Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

D.O.A. - City Vista

    Bigelow. a tax accountant from small town Banning, California is being crowded by his secretary and flame Paula Gibson (Pamela Britton) and takes a few days off away from it all in San Francisco.  She wants to join him but he resists.

D.O.A. - City Vista

 

Then ...   Bigelow heads off alone to the city.    A vista is shown to announce his arrival - this is the view looking east towards the Bay Bridge from the Top O' The Mark at the Mark Hopkins Hotel.  The tall building on the right is the Russ building in the Financial District. 

D.O.A. - City Vista

... from 1950 ...  a vintage photo of the high-class Top O' The Mark lounge with the same view visible through the window (click image to enlarge).

... and Now,  extensive Financial District development has surrounded the Russ Building, still there and partly visible at far right

D.O.A. - City Vista

 

  The same view, except taken at night, was used behind the opening credits of the 1950 movie Woman On The Run.

 

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D.O.A. - "I wanna report a murder"

  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.

D.O.A. - "I wanna report a murder"

... 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.

D.O.A. - "I wanna report a murder"

 

  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?"

     "I was"

 

  Bigelow starts to explain and the director flashes back to reveal his bizzare tale ...

D.O.A. - "I wanna report a murder"

The Lineup - Sanders' Residence

  One down, two to go.  The men on a mission next go in search of the flatware brought into the country by passenger Sanders who lives at 2090 Jackson Street.

Then ...  The house used for this scene is indeed that at 2090 Jackson (map).  This is the Whittier Mansion, built in 1896 by the man who became head of P.G & E., it has been home in the past to the Deutsche Reich consul and the California Historical Society.  It is said by some to be haunted.  Perhaps by the victim described below?

The Lineup - Sanders' Residence
... and Now,  This house and its neighbors look the same today.  Sorely in need of a paint job, though.  This is the corner with Laguna in the tony Pacific Heights neighborhood.

The Lineup - Sanders' Residence

 

  Dancer meets the butler in the house and tries to persuade him to let him borrow the flatware for a short while.  When the butler resists, calling for Mr. Sanders, Dancer shoots him, the hit cleverly filmed reflected in a mirror, and takes off with the flatware and the drugs hidden inside.  A case of the butler getting it instead of doing it?

The Lineup - Sanders' Residence

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

  The drab urban surroundings of the Produce Market were punctuated by splashes of color on the sides of stacked crates.  These labels today have become collectibles.

Then ...  Mike Figlia is standing in front of his business at 364 Washington Street next to a stack of crates of Cape Cod cranberries.

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

... and here is that same Honker Brand label in full color, featuring flying geese.

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

 

Then ...  Nick walks past a stack of Melo-Glow melon crates.  This was a brand name of the Half Moon Fruit and Produce Co. whose building was used for Mike Figlia's business ...

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

... and below is a similar Melo-Glow brand label.

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

 

  Let's walk down crate label memory lane and look at more, these from the businesses seen in the movie at and near the Washington - Davis junction.  Below are one from John DeMartini and one from Scatena Galli - ("Essangee", get it?) ...

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels
... and these two from Levy & Zentner.

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

 

  But wait till you see these ...  the F. H. Hogue Co. wasn't averse to using sex to push their products ...

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels
... and this one - thankfully the red-faced redhead was wearing underwear.

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels
  But this one tops them all!

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

Petulia - Companions of the Evergreen Lodge

  Archie dutifully tries to return the stolen tuba to the address given him by Petulia - "... the Companions of the Evergreen Lodge on Grant Street".  He finds the place but can't get a response at the front door.

Then ...  Assuming she meant Grant Avenue, she was close - this location is at 782 Sacramento Street, near the corner with Grant Avenue.

Petulia - Companions of the Evergreen Lodge
... and Now,  the view east down Sacramento from Grant today.  The 782 entrance door is now gated.  As is the case with many parts of Chinatown there has been little change over the last half century, one of the reasons the neighborhood continues to hold onto its character.  May it stay that way.

Petulia - Companions of the Evergreen Lodge

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