San Francisco

1936

Drama / Musical / Romance

4
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 4916

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 20, 2021 at 06:41 AM

Director

Cast

Clark Gable as Blackie Norton
Spencer Tracy as Father Tim Mullin
Robert J. Wilke as Earthquake Survivor
D.W. Griffith as Orchestra Conductor
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.04 GB
988*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 55 min
P/S 14 / 41
1.92 GB
1472*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 55 min
P/S 20 / 51

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jpdoherty 8 / 10

Splendid, Engaging Romantic Drama From The Thirties Endures.

Alongside "Gone With The Wind" MGM's SAN FRANCISCO (1936) is without doubt the finest romantic drama to emanate from Hollywood in the thirties. A movie that had everything going for it - a splendid story and script, a superb star in Clark Gable, a beautiful actress with an arresting singing voice in Jeanette MacDonald, wonderful songs and an earthquake sequence that will not only knock your socks off but can stand up proudly beside anything that computer graphics can conjure up today. The picture also was the most sensational profit making movie of 1936 speeding past "The Great Ziegfeld" from the same year. Produced for the studio by John Emerson and Bernard Hyman it was directed with great punch and attention to detail by W.S.Van Duke. The Perfectly handled screenplay was written by Anita Loos from a story by Robert Hopkins and the crisp monochrome cinematography was by Oliver T. Marsh.

It is 1905 in San Fransico and Blackie Norton (Clark Gable) runs "The Paradise" a not too respectable night club on the rowdy Barbary Coast. A girl Mary Blake (Jeanette MacDonald) arrives in the city from the country looking for a job singing. She approaches Norton who interviews her and is very taken by both her beauty and her prowess as a singer. He hires her and in the following weeks they fall in love but Blackie comes up against some competition from Jack Burly (Jack Holt) the wealthy owner of the Tivoli opera house. Burly falls for Mary too and wants to buy out her contract from Norton to have her sing in the opera. But Norton refuses and is not for turning. However after an altercation with Blackie she walks out on him and goes to the Tivoli where she becomes a singing sensation. Still in love with Blackie she however sees no future with him and just as she becomes engaged to Burly a tremendous earthquake wreaks havoc on the great city. The picture ends with the death of thousands of citizens including Jack Burly and an injured Blackie searching through every bit of rubble for Mary before eventually finding her alive and well and leading the survivors singing the hymn "Nearer My God To Thee" in a makeshift camp outside the destroyed city.

Performances are top notch throughout the movie. Gable is terrific as the flamboyant Blackie Norton. His role looking every bit like a dry run for his Rhett Butler three years later. Excellent too is the inviting and quite lovely Jeanette MacDonald. The vivacious lady is simply electric! She just lights up the screen and delights us with her mellifluous singing voice in renditions of arias from Gounod's FAUST, Verdi's LA TRAVIATA, Nacio Herb Brown's lovely WOULD YOU and the rousing title song SAN FRANCISCO written by Polish composer Bronislau Kaper who was just starting out on his illustrious film music career at MGM. The song would become a hit and remains to this day the city's favoured anthem. Of course the real star of the picture is the special effects with the climactic earthquake sequence. Designed and implemented by Russian montage expert Slavko Vorkapach it remains an amazing achievement for thirties cinema which can still manage to excite and frighten today with just as much impact as anything in modern film.

It is almost inconceivable that a seventy five year old movie can remain such a firm favourite which it steadfastly has maintained over the years. The film was nominated for four Acadamy Awards (winning one for sound recording), has a beautiful screenplay, is wonderfully directed and besides the lovely songs from the attractive Miss MacDonald contains some moments of real charm especially the scenes with the two principles. SAN FRANCISCO is a great and fascinating film from vintage Hollywood and looks like it will continue to be one of the most fondly remembered movies of all time.

Reviewed by mail-4621 10 / 10

Timeless special effects created in 1936 by John Hoffman

John Hoffman (my father) was responsible for the Great Earthquake scene and a number the other montage sequences in the film. A friend of his, the film preservationist David Shepard, tells me the film had already been shot, but the studio execs weren't happy with it. So, they handed it over to the then head of MGM's Montage Department, John Hoffman, to see if he could salvage it. Hoffman rewrote, directed and edited many of the scenes. The result: five Oscar nominations (including 'Best Picture') and one win ('Best Sound') – released in 1936, it preceded the introduction of the Oscar for Special Effects award by a few years.

A few years ago, when the Academy Awards Ceremony featured a review of the greatest disaster films ever made, I was disappointed to note that San Francisco hadn't been included. Still, from reading the reviews posted here, it's great to see how many people still appreciate it today.

Reviewed by cariart 10 / 10

MGM All-Star Classic Still Shines!

"San Francisco", MGM's 'Showcase' film of 1936, demonstrates why no other studio could 'touch' Metro at it's prime. Take the biggest star in Hollywood, team him with the 'Queen' of 1930s MGM musicals, add the greatest film actor of a generation in support, then top things off with a 'no-expense-spared' recreation of the most famous earthquake in history, and an instant Classic was born!

Seventy years later, the film has lost little of it's luster; certainly the 'Message' is a bit heavy-handed, the long opera sequences may make some viewers cringe, and some of the effects (involving double exposures) seem quaint in an era of CGI...but Clark Gable still projects his signature cockiness and virility, Jeanette MacDonald is still radiant (and can sure belt out "San Francisco"), and Spencer Tracy is still magnificent (it is easy to see why he received a 'Best Actor' nomination, in what was obviously a supporting role; he easily steals the film, in every scene he's in).

Directed by the remarkable W.S. ('Woody') Van Dyke, a consummate craftsman, and one of MGM's fastest directors (contradictory terms, but he combined speed and style, effortlessly), with a screenplay, surprisingly, by future "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" author, Anita Loos (from a story by Robert Hopkins), "San Francisco" exudes confidence, from the riotously decadent New Year's Eve, 1905, opening scene, to the finale, as Gable, MacDonald, Tracy, and, apparently, most of the survivors of the earthquake and fire march to a hilltop, vowing to build a 'better' city, and singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", as they view the smoking ruins, which dissolves into the 'modern' San Francisco of 1936.

Corny? Certainly! But undeniably rousing, as well!

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