BrianRxm Coins on Television 9/24
Gunsmoke - Trail of Bloodshed (1974)
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This episode of the CBS television program "Gunsmoke" shows US silver dollars and $20 gold pieces
("Double Eagles") on a gambling table.
 
"Gunsmoke" was an television Western program which ran from 1955 to 1975.
 
The regular characters are Matt Dillon, the Marshall or Sheriff of the town of Dodge City, Kansas.
Miss Kitty runs a saloon, Festus is Matt's deputy, and Doc Adams is the town doctor.
The show was set in the 1870's to 1880's.
 
The episode is titled "Trail of Bloodshed" and was first broadcast on March 4, 1974.
 
This episode is a story of revenge with Kurt Russell as Buck Henry, a young man hunting his
outlaw uncle Rance Woolfe who has murdered his father for a cache of gold and silver coins.
Gunsmoke Trail
1. Buck Henry (Kurt Russell)
 
Buck has discovered his father's body and his uncle Ranch searching the place.
 
Gunsmoke Trail
2. Rance Woolfe (Tom Simcox)
 
Rance sees Buck and shoots him too.
 
Rance then finds the cache and pours it onto a table.
 
Gunsmoke Trail
3. Coins on the table
 
Several Morgan-type silver dollars and St. Gaudens type Double Eagles.
 
Although "Gunsmoke" was set in the 1870's, the Double Eagles of this type were made from
1907 to 1933.
 
The coins probably came from somebody's collection, and the ones on the table together
would have been worth a few thousand dollars in 1974 when the price of gold was
$150 to $200 an ounce.
 
Festus is hunting Rance for another robbery, find's Buck's girlfriend, the two follow Buck.
 
Rance stops in a small town (not Dodge City) saloon, and loses the money to a
professional gambler.
 
Gunsmoke Trail
4. The dealer, Rance, another girl, the Gambler
 
Before sitting down at the table, Rance spent some time upstairs with one of the girls
and has been drinking heavily.
 
Gunsmoke Trail
5. The Gambler (Mark Stevens)
 
Mark Stevens was television's "Peter Gunn" in the late 1950's.
 
Gunsmoke Trail
6. Coins on the gambling table
 
Several Morgan-type silver dollars and St. Gaudens type Double Eagles.
One of the silver dollars is dated 1896.
 
Gunsmoke Trail
7. Fingers on two Double Eagles
 
This shot shows the almost uncirculated Double Eagle reverses.
 
Buck catches up with Rance, they shoot each other, Rance flees, the Gambler treats
Buck's leg injury from the shooting, Buck then follows Rance, another shooting, Rance dies,
Festus takes Buck back to the saloon to be reunited with his girl friend.
 
An actual St. Gaudens United States Double Eagle:
 
United States Dollar 20 1927
8. United States St. Gaudens Double Eagle $20 1927
 
Notes:
 
Cast:
James Arness as Matt Dillon
Amanda Blake as Kitty
Kurt Russell as Buck Henry
Tom Simcox as Rance Woolfe
Craig Stevens as The Gambler
 
Director: Bernard McEveety
Writers: Paul Savage, Earl W. Wallace
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