- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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I love this movie on so many levels. Tracy, Gable, and MacDonald, all so great. The direction and special effects are all wonderful. This film is truly a classic. Then, there is the lesson in the film. How beautiful; how refreshing in this day. Truly a tribute to the sovereignty of God. I am thrilled and enriched every time you show this fantastic film. What a classic indeed. Thank you, TCM for giving us this treat from time to time.
Thank you for Jeanette MacDonald
- jack morgan
The timeless beauty of Jeanette McDonald provides her singing and acting ability on a par with Gable and Tracy. Too bad Gable was such an egotistical jerk off-screen, she deserved better. While all three went on to be major motion picture mega-stars, she was the only one with acting talent and musical talent. God bless her.
Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy at their Best
- Larry Elam
A surprisingly inspirational film which hasn't aged too badly because of the excellent special effects depicting the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. It is Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy at their best and to top it all off we have Jeanette MacDonald singing the time-honored hit song "San Francisco."
San Francisco (1936)
- Mr. Blandings
Never been a favorite of mine, but kudos for its good editing and FX. All I can say is, I hope you like Jeanette MacDonald's singing voice and the song "San Francisco," 'cause you're gonna hear them both incessantly!
- Dashiell Barnes
A film that influenced future films of the 30's to include natural disasters. MacDonald tends to be melodramatic, but Gable & Tracy have great chemistry, the latter earning his first Oscar nomination. The editing, special effects & Douglas Shearer's Oscar-winning sound perfectly recreate the power of the earthquake; destroying a once beautifully recreated era in the title city. A good film overall. I give it a 4/5.
- george snedker
grandaddy of disaster movies and still the best, great special effects for the period
The best Earthquake!
This is not a favorite film of mine, but the Earthquake scenes are outstanding. The earthquake is composed of the elements that would make a city in terrifying juxtaposition. This is EDITING at it finest- unsurpassed! The few moments when the fruit-seller is trying to get his terrified horse to move, while at the same time, the huge Atalante (male figure in architecture) and the entire building starts to collapse- ending with a shot of the carriage wheel- one of the most electrifying moments of film! This film should be seen by everyone just for the earthquake and the subsequent fire.
The Studio System at its best
- David Plomin
One of my all time faves since I first saw it. I was lucky to see it on the big screen at a repertory cinema in Chicago years ago, and it truly is worth the trip to see it the way people did in 1936. I always get creep-ed out when the couple is buried under the rubble and Blackie starts to move the debris with a passerby and the after shocks start and they are now lost for good. I like the DVD that has the alternate ending that show various live shots of the city today (1936 today, that is) that shows a half dozen images instead of the usual static shot of the skyline being rebuilt. The writers took fictional people and made them so real, as opposed to IN OLD CHICAGO which took actual historical figures and made them fictitious! I mean REALLY, Mrs. O'Leary's son was NOT Mayor of Chicago!
Slow start but the movie picked up nicely! Special effects pretty amazing for the time, especially considering there were no computers! Clark Gable was excellent and was Jeanette! Check the movie out if you get a chance you won't be disappointed!
What A Great Movie!!!!
I watched this for the first time this evening and I must say, great work. I consider myself to be an old movie buff and I have to put this up there in my top few along with "Kitty" and "Goodbye Mr. Chips". i will be watching this again and again. Such a classic!!!
An excellent movie. My Grandmother got me into all the musicals from the 1920's,30's,and 40's.Another reason is it is in glorious black and white. The cast is great, Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable and Jeanette McDoanld are fantastic
San Francisco (1936)
- James Higgins
San Francisco is a truly remarkable film. The special effects in the earthquake scene rival the special effects from any decade of film making. It is such an entertaining movie. Clark Gable is well cast in a role that's perfect for him. Spencer Tracy is fine as always, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in this film. I am not a fan of Jeanette MacDonald, but this is one of her best roles. Jessie Ralph provides fine support. The plot is a familiar one to audiences today, but was quite fresh in 1936. Good music, excellent sound, costume design and score. Great production values. Very memorable and a great classic.
- Laura J
Interesting movie with a great cast. I thought this movie would revolve all around the big earthquake but it does not it actaully has a story line. The earthquake scene is just amazing considering special effects back then, if even existent, has nothing to do with the special effects we know today. Excellent to see.
Wow. From the moment the quake hits, the entire sense of the film changes. Amazing special effects- amazing because they are not special at all. Real bricks, real buildings, real people. This film was made in the 1930s but rivals and surpasses any similar disaster film of modern times by using real props and real people, and real timing and pace- in 1936! The few overwhelming moments of the quake itself, and the experience afterwards are unforgettable.
They don't make them this great anymore
- Claire Harmon
I saw this movie on tv as a young teen and was very impressed by the finale, although it didn't make a tremendous overall impression on me.I rented it two weeks ago, watched it, bought my own copy the next day and have watched it 4 times since. This is a wonderful movie and is now in my top 5 all time favorites. This is Clark Gable's best performance. And, as for Jeanette MacDonald--she is wonderful and it is her best performance, as well. It was too bad that this gifted lady was not given more roles like this one. Highly reccomended.
Good Gable performance
- Wendy Winkler
I wanted to comment on Clark Gable's performance in San Francisco. He is truly touching near the end of the movie. The scene where he is comforting the mother of his deceased rival or being reconciled with his priest friendis very moving. This is probably Jeanette Macdonald's best movie without Nelson Eddy.
San Francisco Earthquake
- Charles CCrandall
I recently watch the movie for about the fourth time. The version broadcast recently was great for my wife and I because she is hearing impared and the closed captioning made it much more intertaining for her. Would like to by it on DVD if it becomes available.Great cast, special effects for 1936 film making, and a wonderful message at the end of the movie.
A must see!
This movie is atonishing with excellent actors and great direction. I have never forgotten the ending. When my father was living with me, he used to watch TMC all the time and talk to me about all of the movies from his lifetime. When I saw this film with him I was fascinated that such a wonderful film could exist for so long and I had never heard of it before or its leading lady Jeanette MacDonald. Her signing voice took me by surprise and I have been trying to find other films she was in. I am only 45 years old but have found that most of the best directed, produced and acting in films was done years before I was born. San Francisco is one of the best I have ever seen.