
 
Major Colton in a dress uniform.
 
Wonderful Country
16. Governor Cipriano Castro
 
The governor offers Martin more silver pesos to eliminate his brother.
 
Wonderful Country
17. Riding in the Mexican desert
 
Wonderful Country
18. Cavalry Seargent Tobe Sutton
 
Wonderful Country
19. Wagon with guns after Indian attack
 
Wonderful Country
20. Gen. Marcos Castro
 
The General makes Martin an offer.
 
Wonderful Country
21. Dead horse
 
Martin leaves his horse and his guns on the ground, a vow of non-violence?
Notes:
 
Cast:
Robert Mitchum as Martin Brady
Julie London as Helen Colton
Gary Merrill as Maj. Stark Colton
Leroy 'Satchel' Paige as Sgt. Tobe Sutton
Pedro Armendáriz as Cipriano Castro
Víctor Manuel Mendoza as Gen. Marcos Castro
 
Director: Robert Parrish
Writers: Robert Ardrey, Tom Lea (novel)
Production Company: D.R.M. Productions, Inc.
Filmed in Durango, Mexico
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