Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis

  A lot of the movie's action was filmed at the Washington and Davis Streets junction, the central hub of the Produce District.  Let's take a look at the businesses on each corner of the junction, as seen in the movie.  Click here to see a map.

 

1.  Southeast Corner

  Mike Figlia's business was on the southeast corner (actually the Half Moon Fruit and Produce business) and is described as a separate location - click here to see it.

 

2.  Southwest corner

Then ...  The view looks west along Washington across Davis, with Mike Figlia's partly visible at far left.  Opposite, on the southwest corner of the junction, is the John DeMartini Produce Co.  Further down Davis, Ceylon Street tees in between DeMartini and the taller hotel next to it.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis
... and Now, the concrete -walled Golden Gateway Garage occupies this corner, in the shadow of the Alcoa Building next to it.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis

 

3.  Northwest corner

Then ...  A. Levy and J. Zentner Co. was on this corner.  Once a significant tree-fruit produce distributor in the Central Valley, Levy & Zentner has in the last few years channeled most of its resources into beer distribution.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis
... from 1945 ...  this archival photo (below) shows the same view north along Davis from Washington.  Traffic chaos prevailed as usual, especially when the E Union streetcar rolled by.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis
... and Now,  a retail - residential building borders this block of Davis, now closed to through traffic.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis

 

4.  Northeast corner

Then ...  Kitty corner from the John DeMartini building on the southwest corner was another John DeMartini building, in the background below.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis
... from the 1950s ...  this archival photo shows a better view of the same building.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis
... and Now,  this corner is part of the Gateway Apartments and Townhomes.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis

Dark Passage - Harry's Wagon

  After Parry recovers from his plastic surgery in Irene's apartment, she removes his bandages and gets to see his new (Bogart's) face.  But he doesn't want to put her at risk and decides it's best to get out of her life.  He calls for a cab and tells the driver "Post and Fillmore" - the cab drops him off at Harry's Wagon, a railcar diner sandwiched between two buildings.

Then ...   These converted railway cars were popular at that time. 

Dark Passage - Harry's Wagon

... from the 1947 street directory ...  the entry below confirms that Harry's Wagon was indeed a real diner at 1921 Post Street near Fillmore (map).

Dark Passage - Harry's Wagon

... and Now,  Sohn's French Cleaners currently occupies the setback building on the site of the old diner, re-addressed as 1919 Post Street.

Dark Passage - Harry's Wagon

... a similar diner ...  Harry's Wagon is long gone but thanks to reader Zach Georgopoulos (see his comment below) we can still dine today in an identical railcar, the Grubstake, at 1525 Pine Street.

Dark Passage - Harry's Wagon

 

  A suspicious detective apprehends Parry in the diner but he gives him the slip and takes off (below).

Dark Passage - Harry's Wagon

Vertigo - Art Gallery and The Portrait Of Carlotta

Then ...  Madeleine leads Scottie across town to the art gallery at the Palace of the Legion of Honor (map).  This grand edifice, at the top of Lincoln Park, was a gift to the city from Alma de Bretteville Spreckels and was completed in 1924.  (Trivia note - Alma lived in the Spreckels Mansion, site of one of the murders in the movie The Sniper).  The Palace is a 3/4 scale model of the Palais de la Legion d'Honneur in Paris.

Vertigo - Art Gallery and The Portrait Of Carlotta

... and Now,   just the same.  

Vertigo - Art Gallery and The Portrait Of Carlotta

 

Then ...  Scottie finds Madeleine gazing at a portrait in Gallery 6 of the museum.  He calls over an attendant who tells him it's a portrait of Carlotta Valdes.

Vertigo - Art Gallery and The Portrait Of Carlotta

... and Now

Vertigo - Art Gallery and The Portrait Of Carlotta

 

  He sneaks up behind her to get a closer look.  Not surprisingly the portrait of Carlotta is not on display in the gallery but the two paintings behind Scottie (below) are periodically hung in the adjacent Gallery 7.  They are 'Portrait of a Gentleman' by Nicolas de Largilliere' and 'Allegories of the Arts: Architecture' by Charles-Andre van Loo.

Vertigo - Art Gallery and The Portrait Of Carlotta

 

Then ...  Madeleine is transfixed by the image of Carlotta.  The portrait was painted for the movie by studio artist John Ferren but has since been lost.

Vertigo - Art Gallery and The Portrait Of Carlotta

... and Now,  taken from the same spot in Gallery 6.

Vertigo - Art Gallery and The Portrait Of Carlotta

 

  Scottie realizes that Madeleine's bouquet is the same as Carlotta's in the painting and that her hair is worn in the same style.  Spooky.

Vertigo - Art Gallery and The Portrait Of Carlotta

Bullitt - Cathy's Office

  Bullitt has arranged to meet friends for dinner and picks up his girlfriend Cathy at her office.  The scene was filmed at the office of the renowned San Francisco environmental architect Lawrence Halprin, designer of outdoor spaces across the nation including the F.D.R. Memorial, Sea Ranch, Ghirardelli Square, Levy Plaza and many more.  The office was at the base of Telegraph Hill at 1620 Montgomery Street, Suite 320, and is still home to an architectural firm, Theodore Brown and Partners.  The building exterior is not seen in the movie but a recent photo of 1620 Montgomery is shown below.

 

Bullitt - Cathy's Office

 

Then ...  Bullitt is seen here between the 2nd and 3rd floor on his way to the top floor.

Bullitt - Cathy's Office
... and Now,  the statue is gone but nothing else has changed.

Bullitt - Cathy's Office

 

  He is greeted by a pretty receptionist as he enters Cathy's office - Mr. Cool, with his raincoat nonchalantly slung over his shoulder.

Then ...

Bullitt - Cathy's Office
... and Now,  the space today has been partitioned off.  It was more open and convivial then.

Bullitt - Cathy's Office

 

Then ...  Bullitt waits patiently while Cathy finishes off a calculation.

Bullitt - Cathy's Office
... and Now,  below, note the vertical pipe to the left of where the partition meets the wall.  It's the same as the one above.

Bullitt - Cathy's Office

 

 ... on location ...  a panoramic view of the crew setting up Cathy's workspace, taken from behind a planter on the mezzanine level.

Bullitt - Cathy's Office

... and Now,  from the same spot.

Bullitt - Cathy's Office

 

 ... on location ...  Steve McQueen chats to Lawrence Halprin between takes.

Bullitt - Cathy's Office

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