Yates and Sarah Martin are barely getting by in a Colorado boom town grocery store. Sudden wealth leads to greater prosperity and political power. In Denver Yates buys a mansion and builds ...
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Yates and Sarah Martin are barely getting by in a Colorado boom town grocery store. Sudden wealth leads to greater prosperity and political power. In Denver Yates buys a mansion and builds an opera house. He leaves Sarah for glamorous Lily and, when he makes it to Washington as Senator, marries her. When the gold standard is introduced, he's ruined. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The character of Yates Martin is based on Colorado's "Silver King", Horace A.W. Tabor, who was a United States Senator for one month and built Denver's opera house in the late 1800s. Lily Owen's character is based on Elizabeth "Baby" Doe Tabor, who Tabor married after creating a huge scandal by leaving his wife, Augusta Tabor. See more »
About 40 minutes into the film, when Yates and Lily are first getting close to each other in her new digs, and Lily is sitting on the back of a sofa, in the closing two-shot of the scene the shadow of the boom microphone is clearly visible moving up and down on the wall behind them. See more »
From 1932, Silver Dollar stars Edward G. Robinson, Aline McMahon, and Bebe Daniels.
This film is based on the life of silver magnate Horace Tabor, whose life is the subject of an opera, The Ballad of Baby Doe. Baby Doe was a signature role for Beverly Sills.
It's a rag to riches to rags story, of a man named Yates Martin and his wife Sarah, who left their farm to come to Colorado to search for gold. Sarah encourages Yates to open a store rather than continue what she thinks is a fruitless hunt, so he does. To her disgust, he makes deals with the miners that he will give them free goods if they will sign over one-third of whatever they find. Of course, Sarah expects them to find nothing. She's wrong.
Yates over time becomes terribly rich, successful politically, and too big for his britches. He falls in love with the beautiful Lily Owens and leaves Sarah, settling the house and $250,000 on her. Then the Panic of 1893 occurred, and silver was devalued to almost nothing.
This was a wonderful role for Edward G. Robinson, a little man with a huge talent. He does a fantastic job. Aline McMahon is fantastic as Sarah, and she is indeed like the real Augusta Tabor, at least as I've seen her portrayed. In the film, Sarah wants to help Yates, but he refuses.
Augusta Tabor in real life invested her money and died one of the wealthiest people in Denver. In the opera anyway she is bitter and angry, and even when she wants to go to her ex-husband, she can't.
Bebe Daniels glitters as Yates' mistress and second wife, Lily. Like the Tabor situation, this was a true love match, and she stayed by her husband.
The real Horace did hold the postmaster position for a year before he died, unlike in the film. Horace's final wish was that Baby Doe never give up the Matchless Mine. She never did; in fact, that's where she died, in a nearby shack.
The script is somewhat spotty -- this strong story could have used better writing. It's a real piece of Americana.
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