6.3/10
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14 user 6 critic

Frisco Kid (1935)

Approved | | Adventure, Romance | 30 November 1935 (USA)
After a roustabout sailer avoids being shanghaied in 1852 San Francisco, his audacity helps him to arise to a position of power in the vice industry of the infamous Barbary Coast.

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

Warren Duff (story), Seton I. Miller (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Bat Morgan
Margaret Lindsay ... Jean Barrat
Ricardo Cortez ... Paul Morra
Lili Damita ... Belle
Donald Woods ... Charles Ford
Barton MacLane ... Spider Burke
George E. Stone ... Solly
Joe King ... James Daley (as Joseph King)
Addison Richards ... Coleman
Robert McWade ... Judge Crawford
Joseph Crehan ... McClanahan
Robert Strange ... Graber
Joe Sawyer ... Slugs Crippen (as Joseph Sawyer)
Fred Kohler ... Shanghai Duck
Edward McWade ... Tupper
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Storyline

Bat Morgan is nearly shanghaied on his way to the gold fields of California. Instead he kills Shanghai Duck and becomes a hero in San Francisco's Barbary Coast. He winds up the rich owner of a saloon and gambling hall and is nearly lynched for a murder he didn't commit. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

CAGNEY SWAPS HIS G-GUN FOR BARE FISTS To Rule The World's Most Famous Underworld (Print Ad- Albany Times-Union ((Albany NY)) 11 December 1935) See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Yiddish

Release Date:

30 November 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La ciudad siniestra See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Goofs

The playbill for the opera house gives its name as "McGuire's Opera House," unlike its actual historical name, "Maguire's Opera House." The correct name is given in the newspaper story detailing the opening night incident. See more »

Quotes

Bat Morgan: [to Morra] I'm gonna build a place that'll make this look like a dirty deuce in a stacked deck.
See more »

Soundtracks

Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
(1854) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
In the score often as a love theme for Bat and Jean
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Vigilante Justice
17 July 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

For James Cagney's second costume picture and first in a 19th century setting, Warner Brothers took him to San Francisco's Barbary Coast for the Frisco Kid. Cagney's first costume role was in the all star production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Unfortunately in production values it was lost in the acclaim for the more expensive Sam Goldwyn production The Barbary Coast. Personally though I think this film is better.

Cagney is fresh off a sealing ship in for his first visit to San Francisco and nearly gets shanghaied for another long voyage. Kindly Jewish tailor George E. Stone rescues him and when Cagney kills Fred Kohler, the man who is in charge of the San Francisco shanghai racket, in a bar room brawl he gains a certain celebrity status.

But no matter how far he rises in power on the Barbary Coast, Cagney can't get the woman of his dreams, society gal Margaret Lindsay. And the battle lines are getting drawn in San Francisco, isolated as it is from the rest of America pre-occupied with slavery and the Civil War.

Director Lloyd Bacon had a sure feel for the mood and look of Gold Rush San Francisco. Besides those mentioned, you'll see some good performances from Donald Woods, Lili Damita, Barton MacLane, and most of all Ricardo Cortez. His death scene and attitude towards the vigilante mob is may be the highlight of the film.

Warner Brothers more than most of the other major studios liked to recycle plots and situations. I think if one watches Frisco Kid, one will see elements of The Oklahoma Kid and The Roaring Twenties.

And those are two pretty good Cagney films also.


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