Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

D.O.A. - Second Opinion

  Bigelow has been told he only has days to live because of a poison in his system.  In disbelief he rushes to another doctor for a second opinion.

Then ...  This is the Southern Pacific Hospital at 1400 Fell Street at Baker in the Haight district, facing Golden Gate Park's Panhandle.  It was built in 1908 by the Southern Pacific Railroad as a medical center for its employees throughout the West.

D.O.A. - Second Opinion

... and Now,  the hospital eventually became uneconomical and was sold in 1968, becoming the Harkness Hospital.  It was finally closed down after several years of large losses.  It now houses Mercy Terrace, a senior housing retirement facility.

D.O.A. - Second Opinion

... and Now,  here's another view of the imposing structure today.

D.O.A. - Second Opinion

 

  The second doctor confirms the diagnosis.  He dramatically turns out the light to show the lab sample glowing in the dark - a luminous toxin.  Again, a dumbstruck Bigelow hears that he has at most one week to live.  Not one to mince words, the doctor tells him "You've been murdered".

D.O.A. - Second Opinion

D.O.A. - Diagnosis

  Bigelow has been slipped a Mickey Finn at the Fisherman Club and is not feeling well the next morning.  He goes to see a doctor on Nob Hill.

Then ...  He takes a cable car from his hotel, the St. Francis, up Powell Street and jumps off at California.  The Alta Casa apartment building at 897 California is on the corner behind the cable car, as is the cone-roofed cable car control booth (click image to enlarge).
 

... and Now,  the same view today, east down California, now has modern high-rise offices down California in the Financial District.  The Alta Casa apartment house at right has been demolished but the control booth is still there because this cable car line is still in operation, as is the brick-walled University club at left, there since 1908.

 

Then ...  In this south-facing view down Jones Street from Sacramento, Bigelow is about to cross the road to the doctor's office kitty-corner from where he is.

... and Now

 

 

Then ...  He reaches the office, at 1298 Sacramento, corner of Jones.  The view looks east down Sacramento.  Grace Cathedral on the right is under construction with only one tower and the Fairmont and Mark Hopkins hotels can be seen in the distance on Mason Street.

... and Now,  the completed cathedral has two towers.  The added Fairmont Tower rises behind the hotel, otherwise the view is quite similar.

... and Now,  1298 Sacramento, known as the Chambord Apartments (below left) was built in 1921.  Its ornate flowing design by architect James Francis Dunn evokes the style of the Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley of France (below right).

 

  Bigelow is horrified to learn from the doctors (below) that he has a toxic poison in his system and only has days to live.  He accuses the doctors of being crazy and storms out of the office.

D.O.A. - Diagnosis

Vertigo - McKittrick Hotel

  The plot thickens.  Scottie follows Madeleine yet again; she heads to the McKittrick Hotel.

Then ...  She is going west on Eddy approaching Gough.  The McKittrick Hotel is across Gough on the right, set back just out of this view.

... and Now

 

Then ...  Scottie watches Madeleine walk towards the hotel entrance.  This fine old Victorian was  located at 1007 Gough Street on the northwest corner at Eddy in the Western Addition neighborhood (map).  It's easy to see why this building, with its brooding air of mystery, would appeal to Hitchcock.

... and Now,  the building is no longer there ... built in the 1890s, it was vacant in 1957  when this scene was filmed and was demolished two years later.  Today a school sports field covers the corner site where the mansion used to be.

  1007 Gough was also known as the Henry F. Fortmann mansion, after its long-term resident.   This contemporaneous biography tells us he was the president of the Alaska Packers Association, representing the salmon canning business.  He moved into 1007 Gough in 1897 and resided there until his death in 1946.  Here's his entry in the 1897 San Francisco Polk's Crocker-Langley city directory.

 

Then ...   He gets out of his car and watches as Madeleine opens the curtains in an upstairs room.  Behind him is the St. Paulus' German Evangelican Lutheran Church.

... and Now,  the site of the old church is an empty lot to this day, currently doubling as a community garden.  Incidentally, this church and the Fortmann mansion were in a scene eight years earlier in the movie The Man Who Cheated Himself.

... in 1995 ...  this vintage photo captured the venerable church being consumed by fire on November 5, 1995.

 

  In the hotel, the manager (Ellen Corby) tells him Madeleine often stops by but hadn't been here today.  Incredulous, he insists on seeing her room but finds that she has disappeared.  This episode is one of Hitchcock's trademark 'MacGuffins', a puzzling sequence having no logical explanation.

 

Then ...  Scottie's view from the window shows the empty spot where Madeleine's Jaguar had been parked just moments before.  That's Jefferson Square Park across Eddy from the hotel.

... and Now,  the park, viewed from Eddy, still has a public bench in the same spot.

 

Then ...  Totally confused, Scottie returns to the Brocklebank Apartments.  Hitchcock takes the opportunity to show yet another vertiginous view, down the steep block on Mason between Sacramento and Clay (click image to enlarge).

... and Now,  there's an new undistinguished apartment building in the distance at left, the 1960s Royal Towers at 1750 Taylor Street.   The classy Brocklebank remains the same. 

 

Then ...   and there, in the courtyard, is Madeleine's Jaguar.  By now the  perplexed detective can be excused if he thinks he's been imagining things.

... and Now,  a different awning and that's about it.

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

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