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Streets of San Francisco (1949)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  15 April 1949 (USA)
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A gangster's son sees his father rob and murder a man. The detective investigating the case, deciding that the boy will never tell what he knows if he's locked up in juvenile detention, ... See full summary »



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Director: Mel Damski
Stars: Karl Malden, Debrah Farentino, Conor O'Farrell


Cast overview, first billed only:
Frankie Fraser
Wally Cassell ...
Den Driscoll
Richard Benedict ...
Henry Walker
John Harmon ...
Sammy Hess
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Pop Lockhart
Ian MacDonald ...
Luke Fraser
Charles Meredith ...
Eve March ...
Joyce Quinn
Ed Quinn
Charles Cane ...
John O'Halloran
William Henry ...
Nichols (as William A. Henry)
Claire Du Brey ...
Mrs. Partridge
Martin Garralaga ...


A gangster's son sees his father rob and murder a man. The detective investigating the case, deciding that the boy will never tell what he knows if he's locked up in juvenile detention, takes the boy home with him to spend some time with a "real" family, and the boy begins to form an attachment to the detective's father, a retired cop. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 April 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ruas da Perdição  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

The city by the bay as sketched by Norman Rockwell
16 October 2004 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

The Streets of San Francisco, a late '40s Republic crime programmer, shares nothing in common with the popular Karl Malden/Michael Douglas TV drama of the '70s but its name. Even back in 1949, audiences already teethed on those gritty, bottom-of-the-bill features that would come to be known as film noir might have found this title a bit short in the tooth department. It's short, sentimental, and today would probably be applauded for its 'family values' – it has little else going for it.

Playing hooky, the young son (Gary Gray) of a gangster witnesses his dad gun down a man for his briefcase crammed with a million in currency. Police detective Robert Armstrong tracks him down, deciding that the kid will be more willing to talk in homey security than in juvenile hall. So he drags him home where his wife (Mae Clark) bakes fudgey cakes and his ex-cop father-in-law (J. Farrell MacDonald) gets to share his bedroom with the prospective stoolie. The smart-mouthed 12-year-old shows his contempt for this shabby middle-class paradise whenever he can, until Armstrong buys him a kit of tubes and tools to repair the broken radios that clutter the apartment. Gray finds MacDonald cool, and a plot is hatched for legal adoption. Then the gang finds where Gray's holed up, and decides he knows too much....

Ever the trouper, Armstrong was nearing 60 when he made The Streets of San Francisco, the glory days of his most famous credit, King Kong, long behind him – yet he's always a seasoned and welcome screen presence, and had another 15 years of work in him. Little of it, alas, was to be in good vehicles. The Streets of San Francisco can't be numbered among his better credits, but he comes across as the tough but lovable guy any street urchin might want as his foster dad.

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