1919 a still from the film “Victory” starring Jack Holt (left) and Lon Chaney (mustache, checked shirt). “Victory” is available on DVD and co-stars Seena Owens. Jack Holt is a favorite of mine, maybe because he is a Virginia boy, born and raised in Winchester, which Patsy Cline fans will recognize as her hometown, too. An older Jack is in “San Francisco” with Gable and MacDonald, and he’s good in Mary Pickford’s “The Little American”.
Cartoonist Chester Gould drew his comic-strip character Dick Tracy based on Holt’s granite-jawed profile.
Master of Men (1933) Poster featuring Jack Holt and Fay Wray
In the 1930s, Clark Gable was the king of Hollywood. In this film, he plays a variation of the dashing rogue-type that he is famous for. Centering around a romance between an opera singer and a club owner in the days leading up the the great earthquake and fire of 1906, San Francisco features some very impressive special effects, considering when it was made. Outside of the effects, the film wasn’t particularly great, but it was by no means bad either. San Francisco is just an all-around decent little film. The acting was great and the script had its clever moments. However, the film has some religious overtones that I found a tad grating. It presented the city of San Francisco as a sinful place and conveyed that the earthquake and fire were the city’s punishments for being immoral. While that was a common belief back in the day, that message did not sit well with me. Outside of that, San Francisco is an enjoyable enough watch.
Jack Holt is giving Clark Gable the stink-eye.