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Frisco Jenny (1932)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Music | 14 January 1933 (USA)
Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house. She puts her son up for adoption and he rises to prominence as district ... See full summary »

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Wilson Mizner (screenplay), Robert Lord (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ruth Chatterton ... Jenny
Louis Calhern ... Steve Dutton
Helen Jerome Eddy ... Amah
Donald Cook ... Dan Reynolds
James Murray ... Dan McAllister
Hallam Cooley ... Willie Gleason
Pat O'Malley ... O'Hoolihan
Harold Huber ... Weaver
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Sandoval
Willard Robertson ... Capt. of Police
Edit

Storyline

Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house. She puts her son up for adoption and he rises to prominence as district attorney dedicated to closing down such houses. When her underling Dutton proposes telling the DA that Frisco Jenny is his birth mother, she kills the underling not to cause trouble for her son now the successful DA, she must face execution. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 January 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Common Ground See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$286,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print length)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Saturday 20 October 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Indianapolis Thursday 15 November 1956 on WISH (Channel 8), in Albuquerque Saturday 8 December 1956 on KOAT (Channel 7), in Boston Wednesday 12 December 1956 on WBZ (Channel 4), and again in Albuquerque Saturday 29 December 1956 on KGGM (Channel 13). See more »

Goofs

After the coroner tells the photographer to take a picture of a recently murdered man who died with his eyes open, the actor playing the dead man visibly blinks twice. See more »

Quotes

Frisco Jenny Sandoval: Born in a cellar under a fish market; but, a gentleman, Amah. A real man. Nothing beyond his reach. District Attorney. Governor. Even President.
Amah: Confucius says: Fortunate is the mother of a man-child.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

It Looks Like a Big Night Tonight
(uncredited)
Music by Egbert Van Alstyne
Lyrics by Harry Williams
Sung by the party guests
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ruth Chatterton is early pre-code film
28 March 2009 | by sdave7596See all my reviews

"Frisco Jenny" released in 1932, stars Ruth Chatterton as a woman who has a child out of wedlock amidst the turmoil after the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. The disaster leaves her in poverty, so she has no choice but to give the baby boy to a loving and wealthy couple. "Jenny" then fights her way out of poverty through bootlegging, prostitution, and other unsavory deeds. This of course leads her to associate with some corrupt folks. It all gets quite complicated, but Jenny is tried for murder of one of these folks. Then lo and behold, the prosecutor who goes after her is -- you guessed it -- none other than her now grown and successful son (Donald Cook). Interestingly, Chatterton starred just three years earlier in a similar film, Madame X. This film is "pre-code" meaning before the motion picture code was enforced in 1934. These films were considered controversial for the time, as issues like sex, drugs, and other things were more honestly and openly displayed. Chatterton gives a good performance here, and the film is entertaining. What surprised me most is William Wellman directed it. Although most known for his macho films, Wellman showed he could also direct women's pictures and fine dramas like the original "A Star is Born."


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