Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

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 and Now,  the white building has been replaced by the Fisherman's and Seamen's Memorial Chapel but Pier 45 Shed B can still be seen behind it.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

The Lineup - Steinhart Aquarium and De Young Museum

  Dorothy Bradshaw and daughter Cindy visit the Steinhart Aquarium after arriving at the Mark Hopkins Hotel.  The aquarium has been a visitors' favorite since 1923.

Then ...  The aquarium faced onto the central courtyard of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.  The Academy also included a natural History Museum and a Planetarium.

The Lineup - Steinhart Aquarium and De Young Museum

... in 1968 ...  Below is an aerial photo from 1968 with an arrow marking the aquarium, part of the Academy building.  That's the DeYoung Museum facing the Academy across the concourse and the Bandstand at the edge of the concourse on the left.

The Lineup - Steinhart Aquarium and De Young Museum

... and Now,  The aquarium and indeed the entire Academy was razed in 2003 to make way for this $500 million replacement, below, opened in 2008 (map).  This photo was taken from the De Young Museum.

The Lineup - Steinhart Aquarium and De Young Museum

 

Then ...  Dancer and Julian catch up with Dorothy and Cindy in the aquarium.

The Lineup - Steinhart Aquarium and De Young Museum

... and Now,  the aquarium in the new Academy, below, is an ambitiously dramatic replacement.  (By the way, Orson Welles preceded Don Siegel by a decade with the use of a scene at the Steinhart Aquarium, in The Lady From Shanghai.  See it here).

The Lineup - Steinhart Aquarium and De Young Museum

 

  Dancer flirts with Dorothy and offers to give her a ride back to her hotel.  She makes the big mistake of accepting.  As they leave the park, passing in front of the de Young museum, a policeman recognizes their car and calls in their description from a nearby telephone box (map).  We get a really interesting panorama down Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive - interesting because the 'Then' and 'Now' contrasts the old with the new museum.

Then ...  Director Siegel's panning camera gives us a great view of the old de Young museum on the right and the bandstand, built in 1900, on the left.

The Lineup - Steinhart Aquarium and De Young Museum
... and Now,  the new de Young, dubbed 'The Rusty Aircraft Carrier' by some wags, was opened in 2005.  The two sphinxes flanking the path to the museum (click image to enlarge) are still there, as is the bandstand, obscured by that palm tree.

The Lineup - Steinhart Aquarium and De Young Museum

 

  Back at the Mark Hopkins hotel Dancer frenziedly rips Cindy's doll apart after she tells him she found white powder inside the doll and used it to powder its face!  Uh oh, there's none left.

The Lineup - Steinhart Aquarium and De Young Museum

The Lineup - Mark Hopkins Hotel

  Two down, one to go.  The last stop is the Mark Hopkins Hotel (map) to intercept the Japanese doll carried in by little Cindy Bradshaw.

  The panorama below looks down California Street from Mason as the crooks' Plymouth approaches the Mark Hopkins.  On the right is the Stanford Court Hotel, built on the site of the Leland Stanford mansion after it burned down following the 1906 earthquake.  On the left is the Fairmont Hotel, a survivor of the quake.

Then ...  Prominent marquees advertise the Fairmont's Papagayo Room, since closed, and the Cirque Room.  The Nob Hill Theater was an unusual rear-projection cinema until becoming a restaurant in 1964.  The smaller sign down the road advertises the Tonga Room.

The Lineup - Mark Hopkins Hotel
... and Now,  there's still a sign for the Tonga Room on the Fairmont.  The Bay Bridge tower is now barely visible between the modern Financial District buildings down California.

The Lineup - Mark Hopkins Hotel

 

Then ...  They swing into the tiny courtyard of the Mark Hopkins Hotel at California and Mason.  This grand edifice was built in 1926 on the site of the Mark Hopkins mansion which, like its neighbors, went up in smoke in 1906.  The same hotel was featured in the 1968 movie 'Bullitt'.

The Lineup - Mark Hopkins Hotel
... and Now,  you wouldn't expect many changes at such a traditional and venerable place, and sure enough, there aren't any.

The Lineup - Mark Hopkins Hotel

  Dancer and Julian quickly discover that Dorothy Bradshaw and daughter are visiting the Steinhart Aquarium; without further ado they hightail it over there.

 

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