San Francisco ★★

This one made the list of Oscar Best Picture nominees for re-creating the 1906 earthquake, not for anything else in it.

Unless you are a holy roller, the depiction of religion in this film will probably make you hate it. The priest is a sanctimonious prick who is perfectly happy to take the lead character's gift of a 4,000 dollar organ for his church, and to say that the two are life long friends, but when the lead wants to marry a woman when both love each other, the priest steps in and prevents her from doing so because the lead is a "bad man".

Let's see, he's honest, rich, owns his own very successful business, handsome, charming, doesn't drink, is generous to a fault, is well respected, well liked, is running for office to help the part of San Francisco he was born, brought up, and still lives in, and can't do enough good for others. Oh wait, he also doesn't believe in God. That makes him truly horrible [rolls eyes]. As he (Clark Gable) says it's not what up in the air that's important, it's what's in men's minds. He says he's not going to try to take some shortcut by praying to God to give him things; he's going to go out and earn them on his own.


Of course, the Production Code was in place, so we get an insane ending where the lead gets down on his knees and thanks God for bringing death and destruction to San Francisco in the form of an earthquake and the subsequent fires - all while the priest looks on approvingly.