PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V11 2008 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 13, March 30, 2008, Article 23

ON THE DUMBING-DOWN OF STAGE MONEY

Regarding the filming of "Public Enemy #1", last week I wrote:
"There's certain to be a need for stage money in filming;
hopefully what the producers come up with will closely resemble
the circulating cash of the day."

Joe Boling writes: "I recently watched all three seasons of
'Deadwood.' In season one the notes were amazing. By freezing
the action and stepping through the money-handling scenes a
frame at a time, you could make out brown backs and original
series nationals (or series 1875, which used the same designs).
In the second season, the money got much more like what Fred
Reed has in his 'Show Me the Money' book - you could make out
the Sonora notes in one scene. By the third season, the money
did not resemble anything I am familiar with.

"I surmise that someone got in Dutch over the accurate reproductions
used in season one, and the accuracy went downhill fast after the
props-master was visited by some supercilious federal agent."

Fred Reed adds: "There's been a real tug and pull over on-screen
depictions of federal currency for more than a century now.  I
chronicle a wide variety of real currency used in films in my
book SHOW ME THE MONEY!  The Standard Catalog of Motion Picture,
Television, Stage and Advertising Prop Money (McFarland, 2005).

"In fact, the history of money in films predates the silver
screen and Hollywood.  Thomas Edison's c.1895 kinetoscope movie
of a cock fight clearly shows the two young men in the background
passing money, wagering on the result of the action.  Often
genuine U.S. notes are used as 'flash' for close-ups, while
the imitation prop notes are used more generally in mid- and
long-shots.

"The first use of 'flash' I noted in my book was a saloon scene
in the 1920 William S. Hart western 'The Toll Gate.'   In a scene
in which Hart's character Black Deering is down on his luck and
looking for a quick score, he spies a dish on the back bar filled
with change and some currency, the most prominent of which is a
Third Charter $10 National Bank Note.  Other real federal currency
is shown prominently in Harold Lloyd's 'Safety Last' (1923), and
Edward G. Robinson's 'Smart Money' (1931).

"Real German high-value notes are prominently shown in John
Barrymore's 'Grand Hotel' (1932).  In recent years very realistic
movie prop money has brought visits from the feds several times.
I show these notes in my book, but if you want details you'll
have to read about it there."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V11 2008 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster