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The owner of a San Francisco saloon yearns to rank among the upper crust of Nob Hill. When he begins romancing a wealthy socialite it looks like he may have his entree into high society. The pretty star of his saloon's show, however, wants to make sure he stays on the Barbary Coast. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
While not an exact remake of 1943's "Hello Frisco Hello", 1945's "Nob Hill" borrows heavily from the earlier film, and the opening street scene is film footage lifted directly from the earlier film right down to the song "San Francisco" as the soundtrack.
The basic plot is the same: Barbary Coast ruffian thinks he can crash high society on Nob Hill. Well, it's not the first time that a movie script got remade, and with WW II budget constraints, you really can't fault 20th Century Fox for taking some economies. At least they made it in Technicolor.
I also understand that WWII created a shortage of leading men, so the lead in this film went to George Raft, about age 50 at the time this film was made, well beyond draft age. However, considering the movie parts he played, he is suitable to portray a saloon keeper. Although Raft did some dancing in his film career, and also in a film a year prior to this (Follow The Boys), he is not given any dance performance in this film. Nor does he do any singing, although they could have dubbed him as they did for others. Well, perhaps a singing George Raft would have been too far away from his on-screen persona.
All of the musical performance in this film is given to Vivian Blaine. Since she portrays the entertainer at the saloon, the musical segments make some sense. They showcase Blaine's fine singing (no dubbing needed here). As a redhead in this film, Blaine is lovely in Technicolor.
Blaine is given two new ballads to introduce, composed by well-known composers Harold Adamson and Jimmy McHugh (see IMDb soundtrack listing for details). It's strange that neither of these songs became standards, for they are as good as any other songs written by the composers, and good as others from 20th Century Fox movies of the time.
Blaine also has three production numbersall using older songs: "On San Francisco Bay" (1907); the perennial "What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For" (1916); and the third, "San Francisco, The Paris of the U.S.A." (1912).
Although it's not on VHS or DVD, this film comes up on Fox Movie Channel's schedule from time to time.
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