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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:

They were born to fall in love! 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)
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

In the film, Blackie Norton (Clark Gable) runs for the office of Supervisor in the city of San Francisco, the same job Harvey Milk was to hold many decades later when he was assassinated. See more »

Goofs

The earthquake actually occurred at 5:13 am. In the movie the timing appears to be in the late evening, not in the early morning. The prologue of the opening credits states the correct time of the earthquake: April 18, 1906 at 5:13 am but it is easy to understand any confusion since with the cinematography at the time, day for night shots were used in exterior sets and with model sets, so that the full impact of the earthquake in progress could be easily seen. Also, it took at least three days for the fire to be extinguished and with the one night shot in those sequences, it appears that the timing of events after the earthquake was much shorter than it actually was. See more »

Quotes

Jack Burley: Did you ever hear of Puccini, Norton?
Blackie Norton: Yeah. Didn't he run a joint down on Dupont Street?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a colorized version See more »

Connections

Featured in Some of the Best (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

The Holy City
(1892) (uncredited)
Music by Stephen Adams
Lyrics by Frederick Edward Weatherly
Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spectacular in its Day!
10 August 2004 | by dougandwinSee all my reviews

Oh, yes "San Francisco" was a masterpiece movie when it was made in 1936 - the special effects designed and brilliantly brought to the screen by MGM were astounding, and this film was a giant hit. Having seen it many times over, I am still enthralled by the Earthquake scenes, and it was great to see Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable working so well together - somehow this was one of Gable's best two roles of his career as Blackie. Jeanette MacDonald was somewhat miscast in some ways, but her singing of "Nearer My God to Thee" was inspirational - it was a pity it was so short. The supporting cast was excellent while the spirit of the city of San Francisco was well captured by the direction of W.S. van Dyke. Jack Holt and Jessie Ralph, a couple of old stagers, did well - but the star of the show was the Earthquake.


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