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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:

It started out like any other day! 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

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 »

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

Mat: [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]
Mat: What's the matter? No sense of humor?
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years at the Movies (1994) 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

 
Timeless special effects created in 1936 by John Hoffman
27 October 2007 | by mail-4621See all my reviews

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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