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San Francisco (1936)

 -  Drama | Musical | Romance  -  26 June 1936 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,313 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 19 critic

A Barbary Coast saloonkeeper and a Nob Hill impresario are rivals for the affections of a beautiful singer, both personally and professionally in 1906 San Francisco.

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(uncredited)

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(screen play), (from the story by)
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Title: San Francisco (1936)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Jessie Ralph ...
Ted Healy ...
Mat
Shirley Ross ...
Trixie
Margaret Irving ...
Harold Huber ...
'Babe'
Edgar Kennedy ...
Sheriff
Al Shean ...
Professor
William Ricciardi ...
Signor Baldini
Kenneth Harlan ...
'Chick'
Roger Imhof ...
Charles Judels ...
Tony (as Charles Judells)
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Storyline

Mary Blake arrives at Blackie Norton's Paradise gambling hall and beer garden looking for work as a singer. Blackie embarrasses her by asking to see her legs, but does hire her. She faints from hunger. Nob Hill Socialite Jack Burley and Maestro Baldini of the Tivoli Opera House see her singing and offer her a chance to do opera, but Blackie has her under a two-year contract which she sorrowfully stands by. Later, when he makes up posters featuring Mary in tights, she does leave for the Tivoli. Blackie gets an injunction against Burley, but knocks out the process server when he hears Mary's performance as Marguerite in "Faust". She asks her to marry him and she agrees to go back to the Paradise as his kind of singer, but Blackie's childhood chum Father Tim intervenes. After Blackie slugs the priest, Mary leaves. She is soon the star of the Tivoli and Blackie's place is closed down. She sings a rousing "San Francisco" on behalf of the Paradise at the annual "Chicken Ball" and wins the ... Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They were born to fall in love! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 June 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Cidade do Pecado  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of Mary's opera gowns was later used for "Glinda" in The Wizard of Oz (1939). See more »

Goofs

After the Earthquake, the driver of a Salvation Army wagon tells Blackie Norton that he is heading to "Daly City to get milk for the kiddies." Daly City was not incorporated until 1911. In 1906 it was called Vista Grande. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Blackie Norton: Well sister, what's your racket?
Mary Blake: I'm a singer!
Blackie Norton: Let's see your legs!
Mary Blake: I said, I'm a singer!
Blackie Norton: Alright, let's see your legs!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Quo Vadis (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

A Hot Time in the Old Town
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by Theo. A. Metz
Played during the ringing in of 1906 and at the saloon
See more »

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User Reviews

Hold onto your seats!
3 November 1998 | by (Seattle, Wa.) – See all my reviews

SAN FRANCISCO is a major Hollywood production from the 1930's, From the Boldness of the opening credits, along with a rousing rendition of the tune by the same name, the viewer suspects that they are going to witness a special movie event.

The plot is a rather forthright formula story of a tug-of-war romance between bad boy Clark Gable (Blackie Nortion, saloon owner) and mama's boy Jack Holt (Jack Burley, scion of a well-to -do family) for the affections of singer Jeanette MacDonald (Mary Blake, beautiful, virginal). It's also a story of good vs. evil, the good portrayed by Spencer Tracy as a Catholic Priest.

But it's the hard-hitting script and it's crisp dialogue, the recreation of a turn-of-the-Century San Francisco, the great acting, the music, and the fabulous Earthquake sequences that make this show the classic that it is.

SAN FRANCISCO is a tale of contrasts. On one hand the Barbary Coast with it's bars and bordellos, yet on the other hand we have a city of the fine arts, opera, and the Nob Hill elite. We have the rich, the spendthrifts, and also the poor who seek shelter in the Mission Houses.

The acting of Clark Gable cannot go unmentioned. His Blackie Norton is the most mockingly amoral character, proud of his lack of religious faith..... relying only on himself. Yet as Father Mullin (Tracy) says at one point in the movie, "Do you know who gave the chapel that organ we've been dedicating tonight? The most scoffing, unbelieving, and godless soul in all San Francisco, ..Blackie Norton. Cost him over $4,000......Don't tell him I told you. Blackie's like that, ashamed of his good deeds as most men are ashamed of their bad."

The famous 1906 Earthquake is a real show-stopper. Entire sets were hoisted on hydraulic lifts and rockers, and literally shaken down. VERY REALISTIC. I would have reservations about showing this picture to kids under 10 years of age. They may develop a neurotic fear of earthquakes following this one.

Enjoy and re-enjoy.


26 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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