Against all odds Father Flanagan starts "Boys' Town" after hearing a convict's story. Whitey Marsh comes there. He runs away but, hungry, returns. He runs away again but, when friend Pee ... See full summary »
Ruby falls in love with small-time con man Eddie. During a botched blackmail scheme, Eddie accidentally kills the man they were setting up. Eddie takes off and Ruby is sent to a reformatory for two years.
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 <email@example.com>
Before filming his first love scene with Jeanette MacDonald--whom he did not like and did not enjoy working with--Clark Gable reportedly filled up on a big spaghetti lunch. When the time came for him to kiss MacDonald, his breath was so bad from garlic that she nearly fainted. See more »
When Blackie is looking at the facade of a building crumbling, you can quickly see the giant hand of an FX technician pushing the facade away from the miniature building at the top right. See more »
That process server is the meanest man west of the Rocky Mountains. He'd push his mother off a ferry boat for half a dollar. Yeah, he'd turn the air off in a baby's incubator just to watch the little sucker squirm.
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Oh, yes "San Francisco" was a masterpiece movie when it was made in 1936 - the special effects designed and brilliantly brought to the screen by MGM were astounding, and this film was a giant hit. Having seen it many times over, I am still enthralled by the Earthquake scenes, and it was great to see Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable working so well together - somehow this was one of Gable's best two roles of his career as Blackie. Jeanette MacDonald was somewhat miscast in some ways, but her singing of "Nearer My God to Thee" was inspirational - it was a pity it was so short. The supporting cast was excellent while the spirit of the city of San Francisco was well captured by the direction of W.S. van Dyke. Jack Holt and Jessie Ralph, a couple of old stagers, did well - but the star of the show was the Earthquake.
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