San Francisco, directed by W. S. Van Dyke, was MGM’ s biggest grossing film for 1936. It was a disaster movie about sinful San Francisco just before the great earthquake of April 18, 1906. The project was the brainstorm of story man Robert Hopkins and screenwriter Anita Loos. Jeanette MacDonald was responsible for bringing the project to Louis B. Mayer. She had wanted Clark Gable but he did not want to do it. MGM convinced him otherwise. Gable played Blackie Norton, a shady and sexy owner of a notorious Barbary Coast saloon cabaret. MacDonald was the opera singer and Tracy was the priest who gave spiritual advice to both Gable and MacDonald. It was also the first film teaming of Gable and Tracy. But the big star was the 1906 earthquake that caused everyone to repent at the end of the movie. San Francisco won the Academy Award for Best Sound Recording.
San Francisco (1936)
DIRECTOR: W.S. Van Dyke
CAST: Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy, Jack Holt, Jessie Ralph, Ted Healy