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San Francisco 1936 NR CC

Things really get shaken up when an aspiring opera singer becomes involved with a bawdy saloon owner and his high-society rival during the devastating earthquake of 1906.

Starring:
Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald
Runtime:
1 hour, 56 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Musical
Director W.S. Van Dyke
Starring Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald
Supporting actors Spencer Tracy, Jack Holt, Jessie Ralph, Ted Healy, Shirley Ross, Margaret Irving, Harold Huber, Edgar Kennedy, Al Shean, William Ricciardi, Kenneth Harlan, Roger Imhof, Charles Judels, Russell Simpson, Bert Roach, Warren Hymer, Jean Acker, Maude Allen
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"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 American 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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Unfortunatley I can only give this DVD transfer 3 stars. I have been patiently waiting for this film to be available on DVD so that I can toss out my old videocassette. Instead I think I am going to keep the videocassette and toss out the DVD. MGM's high production values are evident throughout this film. The special effects, for their time, are convincing even by today's standards. The problem with this transfer is that it is too "heavy." The facial tones are all "plugged up" and the shadows are way too saturated. I know this movie, despite it's somewhat contrasty sytle of cinemetography, was not originally shot (exposed) that way. Even if the original negative is permanently damaged this fine film is deserving of the most expensive, time-consuming restoration effort money can buy.
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Format: VHS Tape
From the mid 20s till the mid 50s, METRO-GOLDWYN MAYER(MGM) boasted they had more stars than there are in the heaven. MGM was the first studio to release a film with more than two stars(it was in 1932 - the Academy Award winning GRAND HOTEL starring Garbo, Beery, Crawford and Lionel Barrymore). SAN FRANCISCO proved to be one of the finest that ever came out of Hollywood. 3 Stars; Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald and Spencer Tracy; strong story containing drama, music, song, romance A N D disaster; set decorations by Cedric Gibbons, special effects that has never dated, realistic scenes from ol`Frisco, though everything was shot in the MGM studios at Culver City. SAN FRANCISCO is a film that will never lose its appeal because of all these ingredients. This film is a MUST-SEE. One of the best that was ever made.
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Format: VHS Tape
"San Francisco" is the epitome of excellent 1930's filmaking at its best. Boasting a rousing story scripted by Anita Loos, crackling direction by the prolific W.S. Van Dyke (a director unfairly neglected in Hollywood history), and beautiful costumes and sets, the film is most justly famous because of the unforgettable special effects depicting the famous San Francisco earthquake of 1906. These sequences have gone down in Hollywood folklore as possibly the finest of their kind ever created.
The film offers a top notch cast in Clark Gable as Blackie Norton the rough around the edges entrepeneur in the dance hall area of the Barbary Coast, Spencer Tracy in the first of his famous priest roles as the caring Father Tim Mullin, a childhood friend of Blackie's, and last but not least Jeanette McDonald as Mary Blake the singing sensational torn between her strict upbringing and her love for Blackie. They make a memorable trio of performers in their only film together. Gable and Tracy would go on to make two more films together, "Test Pilot" and "Boom Town". Despite it being well known that Gable and McDonald did not get along during shooting they combine well in their acting depite their very different personalities. Spencer Tracy is on screen for less time than is desirable and certainly his father Tim is not as well written a character as the priest he played so wonderfully 2 years later in the classic "Boy's Town". Tracy always had a way with no frills sympathetic characters and he brings conviction and feeling to his role as the self appointed protector of Mary in Blackie's world of dancing girls, card sharps and crooked deals.
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