Saturday, November 20, 2010

Great Dramas: San Francisco(1936).

San Francisco (1936) Drama-adventure film directed by Woody Van Dyke, based on the April 18, 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Cast: Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy and Jack Holt.

"Blackie" Norton owns the Paradise Club on Pacific Street. He hires a classically-trained singer, Mary Blake, a romance develops between the two. Complications begin when Mary is hired by the Tivoli Opera House on Market Street and she becomes involved with, Jack Burley .

Blackie's long time friend, Roman Catholic Father Tim Mullen , keeps trying to reform him, while the other nightclub owners try to talk Norton into running for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, in order to protect their interests. Father Tim, informs Mary that the new church organ was paid for by Blackie. On April 17, 1906 the San Francisco Police Department shuts down the Paradise. Then, at 5:13 a.m. April 18, 1906, the earthquake hits and the fires erupt. The water mains are broken. Mat has been taken from the destroyed Hall of Justice on Washington Street, a nurse tells Blackie, Mat will not survive. Blackie goes to Nob Hill, as the US Army troops from the Presidio have orders to blow up the mansions. Will Blackie ever find Mary alive?

Wonderful film about history, great acting and special effects. I also loved the cast and the great story line that will grab you from the beginning. A movie you will not soon forget.

Fun Facts:
One of Mary's opera gowns was later used for "Glinda" in The Wizard of Oz (1939).

The dress Jeanette MacDonald wears while singing "Would You" was re-worn by Judy Garland in For Me and My Gal (1942).

Jessie Ralph (November 5, 1864 – May 30, 1944), made her Hollywood debut in 1916, she became a permanent actress in 1933. She was 70 at this time, her roles were those of frumpy old ladies, but.. she stole all the scenes she was in. Her best known roles are as Greta Garbo's maid in Camille, and as W.C. Fields mother-in-law in The Bank Dick. She performed in a total of 55 movies.

List of Jessie Ralph movies I have seen:
Captain Blood (1935)
San Francisco (1936)
Camille (1936)
After the Thin Man (1936)
The Good Earth (1937)
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

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