Though a lesser 20th Century-Fox musical, Hello, Frisco, Hello was one of the studio's most successful wartime efforts. John Payne plays Johnny Cornell, a sharp wheeler-dealer operating on the Barbary Coast at the turn of the century. With the help of his songstress girlfriend Trudy Evans (Alice Faye), Johnny gains a reputation as a first-class showman. Soon, however, success goes to Johnny's head, and he deserts Trudy in favor of Nob Hill socialite Bernice Croft (Lynn Bari). The disheartened Trudy heads to England, where she becomes the toast of London's theatrical set. Meanwhile, Johnny marries Bernice, who talks him into a series of money-losing "artistic" theatrical ventures. Learning of the reversal in Johnny's fortunes, Trudy secretly finances his comeback, leading to a happy ending for everyone except the pretentious Bernice. A loose reworking of 1936's King of Burlesque, Hello, Frisco Hello benefits from the comedy relief of Jack Oakie and from a string of enjoyable tunes, including the Oscar-winning "You'll Never Know."
by Hal Erickson synopsis