6.7/10
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Fog Over Frisco (1934)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 2 June 1934 (USA)
The lifestyles of Arlene and Valkyr Bradford, half-sisters from a respected San Francisco family, diverge markedly as Arlene takes up with criminals.

Director:

William Dieterle

Writers:

Robert N. Lee (screen play), George Dyer (based on a story by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Davis ... Arlene Bradford
Donald Woods ... Tony Sterling
Margaret Lindsay ... Valkyr 'Val' Bradford
Lyle Talbot ... Spencer Carleton
Hugh Herbert ... Izzy Wright
Arthur Byron ... Everett Bradford
Robert Barrat ... Thorne
Henry O'Neill ... Oren Porter
Irving Pichel ... Jake Bello
Douglass Dumbrille ... Joshua Mayard (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Alan Hale ... Police Chief O'Malley
Gordon Westcott ... Joe Bello
Charles C. Wilson ... Detective Sgt. O'Hagen (as Charles Wilson)
Harold Minjir ... Archie Van Ness
William Demarest ... Spike Smith
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Storyline

Arlene Bradford is the quintessential high society bad girl. She's spoiled by Everett Bradford, her indulgently wealthy San Francisco father, who's recently become totally disgusted by her irresponsible antics. She has little regard for the law and the company she keeps. She has her investment broker fiancé Spencer Carlton involved in a stolen bond racket and flirts with local gangster types including the notorious Jake Bellow. The senior Bradford becomes concerned when Arlene begins to involve her half-sister Valkyr in her shady and highly dangerous activities. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Excitement-----! with Frisco Arlene...thrill-mad debutante...headed for hades and dragging half of Frisco with her! (Print ad- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,((Pittsburgh, Penna.)) 6 June 1934) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 June 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gentleman from San Francisco See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The $250,000 in stolen bonds Bill delivers at the beginning of the film would equate to over $4,750,000 in 2019. See more »

Goofs

Val's rescuer was knocked into some anchor chains. When he gets up, he easily moves the chains with his hands indicating they were props and not the real thing. Based on the size of the links it would take more than a slight push to cause them to fall to the ground. See more »

Quotes

Spike Smith: Say, Society, who's the gal dancing with Tony
Archie Van Ness: She's the only real Bradford daughter. Arlene's her stepsister.
Spike Smith: Say, she must be respectable. I've never seen her before.
Archie Van Ness: Say,I've picked Arlene off the blotter for everything from speeding to being picked up in Chinatown raids.
Izzy Wright: Oh, that I were young.
Archie Van Ness: And old Bradford's got more millions than there were Indians out here when her family landed.
See more »

Connections

Featured in All About Bette (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

How Do I Know It's Sunday?
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Played by the band for Arlene when she arrives at the nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Far before its time
30 October 2007 | by marko-157See all my reviews

Mysterious crime, unconventional way of solving it, witty dialog, fast paced events, car chasing, unexpected resolution... are we watching just another detective action film starring Mel Gibson? No, it is 1934 film Fog over Frisco. It is amazing how little has this type of film evolved in last 70 years or so. The only "improvements" we see in modern versions of action films are slimy kissing and love-making scenes, two dozen explosions and rolling stock of a smaller country destroyed. Oh, yeah, done to include something for everyone and to extend the film time to standard one and a half hour.

Well Fog over Frisco is what a good action film should look like. It is absolutely enough to have a bit more than a hour to tell everything. Of course, Dieterle could easily make a film a bit longer and the plot more understandable, but this amazing pace is what makes this film even more special. You are moving in the spiral of events so fast that it is necessary to see it twice to get everything straight.

But this is not all. We see some really exceptional acting here. Bette Davis makes from one seemingly tiny role more than some leading character actors did in the whole acting career. She is absolutely convincing as Arlene, a spoiled and bored rich girl and you can never see Bette in another film to be so beautiful, glamorous, amusing and enchanting. No wonder that most men in film really seem to be in love with her. Margaret Lindsay, who plays a real head role of her step-sister Val, isn't match for Ms. Davis, however she did her part correctly. Other notable performances include Donald Woods playing Tony and Hugh Herbert playing Izzy, who are convincing as a witty reporter - funny photographer pair.

This film is one of the most underestimated films in the whole history of Hollywood and is a must-see for 1930s film period.


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