Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Petulia - Picnic in the Park

  Archie meets a girlfriend, May (Pippa Scott), for a picnic in a park.  These scenes were filmed in Golden Gate Park where they meet in the Japanese Tea Garden.

Then ...  Visitors carefully tread their way over a narrow stone bridge below the Temple Gate and waterfall.

Petulia - Picnic in the Park
... and Now,  the stones forming the bridge are just as they were, as is the stone in the pool at the lower right corner.

Petulia - Picnic in the Park

 

Then ...  They set up their picnic basket in front of a traditional Japanese stone oil lantern.  Such lanterns were introduced in the 6th century for the purpose of lighting the path to Buddhist shrines.

Petulia - Picnic in the Park
... and Now,  the lantern is still there.

Petulia - Picnic in the Park

 

Then ...  There's a brief glimpse of a couple sitting on top of the Taiko Bashi, aka the Drum Bridge.

Petulia - Picnic in the Park
... and Now

Petulia - Picnic in the Park

 

Then ...  Still in Golden Gate Park, we next see Archie and May crossing a bridge with part of the California Academy Of Sciences beyond them on the left.  A Fellini-esque group of nuns - a recurring theme throughout the movie - are emerging from the parking tunnel.

Petulia - Picnic in the Park
... and Now,  the bridge and tunnel are still there but the original Academy has been torn down, replaced by a new one.

Petulia - Picnic in the Park

 

Then ...  As our couple walk up the steps of the Music Concourse the lads hamming it up on the bandstand invoke memories of director Richard Lester's Beatles movie 'A Hard Day's Night'.

Petulia - Picnic in the Park
... and Now,  the concourse, between the De Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences, is still used for outdoor musical performances.  The trees, mostly London Planes and Wyche and Accolade Elms, are set out on a grid and pollarded each winter to achieve optimum shade for the audience in the summer. 

Petulia - Picnic in the Park

 

  Meanwhile, Petulia is fixated on Archie and has been secretly watching them ...

Petulia - Picnic in the Park

Bullitt - Hospital

  Two hit men burst into the Daniels Hotel and gun down Bullitt's partner and the mob witness.  They are taken to San Francisco General Hospital, located at 1001 Potrero Avenue since 1872.

Then ...  The ambulance pulls up in front of the emergency room on 22nd Street.

Bullitt - Hospital

...and Now, it hasn't changed at all - the view looks west down 22nd to Potrero Ave.

Bullitt - Hospital

 

Then ...  Later, Bullitt is seen heading east down 22nd Street looking in vain for one of the hitmen after a nerve-jangling chase through the hospital.

Bullitt - Hospital

... and Now

Bullitt - Hospital

 

Then ...  Below, the main hospital entrance is seen in an outtake from the movie.

Bullitt - Hospital

... and Now,  the entrance is the same but the brick building was replaced in 1973 for improved earthquake safety by a newer, blander structure.

Bullitt - Hospital

 

... on location ...  here's the crew filming one of the scenes in the hospital.  Real doctors and nurses were used for added realism.

Bullitt - Hospital

D.O.A. - Hotel

  Bigelow stayed at the historic century-old St. Francis Hotel at 335 Powell Street on Union Square.

Then ...  The movie view from outside the main entrance looks north up Powell Street with Union Square off to the right (click image to enlarge).

 

... and Now,  the backgound buildings along Post Street have been rebuilt but the iconic cable cars still clang their way up and down the hill.  Note the same awning pillars and the row of globed lampstands still there along the sidewalk in front of the hotel.

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"

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