Frisco Jenny

Watch Frisco Jenny

  • Passed
  • 1933
  • 1 hr 10 min
  • 6.8  (1,161)

Frisco Jenny is a 1932 drama film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Ruth Chatterton, Louis Calhern, and Helen Jerome Eddy. The film tells the story of Jenny Sandoval, a woman who rises from poverty to become a successful businesswoman in San Francisco, only to see her life unravel when her son becomes involved in crime. The film opens with Jenny Sandoval (Chatterton) working as a streetcar conductor in 1906 San Francisco. She is in love with Dan McAllister (Calhern), a wealthy lawyer who is running for mayor. When the famous earthquake strikes, Jenny saves Dan's life and wins his love. They marry and move into a luxurious home, where Jenny gives birth to a son, Dan Jr.

As the years go by, Jenny builds a successful business selling liquor to illegal speakeasies during Prohibition. She becomes known as the "bootleg queen of San Francisco" and lives a life of luxury with her son, whom she adores. However, Dan Jr. becomes involved in a car theft ring, and despite Jenny's efforts to protect him, he is arrested and sent to prison.

Jenny's life falls apart as a result of her son's actions. She loses her business, her home, and her reputation. She turns to drink and despair, living in a rundown hotel and becoming friends with a prostitute (Eddy). Meanwhile, Dan McAllister is elected governor of California and becomes involved in Jenny's case, trying to clear her name and help her regain her life.

The film is a powerful drama about a woman's struggle against odds that are stacked against her. Ruth Chatterton delivers a strong and emotional performance as Frisco Jenny, showing both her strength and her vulnerability as a mother and a businesswoman. Louis Calhern is also excellent as Dan McAllister, portraying a man torn between his love for Jenny and his political ambitions.

Director William A. Wellman does an excellent job of recreating the atmosphere of San Francisco in the early 20th century, from the chaos of the earthquake to the glitz and glamour of the illegal speakeasy scene. The film's use of real locations and the use of newsreel footage from the time add to its authenticity.

The themes of the film are still relevant today, particularly the idea of a woman struggling to succeed in a man's world and the impact of a child's actions on a parent's life. Frisco Jenny is both a heart-wrenching and empowering story of a woman who refuses to give up, no matter how many obstacles are placed in her way.

In conclusion, Frisco Jenny is a classic drama film that deserves to be rediscovered by modern audiences. It features powerful performances, excellent direction, and themes that are still relevant today. For anyone interested in classic Hollywood cinema or stories of women overcoming adversity, Frisco Jenny is a must-see.

Frisco Jenny
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 10 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (1,161)