Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers - Run For Your Lives!

Matthew, Elizabeth, Jack and Nancy rush from Matthew’s Telegraph Hill home pursued by a horde of pod people. In desperation they flee down the Filbert Steps towards the Embarcadero.

Then … Through the stairway we see them run towards us along the side of a house and around past the front entrance.

and Now, this is 32 Napier Lane at the far end of a narrow lane that tees off the Filbert Steps (map). The house has since seen several changes; those stairs leading up to the second floor balcony have been removed and the front entrance has been modified. The door on No. 28 to the right though is the same one, as evidenced by the unchanged door handle.

14 - pursuit 1 now.jpg
 

Then … They dash on, passing a brightly lit window.

and Now, this is the window of 8 Napier Lane. Ahead, number 32 faces us at the end of the alley.

 

Then … Napier Lane tees in to the Filbert Steps from the left; from there they charge on down the steps. Note both the official street sign and a hand-painted one.

and Now, the same junction today. The city’s sign with the block number is still there and what could be the original hand-painted sign at left has a more recent one below it.

 

Then … They finally descend the lower part of the steps leading to the flats east of Telegraph Hill.

and Now, the view is from Filbert Street at Sansome (map). The steep steps test the fitness of a steady stream of visitors and locals every day.

 

Those same lower steps were also seen in the 1947 movie Dark Passage when hecklers gave Humphrey Bogart a hard time as he struggled up them. Back then the steps were made of wood, far more precarious, and the heavily quarried rock face was only beginning to sprout a covering of foliage.

 

And in 1973 the movie The Laughing Policeman included a view from the same spot as well as other locations on the Filbert Steps. (Erosion of the rock face eventually prompted the City to condemn and subsequently demolish those apartments overhanging the hill).

 

Play It Again, Sam - They Do It

With husband Dick out of town Linda visits Allan who, with constant prompting from his imaginary hero Humphrey Bogart, makes his move.

Bogart: “Now move closer to her”.

Allan: “How close?”

Bogart: “The length of your lips”.

It works. Just like Rick and Ilsa in ‘Casablanca’ they finally embrace and share a long passionate kiss, professing their love for each other.

 

Then, oh my! They do it.

For Bogart fans curious about the poster behind them, this advertises the 1942 movie ‘Across The Pacific’, co-starring Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet. Here’s a look at a lobby card (with slightly different credits) that shows the whole image …

Then … We had seen the poster in an earlier scene in Allan’s bedroom, previously described here.

… and Now, here’s the same bedroom recently photographed by CitySleuth at a realtor’s open house at 1212 Lombard Street in Russian Hill.

 

The next morning they travel back to Linda’s home on one of San Francisco’s iconic cable cars. In voiceover they talk about how they should break the news to Dick.

Then … The camera zooms out, revealing where this was filmed …

… and Now, it’s the Powell-Hyde line looking south along Hyde from Bay Street in Russian Hill (map). Patience rewarded CitySleuth when a cable car finally came along to allow a matching shot. The cars have been renumbered since the movie was filmed … # 517 above became car 17 in 1973: the one below, # 18, used to be car 518.

 

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers - Pods In The Garden

Then … That evening Elizabeth, Jack and Nancy return to Matthew’s house at 1227 Montgomery Street, described earlier here and here. By now they fear the worst, knowing the situation is deadly serious with people all around them having been, and others continuing to be, replaced by look-alike aliens.

… and Now, here’s that same room today. The door ahead accesses the patio overlooking Montgomery Street; the door on the left wall leads into a bedroom that was also used in the movie (as we shall see next).

 

Then … Even though they suspect that the bodysnatching happens while the victim sleeps, one by one they drift off.

… and Now, the same bedroom today. The bookshelves in the movie shot, above, were against the picture wall below. Its window too looks out to Montgomery Street.

 

Matthew falls asleep in the garden, unaware of an enormous organic pod near his chair.

Before our startled eyes we watch the pod open up at one end, disgorging a slimy fetus-like creature that rapidly grows into a facsimile of Matthew; the clone is about to replace him.

 

Then … But that’s not all; other pods are ‘birthing’ around him and we realize that Elizabeth and the Bellicecs too are very close to becoming pod people.

… and Now, in the garden today you won’t find any trace of the pods.

 

Then … But, phhew … just in time Nancy wakes up and screams at the others to do the same. From the bedroom window (the one in the fifth photo above) they see a mob of pod people descending on them, intent on finishing off the foiled conversion.

… and Now, in this recent peek from the bedroom we see that one of the houses across Montgomery has since been rebuilt.

 

In classic gothic horror-movie style the pod people, emitting other-worldly mutant shrieks, pursue them as they flee the house.

 

Play It Again, Sam - Conflicting Advice

Then … Allan can’t get Linda out of his head and fantasizes an amorous encounter with her in front of a roaring fire.

… and Now, this scene was filmed in the living room of 1212 Lombard Street, described earlier in this blog. The living room fireplace is seen in this recent photo taken by CitySleuth at a realtor’s open house.

 

Then, while shopping at a local market, his vivid imagination conjures up apparitions of, on one side his hero Bogart egging him on and, on the other his ex-wife Nancy warning him that Linda’s husband will find out and beat him to a pulp.

CitySleuth found a movie poster image (below) with more visual information than that seen in the movie, namely details of the supporting pillars.

CitySleuth has yet to definitively nail this location. He did find a mention online (caveat - always assume online sources are wrong until confirmed) that one of the movie’s scenes was filmed at the corner of Balboa Street and 22nd Avenue, without specifying which scene. This is in a residential area in the Richmond but the 1972 city directory indicates that there was a corner market here, the Phoenix Market at 2051 Balboa. Here’s that same corner today.

Remodeled inside, it’s now the Bushido Fight Team martial arts gym. The interior may have since been remodeled to open up the space wall-to-wall - note the steel beam across the ceiling. Could this have been the market’s location? Anyone with information is asked to contact citysleuth@reelsf.com.

 

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