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San Francisco Docks (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 3 January 1941 (USA)
Barmaid in seedy docks does better detective work than the police to get her beau off a murder accusation, helped by a good priest who proves to be a good fighter for the truth.


Arthur Lubin


Stanley Rubin (screenplay) (as Stanley Crea Rubin), Edmund L. Hartmann (screenplay)


Complete credited cast:
Burgess Meredith ... Johnny Barnes
Irene Hervey ... Kitty Tracy
Barry Fitzgerald ... Icky
Raymond Walburn ... Adm. Andy Tracy
Robert Armstrong ... Father Cameron
Esther Ralston ... Frances March
Edward Gargan ... Hank
Lewis Howard ... Warren Sanford
Edward Pawley ... Monte March
Don Zelaya ... Felipe
Colin Campbell Colin Campbell ... Dr. Conway
Glenn Strange ... Mike
William B. Davidson ... Dist. Atty. Craig
Joe Downing Joe Downing ... Cassidy
Learn more

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Longshoreman Johnny Barnes (Burgess Meredith) is in love with Kitty Tracy (Irene Hervey), barmaid at her father's waterfront saloon, and he beats up Cassidy (Joe Downing), a crooked politician who has been annoying her. Cassidy is murdered that night and Johnny is jailed for the crime. Kitty, her father Andy Tracy (Raymond Walburn), and waterfront-priest Father Cameron (Robert Armstrong believe Johnny is innocent but all evidence points to his guilt. Johnny's story that he was at pier seven watching a tugboat being repaired is discredited by the police, who prove that pier seven has long been closed, and no tugboat such as the one described by Johnny can be found. Following up a clue found by her father, Kitty finds the boat and uncovers the identity of the real murderer, Alcatraz escapee Monte March (Edward Pawley). Kitty and Father Cameron locate and confront him, but his loving wife Frances March (Esther Ralston) is ready to defend him. A terrific struggle between Kitty and Frances... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's the screen's thrill-shock of the season...with the most exciting cast of the year! (original poster) See more »


Crime | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Final film of Esther Ralston. See more »


Burgess Meredith's character is described as being 5'10". Meredith was actually 5'5" and is clearly nowhere near his stated height, especially in group shots. See more »


[a beauty shop owner is asked to identify a picture of Frances March]
Jean: Looks familiar, but dearie, these blondes all bleach alike.
See more »


Featured in Frances Farmer Presents: San Francisco Docks (1958) See more »

User Reviews

Yet more annoying unfunny sailor types
8 June 2014 | by AAdaSCSee all my reviews

Irene Hervey (Kitty) spends the film trying to prove the innocence of her boyfriend Burgess Meredith (Johnny) who is standing trial for the killing of a politician. She has the help of a priest Robert Armstrong (Father Cameron) and her very annoying father Raymond Walburn (Admiral). This crew solves the crime!

Unfortunately, the film has many comedy moments and comedy characters – the kind that aren't funny. Main offender is Raymond Alburn. I see that IMDb has this film classified in the crime/drama/romance sections. Well, they should add comedy (but not the funny sort) to that. Had I read that I may not have bought the film. Also, there are several times when the screen is just black. What's going on! A poor quality film but it's OK – nothing special. One funny moment happens when Meredith is described as being 5'10". Ha ha. I don't think so.

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Release Date:

3 January 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Friscos hamnkvarter See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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