90 Days of Oscar Nominees #42 – San Francisco (1936)


In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 90 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 5 Dec 2017 and The 90th Annual Oscars on 4 Mar 2018.

Here is my 42nd review of the 90 chosen Films…

“[referring to the earthquake] Well, we certainly don’t do things halfway in San Francisco. ” – Waiter

Number of Times Seen – 1 (14 Jan 2018)

Brief Synopsis – Two powerful men in turn of the Century San Francisco vie for the affection of a star singer who they both want also for their clubs.

My Take on it – This is a film that I had hopes for since it starred Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy but even with those two acting heavyweights working together, they can’t manage to raise the film higher.

They do a nice job of showing what saloon life was like back in the turn of the Century.

The musical numbers are done quite well and some of the songs are actually quite catchy.

The title song was so popular at the time that it became the theme for the city.

The story itself tho is a bit boring and meanders along too much at a pretty slow pace.

They don’t manage to make us care about the characters or their situations at all despite trying quite hard.

This is yet another film that baffles me as to how it managed to get a Best Picture nomination.

Bottom Line – Another mediocre Best Picture nominee. This film does a nice job of showing what saloon life was like during that time period and the musical numbers are catchy, but the story itself meanders along too much and just doesn’t manage to really make us care about the characters or the situations they find themselves in.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Jeanette MacDonald brought the screenplay by Anita Loos to the attention of MGM head Irving Thalberg with the express idea that she should headline alongside Clark Gable. Thalberg readily agreed although Gable did not get along with MacDonald during filming. He objected to her singing at him and would eat garlic before their kissing scenes just to annoy her. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy

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5 thoughts on “90 Days of Oscar Nominees #42 – San Francisco (1936)

  1. I haven’t seen this movie in a long time – but remember the earthquake sequence. This was back in the day when the Oscars still had awards for “Best Assistant Director” and “Best Dance Direction” but had yet to add one for Special Effects. As to its Oscar qualifications – remember this was also back when MGM was the most powerful studio in the business by far (“More Stars Than There Are in Heaven”) and Oscar voting was done in blocks. Some studios would take the ballots given to the voting members who were under contract to them – and fill them out themselves. In 1936 – there were 10 movies nominated for Best Picture – and fully half of them – 5 – were MGM productions. Including the winner that year – “The Great Ziegfeld”.

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  2. I remember utterly hating this film. The SF earthquake of 1906 would be a great subject for a big-budget modern movie, but the stench from this stinker is probably so pervasive that no one would want to do it even 80 years later.

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  3. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1936 |

  4. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1936 |

  5. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 1936 |

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