Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy, Jack Holt, Jessie Ralph
Directors: Hugh Harman, Susan F. Walker, W.S. Van Dyke
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts, Mystery & Suspense, Animation
Romantic drama combines with humor, starpower combines with lavish spectacle and the walls come tumbling down! This Academy Award?-winning* extravanganza's street-splitting, brick-cascading, fire-raging recreation of the c... more »
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MGM All-Star Classic Still Shines!
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 08/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""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!
The 'Special Features' are excellent, as well; the TNT documentary, "Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Clark Gable", while glossing over some 'seamier' chapters of Gable's life, does offer insights by the daughter he secretly fathered by Loretta Young, and the son he died before ever seeing...and the biography is VASTLY superior to the one offered in the "Gone with the Wind" Special Edition. An 'alternate ending' is barely different from the actual one, other than offering more views of the city, but the 1936 MGM cartoon ("Bottles") is astonishingly well-crafted and gorgeous in Technicolor, and two Technicolor 'TravelTalk' short features, from 1940, on San Francisco, and Treasure Island, at the time of the 1939-40 World Exposition, are both very entertaining and a visual 'time machine' back to a simpler era.
This is a wonderful DVD, certainly worth owning!"
THIS REALLY DESERVE A "6"
Henning Sebastian Jahre | Oslo, Norway | 07/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Now this is what all-timers must have meant when they snapped "they don`t make`m like that anymore!".
MGM`s San Francisco offers us star names, good plot and dialogue, superb photography, special effects, scenary(Cedric Gibbons), sound(Douglas Shearer, brother of Norma), music, song.... The Hollywood of 2day should look back and really learn that you just can`t throw in spcial-effects, PRAY - a n d have hope for a good movie. The Day After Tomorrow is great, but sadly lacking star names like in this 1. Today - more often - the effects are the stars... It didn`t use 2 be like that(The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake, The Towering Inferno to name but a few)...I name SAN FRANCISCO(with Mutiny on the Bounty), the best MGM b&w melodrama of the 30s... 20th Century-Fox made "IN OLD CHICAGO" 1937 but as with the MGM musical.... NO ONE COULD TOP METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER AT THEIR ZENITH."
MGM`s GREAT DRAMA/DISASTER/MUSICAL/ROMANCE EPIC
Benjamin J Burgraff | 12/10/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
My absolute favourite film!!!
Henning Sebastian Jahre | 07/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, all you grizzlers who criticize Jeanette's vocal contributions to this film - you watch a MacDonald film, and you know the lady's going to sing! And does she sing! I remember seeing this film years ago in an Adelaide cinema, and when she hit the high E-flat at the end of "Sempre libera" from "La Traviata", a lady behind me gasped, "Oh, my God!" Then as the audience onstage burst into applause, so too did the audience in the cinema. There was also applause from the audience at the very end of the film - and heaps of teary eyes! I can't criticize a thing about this film; I've watched it dozens of times, and never tire of it. When I'm about to die, I know I'll still rate it as my favourite film of all time. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would. There - is that glowing enough???"