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Robert Harris

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Robert Harris
I've never seen a quality print of W.S. Van Dyke's San Francisco. With the majority of prints for this immensely popular film probably struck from the camera original, 84 years ago, that negative was probably in less than stellar shape before it was lost.

From what I've been able to ascertain, Warner Archive's new, and surprisingly beautiful, new Blu-ray, was derived from multiple elements.

The base seems to have been an image harvest of a nitrate fine grain of the French version. That means that the track would be in French aside from Jeanette MacDonald's vocals, and other musical numbers would be sub-titled. Main and ends, would also be French.

A second element, a safety duplicate fine grain, served for the rest of the film,

Long story short, San Francisco is a love story, set during the time of the quake, and is quite representative of the top special effects available at the time.

As pure entertainment, it's a terrific film, and it finally looks very pleasing.

Gray scale, black levels, grain, all in order, and what will be expected.

A classic that deserves to be in every serious library.

Clark Gable's big picture for the 1936.

1934 - It Happened One Night
1935 - Mutiny on the Bounty
1936 - San Francisco

Before he moved to color films in 1939.

Image – 4

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Without a doubt

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 
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Music lover10

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Haven't seen this in a zillion years but I recall a low key yet masterful earthquake sequence. Slavko Vorkapich gets a credit up front for Montage (Sequence?)
 

Matt Hough

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Not too low key. Had it existed at the time, I'm sure the film would have won the Special Effects Oscar (didn't originate until 1939). The effects were so impressive that it inspired Fox to try something along the same lines of horrifying destruction the next year In Old Chicago, and it resulted in a big hit for them, too.
 

Sinbad75

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I'm curious to know if the included bonus cartoon, "Bottles" is an HD scan and how vibrant the color is. Should be breathtaking!
 

Pictureman

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Does the movie have the original ending? The DVD had the 1948 reissue version showing a still picture of the then modern city. The proper finish has scenes of rebuilding including work on some kind of bridge which I believe may be still there.
 
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roxy1927

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vincent parisi
I saw it a couple of times decades ago when the Regency had their MGM summer festivals. I just kind of remember Gable and MacDonald and Tracy triumphantly gazing at the wreck of the city that they are about to rebuild. I don't remember any bridge building or modern city and I usually remember that kind of thing because it is usually so jarring. Maybe I blocked it out. It is quite a terrific entertainment.
 

battlebeast

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“Clark Gable's big picture for the 1936.

1934 - It Happened One Night
1935 - Mutiny on the Bounty
1936 - San Francisco

Before he moved to color films in 1939.”


Gee, Anyone know what film was Clark Gable was in in 1939?
 

RetroGuy

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David Edwards
Does the movie have the original ending? The DVD had the 1948 reissue version showing a still picture of the then modern city. The proper finish has scenes of rebuilding including work on some kind of bridge which I believe may be still there.
I received my copy today and am very happy to report that the original ending with the various scenes of 1936 San Francisco, including Market Street and the building of that now-forgotten bridge has been restored to the movie. The ending with the static picture of 1948 San Francisco has been relegated to the bonus features.
 

PMF

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Philip
I refuse to purchase “San Francisco” until the day that WAC releases a BD of “Boys Town” and “Captains Courageous”.

Now, if you believe that one, I can get you a good deal on both the Brooklyn and Golden Gate Bridge. :)
 
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battlebeast

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I received my copy today and am very happy to report that the original ending with the various scenes of 1936 San Francisco, including Market Street and the building of that now-forgotten bridge has been restored to the movie. The ending with the static picture of 1948 San Francisco has been relegated to the bonus features.
Why would that have been cut?
 

BRAD1963

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I just finished watching it. The transfer is stunning, the best it has ever looked. Oh, and the cartoon short "Bottles" is a welcome added treat, WAC is really knocking the releases out of the ballpark lately.
 

Sinbad75

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I just finished watching it. The transfer is stunning, the best it has ever looked. Oh, and the cartoon short "Bottles" is a welcome added treat, WAC is really knocking the releases out of the ballpark lately.
Is "Bottles" in HD? One of my favorite Harman/Ising cartoons.. Thanks !
 

battlebeast

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I'm in the process of watching this... did anyone else notice an audio "hiss" throughout the film?

Also, did anyone watch the two travelogs? they both are in Technicolor, but the picture is fuzzy, a bit. is this because the elements were misaligned?
 

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