The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 16, April 17, 2005, Article 19


The E-Sylum had a small role in the creation of Fred Reed's
new book, "Show Me The Money! The Standard Catalog of
Motion Picture, Television, Stage and Advertising Prop Money."
My copy arrived this week and I thought I'd write a recap of
events and a short review of the book.

Regular readers know we often discuss the numismatic aspects
of current events, and the genesis of Reed's book came
about innocently enough with a report of an incident on a
movie set in the summer of 2001, headlined "Movie Money
Falls from the Sky." I'll republish the item here verbatim:

(E-Sylum, June 10, 2001, v4n24):

From an Associated Press story datelined Los Angeles,
June 6: "Bills with phony face values totaling about $1 billion
were blown up during recent filming of the action movie "Rush
Hour 2'' in Las Vegas. Some of the bills fluttered into the
hands of people who later went to businesses and spent them,
authorities said.

"The product they were producing was just too close to
genuine,'' said Assistant Special Agent Chuck Ortman.
"Notes were successfully passed.''

The Secret Service ordered Sun Valley-based Independent
Studio Services Inc. to stop making the fake money and sent
a recall letter to every movie production company that
ordered the prop cash."

Can any of our readers point us to a web page illustrating
movie prop cash (also known as stage money)? Has anyone
ever written a reference book? It could make for an
interesting study.

The following week came this response to my question:

(E-Sylum, June 17, 2001 (v4n25):
In answer to last week's question on movie prop cash (also
known as stage money), Granvyl G. Hulse, Jr., (Librarian
Numismatics International) writes: "I am sitting on a bundle
of raw data on movie prop money sent to the NI Library.
The person who donated it thinks that it might make a good
reference and will work with anyone who is interested enough
in the subject to want to write something for publication."

In related discussions, Alan Luedeking, Tom DeLorey and
Michael Schmidt examined prop money used in the films
Titanic and Pearl Harbor. The following January, Fred Reed
told us about the project he'd begun as a result of the original

(E-Sylum, January 27, 2002 (v5n4):
Fred Reed writes: "Last summer you published a note from
Granvyl Hulse, the Numismatics International Librarian,
asking if someone was interested in cataloging motion
picture prop money and offering assistance.

I contacted Granvyl and told him I was interested. He put
me in contact with John Pieratt, and I began the project by
cataloging John's collection. Six months and about two
dozen additional contributors later, our catalog effort is
coming along fine. I thought I'd send a progress report
since The E-Sylum was the catalyst."

At that point, the manuscript totaled 400 pages. Those
familiar with Fred's writings won't be surprised with the
level of thoroughness with which he attacks his subject.
But he didn't set out to write an opus. He writes in the
Acknowledgments of his book, "My expectation at the
outset was that this project would take about a week and
would produce a catalog of about 40 pages, which would
eventually find its way into the pages of Paper Money, the
bimonthly Society of Paper Money Collectors magazine.
Boy was I naive." (p197). The book as published consists
of 790 pages. The bibliography lists "Movie Money Falls
From the Sky" and other E-Sylum articles. It is very well
illustrated in black & white, with nearly every listed note
pictured full-size, along with a large number of movie
ads, posters and still shots picturing the money.

The extensive Memorable Money Shots section is a
compilation of the uses of money in film: "Money shots
traditionally include scenes such as poker games, bank
robberies, payoffs, ransoms and oldtime gangsters lighting
up stogies with $100 bills. Today, money shots of drug
buys, lap dances, and dollar bills stuffed in G-strings or
rolled to snort coke have proliferated." (p10). The
ruckus-causing notes from Rush Hour 2 are pictured
on p658-661.

Congratulations to Fred for producing this landmark
work, and many thanks to him and his contributors for
all their work in making this book a reality. Ordering
information was published in the March 13, 2005 E-Sylum
(v8n11), but I'll republish it here:

The book is available from the publisher, McFarland
Publications, 1-800-253-2187 or Box 611, Jefferson,
NC 28640

As a special offer to E-Sylum readers, they can order the
book straight from its author for $82.50 postpaid at this

Fred Reed
P.O. Box 118162
Carrollton, TX 75011-8162

The book won't be autographed (note: it will be shipped
from North Carolina) but E-Sylum orders from the author
will receive an autographed, GENUINE prop note from
author Reed's personal collection that they can tip into the
book or use as a bookmark.

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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