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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:

Together For The First Time 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

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

After the Earthquake, the driver of a Salvation Army wagon tells Blackie Norton that he is heading to "Daly City to get milk for the kiddies." Daly City was not incorporated until 1911. In 1906 it was called Vista Grande. 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

The montage at the conclusion of the film which illustrates the re-building of San Francisco originally included a series of shots of recognizable San Francisco landmarks circa 1936, the year of the film's release; most notably, the Golden Gate Bridge while it was still under construction. The primary support cables had been slung from the towers of the bridge, but its roadway had not been constructed yet. This is very obvious in the one single shot of the Golden Gate Bridge which did not open to traffic until 1937. Only the Oakland Bay Bridge, which opened to traffic in 1936, is seen as fully constructed in two shots at the beginning and end of the montage. Also seen was a shot of Market Street, as it appeared in 1936, with 4 tracks of streetcars, the white front Market Street lines on the inside tracks, and the Muni lines on the outside tracks. Subsequent releases have omitted this original montage ending in favor of a dissolve into a freeze frame of the San Francisco skyline, as it appeared in 1948, the year of the film's first major re-release. The original montage of the rebuilt San Francisco is a special feature in the DVD release as an "Alternate Ending" sequence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

La Traviata: Sempre Libera
(1853) (uncredited)
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Sung by Jeanette MacDonald
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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