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"I thought she wanted to play Post Office." - Curly (PAIN IN THE PULLMAN, A, 1936)

Bookmark and Share SAN FRANCISCO

Average Rating:     [8.80/10]   3 votes


Mary Blake, an aspiring opera singer, arrives in San Francisco with a dream to perform at the Tivio Opera House, but has to take a job at the Paradise, Blackie Norton's successful nightclub in the roughest section of the Barbary Coast. Blackie made his fortune by being tough, but never corrupt, thanks in large part to his childhood friend and conscience, Father Tim Mullin. Norton is at first infatuated by Mary, and then upset to realize that he may have real feelings for her when society patron Jack Burley, owner of the Tivio, also falls in love with her. Burley wants to buy-out her Paradise contract. Although Mary is in love with Blackie, she's willing to settle on a life with Jack so she can avoid the rough and corrupt Barbary Coast life. Mary is caught in the middle as Jack and Blackie go to war, just before the devastating 1906 earthquake hits San Francisco.

Healy stooges Sammy Wolfe (Sammy Glasser), Red Pearson and Jimmy Brewster appeared as Mat's stooges, but their screen time was deleted in editing before SAN FRANCISCO's release.

View a re-issue theatrical trailer at TCM.com

IMDb Rating


Ted Healy (Solo)
Release Date
June 26, 1936
Production Type
Feature Film
115.2 min.
Buy at Amazon.com

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Production Notes   (1)
Shooting Days:   78 days   From: 1936-02-14   To: 1936-05-14

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Fan Reviews   (1)
Posted 2003-04-20 05:13:00 by Bruckman
Big budget MGM musical drama involving Clark Gable as a Barbary Coast-San Francisco saloon owner, Jeanette McDonald as the high society chanteuse who ends up taking a job singing in Gable's saloon and falling in love with him, and Spencer Tracy, with Ted Healy as Gable's saloon-manager cohort indulging in his fondness for wisecracks. McDonald sings "San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gate" which was this film's big hit, and the climax is a state-of-the-art (for 1936) recreation of the 1906 earthquake, using elaborate scale sets which were literally shaken to pieces in slow-motion, plus some full-size collapsing sets--it's a predecessor of the 1974 EARTHQUAKE and in many ways superior and less gimmicky. Allegedly D.W. Griffith contributed to the filming of this sequence; it's definitely worth sitting through the film to see it, even if you're not a fan of the "Iron Butterfly" as McDonald was often called. A good bravura Gable performance and yes, Ted survives the earthquake. You didn't think they'd kill off the comic relief, did you?

Reviewer's Rating: (8)

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