As the movie credits roll the camera follows Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien) as he walks into a public building.
Then ... The scene was filmed in the Los Angeles City Hall. The 454 ft high art deco building has been featured in many movies over the years and its iconic image has been on the L.A. Police Department badges since 1940.
... and Now, the imposing structure continues to serve as the center of the city's government (below), flanked by palm trees, symbolic of its Southern California location.
In two long continuous takes the camera follows Bigelow until he reaches his destination - the Homicide Division. There follows perhaps the most dramatic opening lines ever ...
"I wanna report a murder"
"Where was this murder committed?"
"San Francisco, last night"
"Who was murdered?"
Bigelow starts to explain and the director flashes back to reveal his bizzare tale ...