Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Great effects before computers: San Francisco earthquake in "San Francisco"


Toto
 Share

Recommended Posts

In the film "San Francisco" (1936), the destructive power of the great San Francisco earthquake was created by entire sets being built on hydraulic lifts and shakers which were raised and rocked violently.   The impact of the earthquake scenes still hold up even in our present age of computer technology.  The film did not receive a "Special Effects Oscar" because one had not been created yet.  After this film, the Oscar for Special Effects was started in 1938.   There is a difference for me when I watch film of events that are actually happening (i.e., walls falling, floors cracking open and tilting, objects swaying as in the film San Francisco) and scenes where this is being faked by computer CGI. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking at the actual Frisco footage it's interesting to see that almost everyone seemed to be wearing a hat as they walked around the ruined streets and buildings afterward.

I don't recall that there were many hats in sight in the 1936 MGM recreation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Toto said:

In the film "San Francisco" (1936), the destructive power of the great San Francisco earthquake was created by entire sets being built on hydraulic lifts and shakers which were raised and rocked violently.   The impact of the earthquake scenes still hold up even in our present age of computer technology.  The film did not receive a "Special Effects Oscar" because one had not been created yet.  After this film, the Oscar for Special Effects was started in 1938.   There is a difference for me when I watch film of events that are actually happening (i.e., walls falling, floors cracking open and tilting, objects swaying as in the film San Francisco) and scenes where this is being faked by computer CGI. 

I totally agree Toto. The earthquake scenes in SAN FRANCISCO are hard to watch, they do seem realistic. For me I think the fact that actual people are depicted amongst the destruction, makes it more personal. In the same sense the original KING KONG has more personality and more realism than the CGI remake.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The actual film of the real 1906 San Francisco earthquake that was posted is incredible.  The destructiveness of that earthquake made San Francisco look like one of the worst bombed cities from WWII.  Thanks Tom.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Toto said:

In the film "San Francisco" (1936), the destructive power of the great San Francisco earthquake was created by entire sets being built on hydraulic lifts and shakers which were raised and rocked violently.   The impact of the earthquake scenes still hold up even in our present age of computer technology.  The film did not receive a "Special Effects Oscar" because one had not been created yet.  After this film, the Oscar for Special Effects was started in 1938.   There is a difference for me when I watch film of events that are actually happening (i.e., walls falling, floors cracking open and tilting, objects swaying as in the film San Francisco) and scenes where this is being faked by computer CGI. 

The irony, the method is used today to study earthquakes.  

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I've said before the most amazing scene of this movie is the last when we see the restored city with all it's high rise buildings looking like a New York West and realize it's been only thirty years since the quake.  I've always wondered if the damage was really  as bad as what we saw on screen;  thank you for showing me it was. 

This is indeed one of the greatest examples of special effects  in movie history,  not only for the carnage but the way the actors show the human toll.  Loved ones lost and found, grief, pain, joy and courage all were all played perfectly by those with one line or a hundred.  I felt like I was there.  This is one movie I'll never tire of.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Toto said:

The actual film of the real 1906 San Francisco earthquake that was posted is incredible.  The destructiveness of that earthquake made San Francisco look like one of the worst bombed cities from WWII.  Thanks Tom.

That thought also crossed my mind while later watching THE SEARCH.

Sepiatone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake has been given a magnitude rating of 7.8 to 7.9 with several other earthquakes in CA over 7.0 in the 1800's and a few more recently over 7,0.  "The average cycle time for big earthquakes on the San Andreas fault is 135 years. We are way overdue." The 1680 incident was a magnitude 7.9 earthquake that erupted along the San Andreas fault line.Jun 25, 202

As shown in the movie "San Francisco", much of the terrible destruction was a result of fire.  At the time, all they could do to stop fires was send for horse drawn carriages with water tanks from the fire department or use dynamite.  Today, many buildings are constructed to withstand earthquakes however, buildings are so much taller.  

The film "San Francisco" shows the heartbreaking consequences of bodies covered by rubble and people losing loved ones.  The part of the movie that doesn't work for me is the ending where all the people on the hill smile, sing "Hallelujah" and watch San Francisco burn.  Looking so happy after these people have lost everything is a stretch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...