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Frisco Jenny (1932)

 -  Drama  -  14 January 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 477 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 7 critic

Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house. She puts her son up for adoption and he rises to prominence as district ... See full summary »



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Title: Frisco Jenny (1932)

Frisco Jenny (1932) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Complete credited cast:
Frisco Jenny Sandoval
Steve Dutton
Helen Jerome Eddy ...
Donald Cook ...
Dan Reynolds
Dan McAllister
Hallam Cooley ...
Willie Gleason
Pat O'Malley ...
Policeman Pat O'Hoolihan
Harold Huber ...
George Weaver
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Jim Sandoval
Willard Robertson ...
Police Capt. Tom


Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house. She puts her son up for adoption and he rises to prominence as district attorney dedicated to closing down such houses. When her underling Dutton proposes telling the DA that Frisco Jenny is his birth mother, she kills the underling not to cause trouble for her son now the successful DA, she must face execution. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 January 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Common Ground  »

Box Office


$286,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print length)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


George Brent was originally cast opposite Ruth Chatterton but withdrew to star in 42nd Street (1933). See more »


After the coroner tells the photographer to take a picture of a recently murdered man who died with his eyes open, the actor playing the dead man visibly blinks twice. See more »


Frisco Jenny Sandoval: Cellars of Chinatown. Yeah, I was there. So was he. It was there I gave him life. He gives me death.
See more »


Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »


When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder
Written by James Milton Black
Sung by Good Book Charlie's band with Jenny and Amah
See more »

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User Reviews

Ruth Chatterton is early pre-code film
28 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Frisco Jenny" released in 1932, stars Ruth Chatterton as a woman who has a child out of wedlock amidst the turmoil after the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. The disaster leaves her in poverty, so she has no choice but to give the baby boy to a loving and wealthy couple. "Jenny" then fights her way out of poverty through bootlegging, prostitution, and other unsavory deeds. This of course leads her to associate with some corrupt folks. It all gets quite complicated, but Jenny is tried for murder of one of these folks. Then lo and behold, the prosecutor who goes after her is -- you guessed it -- none other than her now grown and successful son (Donald Cook). Interestingly, Chatterton starred just three years earlier in a similar film, Madame X. This film is "pre-code" meaning before the motion picture code was enforced in 1934. These films were considered controversial for the time, as issues like sex, drugs, and other things were more honestly and openly displayed. Chatterton gives a good performance here, and the film is entertaining. What surprised me most is William Wellman directed it. Although most known for his macho films, Wellman showed he could also direct women's pictures and fine dramas like the original "A Star is Born."

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