The lifestyles of Arlene and Valkyr Bradford, half-sisters from a respected San Francisco family, diverge markedly as Arlene takes up with criminals.


William Dieterle


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





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


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Enslaved by a mad desire for illicit thrills, she made others pay for her violent career! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


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.
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Why Do I Dream Those Dreams?
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played by request by the nightclub band and as background music
See more »

User Reviews

As Davis Goes, So Goes The Picture
20 November 2012 | by GManfredSee all my reviews

It sure sounded like a good movie, especially with Bette Davis in the cast - in fact, she heads the cast. Then, nearly halfway through, she exits, and "Fog Over Frisco" falls flatter than a pancake. But she really didn't head the cast anyway. She had a prominent part, but it was mainly Margaret Lindsay's picture and she wasn't up to the job.

Margaret Lindsay resembled Maureen O'Sullivan but lacked her charismatic on screen persona, and she received little help from Warner Bros. back-benchers Lyle Talbot and Donald Woods. So what starts out as a potential 'A' picture winds up a 'B', but with a pretty fair mystery plot going for it. It's just that when Bette Davis' character is killed it is a big letdown, as she kept the viewer's interest with a characteristic dynamic performance which the support characters could not sustain.

"Fog Over Frisco" is definitely worth a look, especially for Davis' many fans, but the website has got the rating about right. There are also some interesting shots of San Francisco in the 30's which should interest some natives of the Bay Area. I took note of one shot during a car chase down a steep hill which I think was the same steep hill in a "Dirty Harry" chase scene.

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Release Date:

2 June 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gentleman from San Francisco See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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