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San Francisco (1936)

Unrated | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 26 June 1936 (USA)
A Barbary Coast saloonkeeper and a Nob Hill impresario are rivals for the affections of a beautiful singer, both personally and professionally in 1906 San Francisco.

Director:

W.S. Van Dyke (uncredited)

Writers:

Anita Loos (screen play), Robert E. Hopkins (from the story by) (as Robert Hopkins)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clark Gable ... Blackie Norton
Jeanette MacDonald ... Mary Blake
Spencer Tracy ... Father Tim Mullin
Jack Holt ... Jack Burley
Jessie Ralph ... Mrs. Maisie Burley
Ted Healy ... Mat
Shirley Ross ... Trixie
Margaret Irving ... Della Bailey
Harold Huber ... 'Babe'
Edgar Kennedy ... Sheriff
Al Shean ... Professor
William Ricciardi ... Signor Baldini
Kenneth Harlan ... 'Chick'
Roger Imhof Roger Imhof ... 'Alaska'
Charles Judels ... Tony (as Charles Judells)
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She Fell In Love . . . with the toughest guy on the toughest street in the world ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 June 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cidade do Pecado See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,248,291, 31 December 1948

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,122,717, 31 December 1936
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Clark Gable did not want to make the film but was at the mercy of MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer, who had just paid off one of Gable's numerous paramours. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

opening title card: San Francisco - guardian of the Golden Gate - stands today a queen among sea-ports - industrious, mature, respectable. But perhaps she dreams of the queen and city she was - - splendid and sensuous, vulgar and magnificent - that perished suddenly with a cry still heard in the hearts of those who knew her, at exactly / Five-thirteen a.m. / April 18, 1906
See more »

Alternate Versions

After initial premiere, the manager of the Paramount Theater in San Francisco added to the downbeat ending a few shots showing the Golden Gate Bridge being built. Seeing the positive public reaction, MGM decided to have the sequence added to all other prints in release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Co-Ed Fever (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Faust: Me voilà toute seule
(1859) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Gounod
Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré
Sung by Tandy MacKenzie behind dialogue
See more »

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User Reviews

wait for it
11 July 2001 | by rsyungSee all my reviews

San Francisco, like so many other films from this era, just reminds me again how movies today have lost the art of the build-up. They just hit you over the head with mind-numbing action from frame one. Hollywood(and audiences of today) would do well to watch classics like "San Francisco", where story takes precedence over special effects and when the effects do come, they are in service to the story. And they mean so much more and have so much more impact when held back until the last possible moment. Why can't we allow ourselves to be immersed in the story? Or are we just too impatient for it now?


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