6 May 2011 | bkoganbing
McCrea returns to the Barbary Coast
In his younger days Joel McCrea made a trip to frontier San Francisco in Samuel Goldwyn's Barbary Coast. A more mature McCrea makes a comeback in the Pacific city in The San Francisco Story, another film with some of the same plot elements.
In The San Francisco Story, McCrea and sidekick/partner Richard Erdman find themselves now prosperous mine owners and are in town for a little celebrating. Some years earlier McCrea was involved with the Vigilantes when law and order broke down there, but now he just wants to party hearty.
But newspaper owner/publisher Onslow Stevens wants McCrea involved with the Vigilantes again. A truly corrupt party boss played by Sidney Blackmer owns everything in the town including the cops and the courts, so the Vigilantes have been reactivated.
McCrea isn't crazy about opposing Blackmer, but when he sees Blackmer toting Yvonne DeCarlo on his arm, then it becomes a matter of hormones more than citizenship.
The San Francisco Story is a good fit for Joel McCrea in his B picture western period of his career. He gets solid support from the rest of the cast and one really to watch out for is Florence Bates who is playing a part Marie Dressler would have done years earlier as a waterfront character who Shanghais people for fun and profit, except if she likes you. She likes McCrea and what's not to like?
And there's not much to dislike in The San Francisco Story.