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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:

She Fell In Love . . . with the toughest guy on the toughest street in the world ! 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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,122,717
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

Superstar Jeanette MacDonald scored another big hit for MGM in 1936 Rose-Marie (1936), with Nelson Eddy and James Stewart. 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

[pointing at necklace]
Blackie Norton: Hey. I thought I told you not to wear that thing.
Trixie: Ah gee, honey, I think it's nice.
Blackie Norton: Yeah? Well I think it makes you look cheap!
[Rips it off of her]
Blackie Norton: Now don't wear it anymore. Blackie doesn't like it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a colorized version See more »

Connections

Featured in Movies Are Adventure (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy New Year
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Bronislau Kaper and Walter Jurmann
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Performed by Shirley Ross
See more »

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User Reviews

San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gate
12 November 2004 | by Bucs1960See all my reviews

You can't go wrong with the pairing of two of the great stars of Hollywood, Gable and Tracy......and the great star of the west coast, San Francisco. The role of Blackie Norton may be one of Gable's best, so cynical,so devil-may-care and just a little bit dangerous. Tracy play the understanding priest with his usual aplomb. As he told someone once "Don't ever let them catch you acting".

Gable's attraction to Jeanette McDonald is a little bit unbelievable. She really did belong with Jack Holt in this film......or better yet Nelson Eddy should have showed up at the last minute and swept her away with a song. Gable and McDonald don't mesh at all and there was not much chemistry between them although I must admit she is lovely. Be that as it may, the film is one of the best of Hollywood's mid-30's offerings. There is something for everyone; music, drama, comedy and the finale of the earthquake which is what we are waiting for. And what a spectacle it is!! It is very well done in those days before sophisticated special effects; with tumbling buildings, crashing walls and the inevitable fire. There are a couple of poignant scenes when the firefighters must blow up buildings and homes to control the fire thus destroying lifetimes of work and memories.

The ending is a little bit over the top as those who have lost their families and all that they own, joyously sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic and march up the hill to view the destruction (I'm not sure I would be that upbeat)......but it is still effective. The fade to the modern day (1936) San Francisco is just the right ending note. I highly recommend this film, not only for the Gable/Tracy pairing but also for the general excellence of the production.


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