skip navigation
Man from Frisco

Man from Frisco(1944)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

The working titles of this film were Man from Brooklyn, Victory Fleet and Victory Ships. The picture was loosely based on the career of Henry Kaiser (1882-1967), an enormously influential civil engineer whose revolutionary methods of prefabricated shipbuilding during World War II greatly aided the United States war effort. Later in his career, Kaiser founded Kaiser Permanente, the first health maintenance organization in the United States. Although a December 7, 1942 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that "Kaiser will be the central character while the background will be the gigantic Kaiser shipyards," the lead character and shipyards were fictionalized. Kaiser did give his full support to the production, in which more than 100,000 of his workers appeared in atmospheric shots, according to Hollywood Reporter. Portions of the film were shot on location at the Kaiser shipyards in Richmond, CA, in addition to other locations in Oakland and San Francisco, and the picture contains much footage of actual shipbuilding procedures. Technical advisor Robert Pearson was Kaiser's press representative. Reviews generally praised the idea of the film, but commented negatively on its routine plot. The Hollywood Reporter reviewer termed the picture "disappointing" due to its "melodramatic Hollywood treatment," despite the fact that it contained "numerous absorbing shots of the great shipyards at Richmond, Calif., and along the line a fund of extremely interesting information is given concerning the high speed operation and how they evolved." Actor Michael O'Shea was originally borrowed from Hunt Stromberg's company for the production, although he was under contract to Twentieth Century-Fox by the time filming began. According to a modern source, director Robert Florey also helmed a short subject about Kaiser.