The Rock Widows, "Jennies with a Johnny on the Rock", take a ferry over to Alcatraz (map) to visit their man. Brenda joins them for the first of what she assumes will be many visits. She and Steve share small-talk and it's clear he misses her very much.
Then ... After departing from the slip alongside the large building on the right the ferry sails around the southeastern tip of the island on its return trip.
... and Now, the most striking difference in today's view is the missing and damaged staff buildings alongside the lighthouse - they were destroyed by fire during the 1969 -1971 occupation of Alcatraz by a group of tribal Indians. The large building seen at far right above is still there, behind the trees.
... a vintage image ... This photo, taken the year after the prison closed during a brief Indian protest in 1964, gives us a clearer look at those ill-fated buildings. The Indians were staking their historic claim to the ownership of the island.
... and here the buildings go up in smoke in 1970.
Then ... The rock widows look back to the side of the island that faces San Francisco. It's sobering to think that when this was filmed the prison was jammed with high-risk maximum security inmates.
... and Now, the same view today, but the dreaded penitentiary is now a tourist attraction. The water tower is not in the image above; it was built in 1940 shortly after the movie was released.
Then ... One of the women, Mary (Gladys George), notices Brenda standing alone and walks over to talk to her. A cigarette breaks the ice and pretty soon they become fast friends. Behind them Russian Hill rises above Fort Mason.
... and Now, Development on Russian Hill has changed its skyline; also downtown on the left where high-rise office buildings are pulled in close by the telephoto lens. Nearer shore, Ghirardelli Square sits just above the Art Deco Bathhouse and the adjacent Fire Department pump house at Aquatic Park. Fort Mason's Pier 2 and 3 are on the right and Pier 4, the Alcatraz Pier, is on the left in front of the pump house - it's marked by the red-roofed building at its end (click the image to enlarge).