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The Million Dollar Nickel (1952)

Approved | | Short | 1952 (USA)
One can no longer purchase much with five cents. But what one can still buy for a nickel, but is worth millions of dollars collectively, is a stamp to mail a letter overseas. The importance... See full summary »




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One can no longer purchase much with five cents. But what one can still buy for a nickel, but is worth millions of dollars collectively, is a stamp to mail a letter overseas. The importance of the mail service over the course of the U.S.'s history is described. Letters sent abroad have and still do fuel much of the immigration to the U.S., which is a never-ending cycle. Those personal letters, many from naturalized U.S. citizens to their original homeland, dispel myths that citizens residing in other countries often hear about life in the U.S., those myths often perpetrated by governments of totalitarian regimes. It is uncertain whether letters going to those countries actually do make it to their intended destinations unaltered. It makes it that much important for other methods of broader communication to reach overseas, these methods endorsed by a plethora of Hollywood stars who were born in countries other the the U.S. to their original homelands. Written by Huggo

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cold war | See All (1) »




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Release Date:

1952 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Film debut of Pier Angeli. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: Here in Philadelphia, since 1793, they make money. Silver dollars and half dollars, quarters and dimes, and pennies and nickels. And of all the coins minted in this building, the nickel was once the most important to the average American. Yes, for a nickel any of us could buy most of the little things we needed. Remember when for a five cent piece we could get this...
[cut to shot of a bartender pouring a mug of beer]
Narrator: and in most cases, a free lunch besides? And for that same nickel...
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Crazy Credits

All credited performers are identified by subtitles. See more »

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User Reviews

Mundane, But Informative, If Not Exciting.....(this could go on....)
1 January 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

ALTHOUGH WE TEND to think of the SHORT SUIBJECT Film as the domain of the One & Two Reeler Comedies today, the truth is that it was at one time as varied and eclectic in subject matter as our handy home Funk & Wagnals encyclopedia. Topics were chosen for our enlightenment and edification, as well as our entertainment.

PERHAPS THIS WAS Hollywood's way of demonstrating its magnanimous and unselfish loyalty to its movie going public; or could it be that this policy of broad subject range was economical and afforded an opportunity to save some budgetary buck$? We suspect that it was a combination of the two.

THE FILM STARTS off with a little dissertation about how we take view of the lowly 5 cent piece and builds a little sympathy for the coin. From there we get a tour of the United States Department of the Treasury's Mint and see some of the newborn Indian Heads and/or Jeffersons arriving in this world.

WE THEN GET a little look into the journey of the coin and how, although being seemingly small and insignificant, the 5 center is so popular in the business of promoting the exchange of goods and services. Nickels, it would appear, sort of overwhelm the market place o the strength of sheer numbers and usefulness.

BUT LEST WE forget, this short, much like the humble, little nickel is part of the greater scheme of things. So, the "suits" at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer didn't wish to let its being exhibited to that previously public. Being that the opportunity to exploit this movie's being on the playbill in so many theatres, why not polish it up a little with appearances by some of the up & coming contractees of Leo the Lion? Why indeed and why not is the answer.

IN RESPONSE TO this need, the Studio included appearances by four of its protégés for purpose of adding some substance to the production, imparting some friendly advice in multi-linguistics and just to get them and their names in front of the cameras. The participants and language spoken were: Pier Angeli (Italian), Ricardo Montalban (Spanish), Leslie Caron (French) and Zsa Zsa Gabor (Hungarian).

ROUNDING OUT THE professional talent on screen (or soundtrack) was the Narrator, John Nesbitt (uncredited). He was the narrator whose name appeared as John Nesbitt's PASSING SCENE Shorts series. These were a long running series of Travelogues; which were in themselves, yet another genre of the Short Subject field..

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