The San Francisco Story
The San Francisco Story is a 1952 American Western film directed by Robert Parrish and starring Joel McCrea and Yvonne De Carlo. The rough and tumble Barbary Coast of San Francisco is recreated with attention to detail, including Florence Bates as a saloon keeper Shanghaiing the unwary. Noir elements include lots of shadows, discordant musical score, snappy dialogue, a disabused hero who resists the good fight, and a femme fatale. A schematic but insightful rendering of political corruption, the film is essentially about standing up to bullies.
|The San Francisco Story|
|Directed by||Robert Parrish|
|Produced by||Howard Welsch|
|Screenplay by||D.D. Beauchamp|
by Richard Summers
|Starring||Yvonne De Carlo|
|Music by||Paul Dunlap|
|Cinematography||John F. Seitz|
|Edited by||Otto Ludwig|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros|
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Law in San Francisco in 1856 is an ideal struggling to be established. Rick Nelson (Joel McCrea) is a loner with his own code of ethics, now a miner visiting his old stomping ground. He meets raven-haired beauty Adelaide McCall (Yvonne De Carlo), who's in the buggy of corrupt political power broker Andrew Cain (Sidney Blackmer). Newspaper editor Jim "Captain" Martin (Onslow Stevens) begs his old friend Rick to rejoin his peace-keeping Vigilantes to put an end to Cain's reign of thuggery. Rick knows how easy it is to buy a judge, so he settles matters his way.
- Joel McCrea as Rick Nelson
- Yvonne De Carlo as Adelaide McCall
- Sidney Blackmer as Andrew Cain
- Richard Erdman as Shorty
- Florence Bates as Sadie
- Onslow Stevens as Capt. Jim Martin
- John Raven as Lessing
- O.Z. Whitehead as Alfey
- Ralph Dumke as Winfield Holbert
- Robert Foulk as Thompson
- Lane Chandler as Morton
The film was based on the novel Vigilante by Richard Summers, an English professor from the University of Arizona. The novel was set in 1856 concerned the career of David C. Broderick and his fictitious mistress Hester Barton, and their involvement in the second vigilante movement.
Film rights were bought by Joel McCrea and Jacques Tourneur in early 1949, before the novel had even been published. McCrea announced he only wanted to produce, not star, and that Tourneur would direct. They hoped to set up the film at MGM and cast Ava Gardner. The novel was published in July 1949. The New York Times called it an "excellent short novel... a well-written, lusty yarn".
Fidelity announced the six films they would make for Warners would be budgeted between $600,000 and $700,000 and include The San Francisco Story, My Fine Feathered Friend with Dennis Morgan, Gardenia based on a story by Vera Caspary, Lela Cade, The Gentleman from Chicago by Horace McCoy, Reluctant Bride by Frederick Stephani and The Scarlet Flame, a story about Brazil's battle for independence by Emilio Tovar, to star De Carlo. Most of these films were not made.
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