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 <email@example.com>
The wedding party in Washington takes place circa 1883, while Chester A. Arthur was president, but the usual establishing shot of the Capitol shows contemporary 1932 automobiles parked out front. See more »
You spoil me, Lily.
Nonsense. You just don't know what it is to be appreciated. That's all.
Now that I'm beginning to find out, it seems kind of good. It's like rich wine when all you've been used to is cold water from a mountain spring.
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"Silver Dollar" is a thinly veiled retelling of the life of the flamboyant politician and self-proclaimed big-shot, Horace Tabor. Why they changed the character's name to Yates Martin (Edward G. Robinson) is beyond me--perhaps it was to avoid having to pay Tabor's estate to use his name.
When the film begins, it's early in the history of Colorado territory and lots of folks have some in search of gold. However, Yates' nagging wife, Sarah (Aline MacMahon) pushes him to stop wasting his time prospecting and go into business. At first, it's very tough going but eventually, Yates is able to strike it rich. However, instead of banking his money, Yates is intent on becoming a big-shot--and if it means spreading his money about to buy friends and influence, then that's what he's going to do. For some time, this strategy works well and Yates rises through the ranks of politics. Unfortunately, he has two things going against him--he has a mistress and he is bound to eventually get his comeuppance, as he's reckless and foolhardy.
The film has a very serious flaw--you don't like or care about the characters. Yates is a blow-hard and adulterer. His wife is a nagging harpy. And, the mistress has the personality of a block of wood. All in all, despite an interesting performance by Robinson, the film fails to engage the audience.
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