BrianRxm Coins on Television 19/24
Route 66 - Eleven The Hard Way (1961)
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This episode of the CBS television program "Route 66" shows American silver dollars still in
circulation in 1961 at the Reno Nevada Mapes Hotel-Casino.
 
The television series ran from 1960 to 1964.
The programs were filmed on location, and provide a look at how some cities and towns appeared
in the early 1960's.
 
This episode is titled "Eleven The Hard Way", and was first broadcast on April 7, 1961.
 
Tod and Buz are two young men travelling America in a Corvette sportscar are in Reno, Nevada.
They are hired to provide security for a professional gambler who has been recruited to win money
for a small Nevada mining town.
 
It was filmed in Nevada at the former mining town of Virginia City and at the Mapes Hotel-Casino in Reno.
The Mapes Hotel has since been torn down.
Route 66 Eleven
1. Title
 
The small Nevada mining town of Broken Knee loses it's only industry when the mine closes.
 
Route 66 Eleven
2. Broken Knee mine
 
The residents head for the town hall to hold a meeting to decide what to do.
 
Route 66 Eleven
3. Town meeting
 
This scene was filmed at Virginia City's Piper's Opera House.
The city officials decide to remodel the town as a tourist attraction which they need $35,000 to do.
 
Walter Matthau has been living in the town for five years but hasn't made any friends.
He claims to have been a professional gambler and won large sums in the past.
 
The town council decide to entrusting $2400 to Walter to take to Reno to gamble.
The town treasurer Edward Andrews, who was against the scheme, and another offical call on Walter.
 
Route 66 Eleven
4. Asking Walter to help
 
Walter doesn't like the scheme and tells the men it is like shooting dice and throwing
"eleven the hard way" which means both dice having the same number and adding to eleven.
Walter finally agrees and he and Edward head for Reno with a suitcase full of cash.
 
They stop at a cafe near Reno for a meal and encounter Tod and Buz.
 
Route 66 Eleven
5. Walter, Edward, Buz, and Tod in cafe
 
Edward opens the suitcase to get a bill to pay for the meal.
 
Route 66 Eleven
6. Suitcase full of money
 
These appear to be standard Mexican Revolution motion picture stage money bills.
Since the 1920's, motion picture companies have used these notes, reprinted from
Mexican Revolution (1910-1925) notes issued by the states of Chihuahua and Sonora.
 
An actual Mexican Revolution Sonora state note reverse:
 
Paper Money Mexico Sonora
7. Mexican Revolution Sonora note reverse
 
Four local men sitting in the cafe see an opportunity and accost Walter and Edward.
Tod and Buz thwart the robbery attempt and Edward hires the pair to watch Walter and the money.
They agree to meet at the Mapes Hotel-Casino in Reno.
 
Route 66 Eleven
8. The lads arrive in Reno
 
They park their 1961 Corvette and head for the hotel.
 
Route 66 Eleven
9. The Mapes Hotel-Casino
 
The Mapes Hotel-Casino opened in 1947 as the first hotel-casino combination in the country.
It closed in 1982 due to competition from larger and more modern casinos.
The building was torn down in 2000.
 
The next morning the men head for the casino.
 
Route 66 Eleven
10. Buz, Walter, Edward, Tod ready for action
 
There are real silver dollars on the table, a sight not seen since 1964.
 
Route 66 Eleven
11. Silver dollars on table
 
Nevada casinos used real silver dollars then.
The ones on the table are of both types, Morgan (lower left) and Peace (center).
 
Morgan dollars were made from 1878 to 1904 and in 1921.
Peace dollars were made from 1921 to 1935.
 
Silver dollars remained in circulation until 1964 when the price of silver rose and
they became worth more for their silver than their face value.
 
Customers around the craps or dice table wait for Walter to start shooting (throwing the dice).
 
Route 66 Eleven
12. Walter ready to shoot
 
Casinos usually used chips for amounts above one dollar but cash was acceptable.
 
Route 66 Eleven
13. US $10 bills on casino table
 
These are real US $10 bills as the US Treasury regulation against showing real money
in films and on television had been repealed the previous year.
 
Walter starts shooting.
 
Route 66 Eleven
14. Walter shoots
 
Walter starts off by winning and then starts losing money.
He eventually loses the town's money and leaves and the other men head for their hotel room.
 
Buz goes to the bar and finds Walter trying to pick up two girls.
He tries to convince Walter to try again with some remaining funds, but Walter says that
a new person is needed.
 
The men convince Edward to become the new dice shooter.
First Walter has to show Edward how the dice game or craps works.
 
Route 66 Eleven
15. Instructing Edward in the game
 
The men head down to the casino again.
 
Route 66 Eleven
16. Edward starts shooting
 
Casino craps table employees watch the action.
 
Route 66 Eleven
17. Mapes Casino table employees
 
"Western" wear was popular then, especially in Nevada.
One man wears a belt buckle with a silver dollar in it.
 
Edward starts winning and the pile of chips and silver starts growing.
 
Route 66 Eleven
18. Pile of chips and silver dollars
 
Morgan and Peace dollars and Mapes five-dollar chips are visible and not a credit card in sight.
 
Edward finds that he enjoys shooting dice.
 
A Mapes Hotel-Casino five-dollar chip:
 
Casino Mapes Reno Chip
19. Mapes Hotel-Casino Reno Five Dollar Chip
 
Obverse and reverse:
Blue plastic casino gambling chip with red, yellow, and white stripes, 39mm, 10.62gm
Figures of two people in western dress
HOTEL MAPES / CASINO / $5 / RENO NEVADA
 
Route 66 Eleven
20. Edward in action
 
Edward starts losing money and Walter tries to talk him into quitting.
 
Route 66 Eleven
21. Walter talks to Edward
 
Edward comes to his senses and asks Walter to cash in the chips.
 
The four walk away from the casino.
 
Route 66 Eleven
22. Mission accomplished
 
Notes:
 
Cast:
Martin Milner as Tod Stiles
George Maharis as Buz Murdock
Walter Matthau as Sam Keep
Edward Andrews as Francis Oliver
 
Director: William A. Graham
Writers: George Clayton Johnson, Herbert B. Leonard
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