Barbary Coast (1935)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

It's the wild and woolly waterfront world of San Francisco in the late 1800s in this rambling tale of an outrageous nightclub owner (Edward G. Robinson) and his efforts at wooing lovely Mary Rutledge (Miriam Hopkins), a lovely Eastern lass left to her own devices in the rowdy port city. The innocent babe loses that innocence when she becomes a kept lady, running the roulette wheel in Robinson's nightclub. The plot matures when Mary falls in love with an honest and upright gold miner. When the lovers are discovered during a fateful tryst, they flee the evil Robinson, hoping to escape as stowaways aboard a departing ship. Robinson is magnificent in this ruffian role. This action-filled adventure is suitable for the whole family.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama , Western , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MGM Home Entertainment


Edward G. Robinson
as Luis Chamalis
Miriam Hopkins
as Mary 'Swan' Rutledge
Joel McCrea
as Jim Carmichael
Walter Brennan
as Old Atrocity
Frank Craven
as Col. Marcus Aurelius Cobb
Brian Donlevy
as Knuckles
Clyde Cook
as Oakie
Harry Carey
as Slocum
Matt McHugh
as Broncho
Otto Hoffman
as Peebles
Rollo Lloyd
as Wigham
J.M. Kerrigan
as Judge Harper
Donald Meek
as McTavish
Roger Gray
as Sandy Ferguson
Wong Chung
as Ah Wing
Russ Powell
as Sheriff
Fredrik Vogeding
as Ship's Captain
Dave Wengren
as 1st Mate
Anders Van Haden
as McCready, 2nd Mate
Cyril Thornton
as Steward
Harry Semels
as Lookout
Bert Sprotte
as Passenger
Claude Payton
as Passenger
Frank Benson
as Passenger
Bob Stevenson
as Passenger
Russell Powell
as Sheriff
David Niven
as Sailor Thrown Out of Saloon
Victor Potel
as Wilkins
Patricia Farley
as Dance Hall Girl
Hank Mann
as Waiter
Doc Wilson
as Waiter
Ethel Wales
as Mayor's Wife
Herman Bing
as Fish Peddler
Kit Guard
as Kibitzer
Jim Thorpe
as Indian
Tom London
as Ringsider
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Critic Reviews for Barbary Coast

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur hammer out a bouncing melodrama of San Francisco's sin and salad days in Barbary Coast.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

A wide-open San Francisco, circa 1890, is the background for one of Howard Hawks's intelligent love triangles.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It's an entertaining but lesser Hawks film, too conventional in its storytelling to kick up any dust.

Full Review… | July 12, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Any self-respecting San Franciscan needs to give Barbary Coast a spin.

May 17, 2006

The primitive San Francisco is imbued with a lusty spirit, comprised of mud in the streets, tinkly pianos and crooked card games.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
Combustible Celluloid

...surely this must be the only film to ever feature a climactic rowboat chase...

Full Review… | March 11, 2005
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for Barbary Coast


Not a masterpiece, but a fun way to spend a rainy day, with Edward G. Robinson and Miriam Hopkins trying to out-act each other amid the fog and mud of 19th century San Francisco.

Joseph Jones
Joseph Jones

A bit heavy on the ham in a couple of places but entertaining nontheless, Edward G. is fine as always although he should have rethought the earring. He and Miriam are a fine pair even though he despised her offscreen.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Tragic story of obsession. Very, very good, with one of Brennan's best roles and a wonderful turn from Edward Robinson. Hawks made so much good stuff that the oddities -- like this, or I Was a Male War Bride -- are easy to forget. Don't forget this one.

Will Miller
Will Miller

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