The San Francisco Story (1952)

Passed   |    |  Western

The San Francisco Story (1952) Poster

In 1856, San Francisco is the scene of political battles between criminal organizations led by corrupt politicians and Vigilantes Committees formed by honest citizens.


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7 November 2018 | museumofdave
| Too Briefly, Florence Bates Gives It Oxygen
This is sort of a desultory effort on the part of the star, Joel McCrea, a man who usually takes command of a scene merely by his presence, but here looks tired and like he would rather be on his own ranch instead of this talky, studio-bound production. The thing probably looked good on paper--and if you've got the knowing sultriness of Yvonne DeCarlo, things are set up for some hot romance, at the very least. But the script is a little unfocused, and there's a lot of chatter about the legal Vigilante group, and Sidney Blackmer attempts to show some menace by mouthing menacing lines--but for an action-packed Western or a thoughtful revisionist history lesson, this effort falls flat, and would be a loss leader except for two brilliant, lively scenes with character actor Florence Bates, sporting an eye patch and plenty of life as her own Shanghai Lil (helped along by a massive, silent Tor Johnson) and this viewer perked up and wondered how the rest never recovered; even the final confrontation lacks either suspense or tension, and just allows almost everybody to go home quietly.

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