San Francisco

Synopsis: Mary Blake arrives at Blackie Norton's Paradise gambling hall and beer garden looking for work as a singer. Blackie embarrasses her by asking to see her legs, but does hire her. She faints from hunger. Nob Hill Socialite Jack Burley and Maestro Baldini of the Tivoli Opera House see her singing and offer her a chance to do opera, but Blackie has her under a two-year contract which she sorrowfully stands by. Later, when he makes up posters featuring Mary in tights, she does leave for the Tivoli. Blackie gets an injunction against Burley, but knocks out the process server when he hears Mary's performance as Marguerite in "Faust". She asks her to marry him and she agrees to go back to the Paradise as his kind of singer, but Blackie's childhood chum Father Tim intervenes. After Blackie slugs the priest, Mary leaves. She is soon the star of the Tivoli and Blackie's place is closed down. She sings a rousing "San Francisco" on behalf of the Paradise at the annual "Chicken Ball" and wins the $1
Director(s): W.S. Van Dyke
Production: MGM
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
115 min

Happy New Year!

Hey, there's wine in Lotta's Fountain!

Free wine!

Hey, Mr. Duane. Mr. Duane!

You want any more?

- Sure, all of it. Empty the warehouse.

- You bet.

- I'll take a dozen pints at the same price.

- Hello, Blackie. Happy New Year.

- Hello, Duane. Happy New Year to you.

- Yeah.

- Some sight, huh?

- Yeah. Some advertising.

Hello, there, Blackie!

- Happy New Year and many of them.

- Happy New Year, Della!

Happy New Year, girls!

- You know everybody, don't you?

- Everybody that's worth knowing.

Hello? Fire!

Where's the fire?

- Where's the fire?

- On the Barbary Coast.

Maybe it's my joint.

Stand back. Keep clear.

Give them a chance to work, boy.

Clear out for the hose!

- It ain't your joint, Mr. Norton.

- No. It isn't hot enough for my joint.

Oh, God, the kids!

Help! Save us! Please, save us!

Up pressure, up pressure.

Hurry! Hurry!

- Is everybody out of there?

- Okay. They're all out, Mr. Norton.

- Well, happy New Year.

- Same to you.

- Hello, Blackie. Happy New Year.

- Thank you. Thank you.

Hello, Romeo!

- Hello. Happy New Year.

- Happy New Year to you, Blackie.

Happy New Year, Blackie.

- Hiya, Blackie, happy New Year.

- Hi, Blackie, happy New Year.

- Where's the fire, boss?

- Dupont Street. The old Bristol house.

- Happy New Year, Blackie.

- Happy New Year, honey.

Gee, I want it to be happy.

- That fire was at the Bristol.

- Oh, that trap.

- Hey, Blackie, your shoes are all muddy.

- Yeah, I know.

- Here, put them up here.

- You know, that makes...

the third fire we've had in one week.

- Hello, Blackie.

- Hello, Jim.

Yeah, if it keeps up, we'll have to

get ourselves some asbestos suits.

Yeah. I'll say so.

I thought I told you not to wear that thing.

Gee, honey, I think it's nice.


Well, I think it makes you look cheap.

Now, don't wear it anymore.

Blackie doesn't like it.

Say, Blackie...

Mrs. Forrestal's here

with a party of swells.

She's been asking especially for you.

- That so?

- Yeah.

- Happy New Year.

- Happy New Year, Blackie.

- Oh, I want you to meet my husband.

- How do you do? Happy New Year.

- Happy New Year to you.

- Thanks.

- Mark this on the house.

- Okay.

- Happy New Year.

- Thanks.

- Throw him out!

- Come on, pal. Let's go.

- I don't like his singing.

- But you mustn't hurt the artist's feelings.

His feelings? Who is he against so many?

Say, where are you from?

- Los Angeles.

- I thought so.

I beg your pardon.

Are you the manager here?

Well, I kind of run the joint.

What do you want, sister?

- I'm looking for work.

- Oh, just get to town?

Oh, no. No. The place I've been living at

was just burned down.

- Oh, yeah. That trap on Dupont Street.

- Yes.

Well, that's tough.

Yes. I've been looking for work uptown,

but there doesn't seem to be anything...

so I thought I'd try the Barbary Coast.

- I've been to several places, but there...

- How about a little drink?

Thank you, but if you don't mind,

I'd like to see the proprietor.

- Oh, you would?

- Yes.

All right.

This is The Paradise?

I'll say it is.

The hottest spot on the Barbary Coast.

- Hello, chica!

- Watch yourself, brother.

Wait here a minute, honey.

Say, Blackie, there's a little lady out here

looking for a job.

She was burned out in that fire

at the Bristol.

- Yeah?

- She's not bad.

All right, bring her in.

- This is Mr. Norton. He owns the joint.

- How do you do?

- Well, sister, what's your racket?

- I'm a singer.

Let's see your legs.

I said I'm a singer.

Well, all right. Let's see your legs.

Come on, come on, come on.

Let's see them.

A little thin for down here.

You know that number?

- Yes.

- All right. Let's hear you sing it.

I care not

For the stars that shine

I dare not hope to e'er be thine

I only know

I love you

Love me

And the world

Is mine

Well, you got a pretty fair set of pipes, kid.

What do you say to $75 a week?

I guess she fainted.

Yeah. Give me $75 a week,

and I'll drop dead.

Hello, kiddo. Did you get some rest?

- Yes. Thank you.

- Good.

- Joe, get rid of this, will you?

- Yes, sir.

I want to thank you, Mr. Norton,

for your kindness in...

Now never mind the etiquette.

Well, it was so stupid of me,

fainting like that...

but I haven't eaten much today and I...

But, it's true, isn't it?

You did offer me a job?

What's the matter? You want it in writing?

Well, no, but...

You're all right, honey.

- What's your name?

- Mary Blake.

Mary Blake, eh? Well, that's catchy.

Make yourself at home.

I'll be right with you.

- Where did you hail from?

- Benson, Colorado. That's near Denver.

- I see. Been here long?

- No, just a few weeks.

- Where have you been working?

- The Benson Public Library.


No, I sang in the church on Sundays.

- Oh, so you sang in the church choir?

- Yes.

You see,

it was my father's old church, and...

And your father is a preacher?

Well, yes. He was.

Was? Oh, he got onto himself, huh?

He died four years ago.

I get it.

The orphaned child

of a country parson, eh?

Well, after all, Mr. Norton,

there are such men as country parsons.

Sometimes they do have daughters.

Well, now that sort of puts me

in my place, don't it?

- Well, who brought you to San Francisco?

- No one. My mother helped me get here.

Oh, I see.

- You don't believe me, do you?

- Why, sure, sure, I believe you.

You're all right, Mary.

Tomorrow we're going to get rid

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Anita Loos

Anita Loos (April 26, 1889 – August 18, 1981) was an American screenwriter, playwright and author, best known for her blockbuster comic novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She wrote film scripts from 1912, and became arguably the first-ever staff scriptwriter, when D.W. Griffith put her on the payroll at Triangle Film Corporation. She went on to write many of the Douglas Fairbanks films, as well as the stage adaptation of Colette’s Gigi. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "San Francisco" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 27 May 2024. <>.

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