Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Impact - "From Irene And Me, Sucker"

  During their drive east in Walter's car through the Sierra Mountains, Irene's lover Torrence attacks Walter and leaves him for dead.

Then ...  Here we see them driving past a substantial retaining wall with minimal protection from a precipitous drop.

... and Now,  it was a lot more convenient for the film crew to choose the nearby Angeles National Forest area north of Pasadena for this shot.  It's on Mount Wilson Red Box Road, 3.0 miles from the junction with the Angeles Crest Highway and 2.0 miles from the observatory (map).  In the recent photo below we can see the retaining structure has held up amazingly well these last 64 years but it still has a very low wall along the side of the road.

  You might wonder how CitySleuth tracked down this location?  While watching TV he was astonished to see a Mercedes Benz commercial with ... hallelujah ... a shot of the same place!  Whadayaknow!  A few phone calls and emails later, the location was revealed.  Here is that image from the commercial, beautifully captured by professionals in the magic light of dawn in July, 2011.


Then ...  They continue along another stretch of mountain road.

... and Now,  CitySleuth is pretty sure this was filmed on the Angeles Crest Highway which snakes up from the lowlands to the Mount Wilson location described above through terrain just like this.  He can't be 100% certain but this curve is very similar.


   Torrence had earlier let air out of one of the tires and when it goes flat he pulls over.  While Walter replaces the wheel Torrence, snarling "From Irene and me, sucker", thwacks him with a lug wrench and dumps him over the roadside edge, leaving him for dead.

  He then frantically drives off when a passing Bekins van stops and in his haste meets an approaching gas tanker head-on.  The ensuing explosion reduces him to toast, a punitively fitting end to a thoroughly bad apple.


Then ...  Walter, however, survives the ordeal and staggers back to the road.  He climbs in the back of the van just as it drives off and, some time later, hops off at Vera's rest stop in Nevada (below) where he reads in a newspaper of his reported death.  The authorities, not knowing of Torrence, have assumed it was Walter who died in the car crash.

... and Now,  This may have been a real place or it may have been filmed on a studio back lot.  Either way, if any reader can shed light on it, please contact CitySleuth.


>   Previous Location

>   Next Location

Experiment In Terror - Dead Mannequin

  Agent Ripley gets a call from another woman, Nancy Ashton (Patricia Huston), who claims she has a friend whose life may be in danger.  She wants him to come to her place as soon as possible and the fear in her voice persuades him to do so.  She waits for him, surrounded by a bizarre specter - disjointed and hanging mannequins that she works on at home.  This may not bode well ...


Then ...  Ripley and fellow agent Brad (Roy Poole) pull up outside her apartment.

... and Now,  they were at 2632 Larkin Street, between Lombard and Chestnut (map), a short block and a half from the well-known 'crooked street' on Russian Hill.  The view looks south towards Lombard.


Then ...  Their sharply angled view of the house accentuates its elegantly bowed windows.

... and Now,  the house hasn't changed, even the curvilinear window panes are the same.


Then ...  A diversion - Frank Bullitt's 390GT fastback Mustang drove right past this house six years later during the famous car chase in the movie Bullitt (in the capture below, the arrow points to the house).

... and Now,  a recent view of the same block.



  Where were we?  Oh yes ... unfortunately, Kelly Sherwood's tormentor has beaten the agents to it and they find Nancy Ashton as lifeless as the mannequins hanging alongside her.


Then ...  When an ambulance is called we get a glimpse of the house next door.


... and Now,  in this wider view of 2632 Larkin that neighboring house is currently being replaced and has just been demolished.

Vertigo - Scottie Follows Madeleine - 6

  In a long conversation with Madeleine after Scottie rescues her from the Bay he is no closer to finding out why she takes off on her mysterious wanderings.  He decides to continue watching her.  In this sequence an asterisk (*) indicates a route discontinuity, i.e. a location jump.


Then ...     She had stopped by to leave a thank-you note.  They talk outside his apartment and as she leaves we enjoy a clear view down Lombard Street with Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower in the distance.

... and Now,  a half century later when this photo was taken (2011) the house was unchanged but since then the owner has completely made over the exterior, wiping out a cinematic location icon (see it here).


  They resume their conversation then agree to go off on a drive together.

Vertigo - Palace of Fine Arts

  Scottie and Judy begin dating.  Naturally, he takes her out to Ernie's for a meal (where he first saw Madeleine) and dancing at the Fairmont Hotel.  Both of those scenes were filmed on carefully recreated Paramount Studios sets, but their stroll alongside the Palace of Fine Arts was a location shoot.

Then ...  There was a glimpse of the domed Palace of Fine Arts earlier in the movie when Scottie was tailing Madeleine's Jaguar through the Presidio.

... and Now,  looking north on Presidio Boulevard near West Pacific Avenue (map).  The view is now mostly obscured by trees from here.


Then ...  A retreating camera dolly tracks them as they walk alongside the Palace - Judy is looking over to it off to the right.

... and Now,  this looks south along Baker Street from near Beach Street (map).  On the horizon Baker Street crests at Broadway in Pacific Heights.


Then ...  They pause a moment and admire the majestic edifice across its peaceful lagoon.  The Palace of Fine Arts is the only survivor, on its original site, of ten grand palaces constructed for the city's 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition.  For many years it housed art exhibitions but today is the home of the Palace of Fine Arts Theater and, since 1969 until its 2013 move to Piers 15 and 17, the popular Exploratorium museum.

... and Now,  the Palace looks unchanged, but back in 1964 in response to structural concerns it was demolished down to its skeletal steel supports and rebuilt with lightweight concrete materials.  They did a fine job.


... on location ...  this informal photo caught Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart taking a break on the camera dolly used for the tracking shot shown above.

Click in this box to search this site ...