Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Bullitt - Bullitt's Apartment

  Below, director Peter Yates captures one of San Francisco's many vistas on a misty morning as Bullitt heads east down Broadway from Taylor on his way to his apartment (locals will recognize he's actually heading away from his apartment).

Then ...  The Bay Bridge is in the distance and there's a small twin-domed church on the left.

Bullitt - Bullitt's Apartment
... and Now,  the church, Nuestra Senor de Guadalupe, was bult in 1906 to serve the local Catholic community.  It's now a Chinese day school.

Bullitt - Bullitt's Apartment

 

  He drives his Mustang down Clay Street, crosses Taylor, then makes a slick reverse (below) in front of the cream Austin Healey (CitySleuth is salivating - he used to own one).  Bullitt's apartment house, 1153 Taylor Street, is the dark blue house on the corner of Clay - his place is on the top floor.

Then ...  looking up Clay.

Bullitt - Bullitt's Apartment
... and Now,  the building is repainted a light color and a garage has been added at the front corner.

Bullitt - Bullitt's Apartment

 

Then ...  At the corner market opposite his apartment he isn't above helping himself to a newspaper when he's short of change.

Bullitt - Bullitt's Apartment
... and Now,  the recent photo finds a market, V-J Grocery, still at the same location, 1199 Clay Street, where customers can still get their daily paper out front.

Bullitt - Bullitt's Apartment

 

Then ...  In the composited image below, Bullitt crosses Taylor and climbs the front steps to his apartment door.

Bullitt - Bullitt's Apartment
... and Now,  today's view, north along Taylor across Clay, is pretty much unchanged in over 40 years.

Bullitt - Bullitt's Apartment

 

... and Now,  below are the entrance steps of 1153 Taylor leading to the building's three apartments, 1153, 1155 and 1157.  Bullitt's was 1153, the door on the left, which leads up to the top floor.

Bullitt - Bullitt's Apartment

 

  Inside the apartment Cathy has breakfast in the living room.  The corner window view looks east down Clay Street - San Francisco Bay and part of Yerba Buena Island can be seen in the distance.

Bullitt - Bullitt's Apartment

The Sniper - A Major Break In The Case

  A cable car (it is San Francisco after all) is next seen clanging down a steep hill.

Then ...  This is Washington Street  near Mason looking up two blocks to Jones (map).  The structure on the right  is the cable car museum and the building at the top of the hill is the  1360 Jones apartments (incidentally, the roof of which was used to take a view across the city in the movie Lady From Shanghai).

The Sniper - A Major Break In The Case

... and Now,  the corner building on the left and the railing on the right are recent additions but all else, including the cable car, is as it was.  It's reassuring to see that San Francisco drivers still know how to curb their wheels.

14 cable car 1 now.jpg

 

The police have put the word out about a  bandage found near the sniper's 4th victim.  Below, a man on the cable car reads the  article in his newspaper out loud and is overheard by Miller's workplace supervisor (Geraldine Carr) who realises that her introverted employee may be the killer - she has  seen him with a bandaged hand.  She jumps off the cable car at the next stop to look for a telephone.

The Sniper - A Major Break In The Case

 

Then ...  She crosses Powell at the junction with Washington, finds a phone and reports her suspicions to the police.

The Sniper - A Major Break In The Case

... and Now

The Sniper - A Major Break In The Case

Woman On The Run - Searching For Frank - 1

  In his letter Frank tells Eleanor he can be found "out in the open in a place where I first lost you".  To jog her memory she and Leggett visit places she went to with Frank, places that inspired his painting.  The director chose  a series of well-known tourist spots, beginning with Fisherman's Wharf.

Then ...  They begin by strolling down a boardwalk with a white building off to the right.

Woman On The Run - Searching For Frank - 1

... from 1951 ...  below is an aerial photo of Fisherman's Wharf taken one year after the movie was shot.  They were walking along the  boardwalk in the center of the harbor.  The same white building is there (arrowed) and above that is the twin Pier 45, Sheds A and B.

Woman On The Run - Searching For Frank - 1

... and Now,  the white building has been replaced by the Fisherman's and Seamen's Memorial Chapel but Pier 45 Shed B can still be seen behind it.

Woman On The Run - Searching For Frank - 1

 

    Next they go to Pioneer Park at the top of Telegraph Hill with its sweeping Bay vistas.

Then ...  They have an unobstructed view of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island and the Oakland Hills beyond.

Woman On The Run - Searching For Frank - 1

... and Now,  ah, an opportunity for CitySleuth to vent a pet peeve.  The expansive  views today are blocked by the overgrown trees.  CitySleuth sees this  again and again, all over town. Why do the City Elders allow this to  happen?  If for no other reason, visitors to our glorious city deserve  to experience it in all its glory.  Case in point, this tourist is fortunate to find a place where she can get a partial view.

Woman On The Run - Searching For Frank - 1

 

And here they are at Larkin and Fulton at the garden between the War Memorial Opera House on the right and the almost identical War Memorial Veteran's Building on the left.  The two buildings form bookends framing City Hall in all its majesty across Van Ness Avenue.

Then ...

Woman On The Run - Searching For Frank - 1

... and Now,  this photo could have been taken 60 years ago.  Are those really the same pollarded trees lining the garden?  CitySleuth would guess yes.

Woman On The Run - Searching For Frank - 1

 

  Finally they try their luck at St. Mary's Square on  California Street heading towards Chinatown's Sing Chong Building and the  1854 St. Mary's Catholic Church facing each other across Grant Street.   The Sing Chong Building was one of the very first structures rebuilt  after the 1906 earthquake by Chinese owners; they hired white architects  but specified its oriental look.  Its sister, the Sing Fat Building, is opposite it across California, just out of this view.

Then ...

Woman On The Run - Searching For Frank - 1

... and Now

Woman On The Run - Searching For Frank - 1

Thieves' Highway - Oregon Restaurant

  We next see an attractive woman, Rica (Valentina Cortese) , sauntering towards the Oregon Restaurant to the strains of a popular tune of the day - "I'll never be the same", perhaps anticipating the turn for the better her life will make in the movie.

Then ...  Note the number 524 on the door.

Thieves' Highway - Oregon Restaurant
... from the 1953 street directory ...  this entry for Front Street confirms that there was indeed an Oregon Cafe at 524 Front Street on the corner of Oregon Street.  A telephone entry listed the proprietors as Ed Vinci and Chuck Lucchesi, matching the names on the window.  (See location 6 on this map).

Thieves' Highway - Oregon Restaurant

  Rica strikes up a conversation with Nick who is almost out on his feet as he downs coffee to stay awake while waiting for his trucker partner Ed to arrive with his truckload of apples.

Thieves' Highway - Oregon Restaurant

Then ...  Unbeknownst to Nick she has been hired by Mike Figlia and his cronies to distract him while they sell off his apples.  It's not specifically mentioned but it's obvious she's a lady of the night. She offers Nick the use of her hotel room to get some sleep and he reluctantly accepts.  Below, they are seen at the corner of Oregon and Front with the restaurant behind them.

Thieves' Highway - Oregon Restaurant
... and Now,  today the three block Oregon Street which ran from the Embarcadero to Front is gone.  This section of Front Street between Jackson and Washington is now a small cul-de-sac straddled by residential units and the far left corner of it, viewed here from Jackson, is about where the restaurant used to be.

Thieves' Highway - Oregon Restaurant

D.O.A. - Fisherman Club

  Bigelow joins some noisy revellers at the hotel and goes out on the town with them.  They go to a waterfront dive, the Fisherman, a jam-packed club with a jumpin' jazz band.

Then ...  The Ferry Building steers us to the club location - it was at 111 Embarcadero at the corner of Merchant Street between Clay and Washington (click image to enlarge).  The Fisherman name was fictitious but a bar had occupied this spot for decades - it was called Jack's Waterfront Hangout at the time the movie was filmed.

... and Now,  replicating the movie view, the building is gone - this section of Merchant Street and several blocks around it were removed in the 1960s to make way for the Golden Gateway redevelopment project.

... in 1925 ...  here's a look at the bar a quarter century earlier, at bottom left across from the Ferry Station Post Office.  Neither structure is there now.  Washington Street intersects at far right.

4b fisherman 1925.jpg

 

There's a great scene inside the club (but filmed on a studio sound stage) with everybody movin' and groovin' as the band belts out a high energy number.  The jazz musicians were:  Jadie Carson (bandleader), Teddy Buckner (tpt), James Van Streeter (tenor sax), Ray Laurie (piano), Shifty Henry (bass) and Al 'Cake' Wichard (drums).  But they were miming to the soundtrack which had been recorded by a different band.

 

  Bigelow is quite the ladies man and tries to pick up Jeanie, an attractive woman at the bar (Virginia Lee).  He should have been more vigilant though because a mystery man uses the opportunity to switch his drink (below right).

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