The San Francisco Story Reviews
Clocking everything in at a short and snappy 80-minutes, Parrish and ‚??Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion‚?? scenarist D.D. Beauchamp, along with an uncredited western writer William Bowers, adapted the Richard Summers story ‚??"Vigilante" and delivered an above-average, often entertaining, but clearly predictable little western about empire building.
Veteran western star Joel McCrea gets himself (as well as his stunt man) tangled up in several knuckle-bruising fistfights in this black & white Warner Brothers release when he isn‚??t trying to kiss and cuddle with his attractive co-star. Yvonne DeCarlo and McCrea later encored as a couple in ‚??Border River‚?? in 1954.
The chief asset of ‚??The San Francisco Story‚?? is the villain that actor Sidney Blackmer, who made a career out of impersonating Theodore Roosevelt, plays with such oily charm. As Andrew Cain, Blackmer owns San Francisco and DeCarlo is his right-hand gal. Her portrait hangs in the saloon behind the bar. Initially, Adelaide McCall (DeCarlo) and Rick Nelson (McCrea) don‚??t hit it off. Cain sends her off with Nelson for an evening along so that she can pick his brain.
It seems that the last time that San Francisco suffered from vigilantes; Nelson was one of the chief architects of the vigilante movement. All Nelson wants to do now is work his mining claim until he lays his eyes on Adelaide. During their first night out in a buggy ride along the coast, Nelson riles Adelaide so she uses the horse whip on him and leaves him stranded. Later, she apologizes to Nelson in person, but he says something that she doesn‚??t like and she has him shanghaied. Nelson awakens in the hole of a ship bound for Asia and fights his way out of it.
Interestingly, McCrea never whips out his six-shooter in this oater as he romances DeCarlo and scheme with Blackmer. There‚??s one very good twist about midway through the action when our hero tries to infiltrate the villains. Tor Johnson, who made a name for himself in the films of Ed Wood, has a small role here as a saloon bouncer.