Spencer Tracy received his first nomination out of nine for playing Father Tim Mullin a kindly priest who tries to help everyone in San Francisco.
San Francisco is pure old fashioned Hollywood melodrama, with all its big dramatic scenes. I thought for most of the movie it was okay in its old way but nothing that special. Than the earth quake scenes occurred and those scenes are handled incredibly well, and I don't just mean the special effects.
Spencer Tracy is completely supporting in this film. The film's leading role is the one which belongs to Clark Gable who should have been nominated for best actor instead, but I do think Tracy should have been nominated in the newly made best supporting actor category. Tracy is a nice addition to the film, and he is a charming presence throughout the film. He does not steal scenes or anything but rather supports the other actors which is what he needs to do. He gives a fully nice and convincing performance as the priest and although he does have a lot of scenes he does add to the film. His character is just a nice person but a determined one and Tracy handles the character well so he never seems forced, or overbearing. He honestly seems to care and gives a very natural presence to the character. His scene where he confronts Blackie (Gable) is great, and Tracy plays off of Gable very well. Not an overly complicated performance but nice supporting work from Tracy.