When a death row prisoner tells him he wouldn't have led a life of crime if only he had had one friend as a child, Father Edward Flanagan decides to do something about. An advocate of child... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The character of Blackie Norton was inspired by Wilson Mizner, a fellow writer of Robert E. Hopkins and Anita Loos, who had worked on Broadway and at Warner Brothers and had died several years earlier, He was a notorious huckster, con artist and womanizer, with connections in gambling and underworld circles. See more »
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 »
[to a bartender]
"Everyone to his own taste," the old lady said as she kissed the cow. Ain't that a...
[not getting a reaction]
What's the matter? No sense of humor?
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When the film was re-released in 1948, the Golden Gate Bridge had already been completed by a decade, so MGM decided to remove that sequence from the ending because it was thought to be anachronistic. See more »
Timeless special effects created in 1936 by John Hoffman
John Hoffman (my father) was responsible for the Great Earthquake scene and a number the other montage sequences in the film. A friend of his, the film preservationist David Shepard, tells me the film had already been shot, but the studio execs weren't happy with it. So, they handed it over to the then head of MGM's Montage Department, John Hoffman, to see if he could salvage it. Hoffman rewrote, directed and edited many of the scenes. The result: five Oscar nominations (including 'Best Picture') and one win ('Best Sound') released in 1936, it preceded the introduction of the Oscar for Special Effects award by a few years.
A few years ago, when the Academy Awards Ceremony featured a review of the greatest disaster films ever made, I was disappointed to note that San Francisco hadn't been included. Still, from reading the reviews posted here, it's great to see how many people still appreciate it today.
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