Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Experiment In Terror - Kelly picks up Toby

  Kelly's teenage sister Toby (Stefanie Powers) has slept over at a friend's house.  Kelly drives there to pick them up to take them to school.

Then ...  She drives the short distance up Glenbrook Ave from her home on St Germain Ave and stops outside the friend's house at 206 Palo Alto Avenue alongside a row of three sidewalk trees (map).

... and Now,  those trees are still there today, now with sturdy 50 year old trunks.  The house is there too but the brick walls have been refinished.


Then ...  Toby and her friend exit the side gate of No. 206.  The window on the left is the same one as the window at lower right of the 'Then' picture above.  The view looks to the east towards the Bay Bridge and the city's Financial District.

... until recently ...  the gate and side wall were subsequently remodelled.  The photo below, taken in 2007, shows how the original wall, clearly visible, had been extended upward.

... and Now,  below is the side wall as it looks today - the brick has been covered over with a stone finishand a new gate installed.  The higher wall not only blocks the east view but so too does the large house built next door.

... the view east today ...  if you could peep over the gate and the house next door wasn't there this is how the view east would look now.  Compare it with the way it was behind Toby in the Then picture above


Then ...  As Toby approaches her sister's car the view down Palo Alto Avenue shows those same three trees.

... and Now,  the same view, the same trees.

The House On Telegraph Hill - Denouement

  The final scenes take place inside the house, filmed on a Twentieth Century Fox soundstage.

  Victoria discovers newspaper clippings revealing that  her Aunt Sophie had died several days after she had received telegram notification from Alan of the death.  She realizes he must have sent the telegram knowing he was about to kill her.  Now she really is convinced he is after the inheritance and plans to kill her and her son Chris, too.

  When Alan brings orange juices at bedtime she switches the glasses.


  Alan realizes his plan to poison his wife has backfired.  He rushes to the housekeeper Margaret for help and we learn they are lovers - she is in on the plan.  But Margaret turns on him and refuses to call a doctor because he had wanted to include young Chris in his murder scheme.  Never underestimate the maternal instinct.


  And so justice is served as the poison does its job.  The final frames show Victoria and Marc carrying the sleeping Chris away presumably to a new beginning for them all.

The Lady From Shanghai - Whaler's Cove, Sausalito

  After leaving Acapulco Elsa's yacht Circe drops anchor off Whaler's Cove in Sausalito, a small town on the edge of San Francisco Bay just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.  Below is a 1937 photo of the cove, taken in the year the bridge was inaugurated.


Then ...  A small tender brings Elsa in to shore.  The San Francisco skyline, the Bay Bridge and Alcatraz Island can be seen in the distance.

... and Now,  the recent photo below reveals only skeletal remains of the pier.


Then ...  As the tender coasts in we see Sausalito on the left and Angel Island on the right with Belvedere and Tiburon between them (click the image to enlarge).

... and Now,  the same view today. (click the image to enlarge).


Then ...  Elsa is helped onto the pier.  Behind her is a boardwalk and beyond that the picturesque town of Sausalito climbs up the hillside.

... and Now,  there are many newer buildings crowded onto the hillside but some of them are still recognizable, including the one on the boardwalk with the twin turrets.


Then ...  O'Hara is waiting for Elsa on the pier.  In the background is the Nunes Bros. boatyard where, incidentally, the yacht Circe (Errol Flynn's yacht Zaca) was built.

... and Now,  the boatyard has succumbed to apartment buildings, as has most of the adjacent shoreline.

... in 1929 ...  This vintage photo shows the Zaca being built at Nunes Bros. boatyard. 

Petulia - Bad Accident

    Throughout the movie a series of flashbacks show young Oliver, who Petulia and David had brought to San Francisco from Tijuana, being treated in hospital.  Another flashback finally explains why - Oliver had suffered a serious accident.

... from 1965 ...  the vintage photo below shows the accident site (arrow) as it was when the scene was filmed, alongside the elevated Embarcadero freeway in front of the Ferry Building close to where Market Street joins (map).  That's the Clay Street on-ramp in the right foreground and the Washington Street off-ramp in the left foreground.  (The ugly freeway was destined to be demolished after it was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake).  


    Petulia buys Oliver a Greyhound ticket to Tijuana - this booth was presumably set up under the freeway especially for the movie - the freeway passes overhead to the north past the signs pointing to Market and Washington.  But the boy doesn't want to leave and runs away...

Then ...  He darts between the passing traffic.  Note the YMCA sign down the road on the building with the flagpole.

... and Now,  the same view looking south down the Embarcadero, now a wide-open bustling boulevard after the demise of the elevated freeway.  The Y, near the corner of Howard Street, is still there and its flag is still flying.


Then ...  We are facing north again as the cars desperately try to avoid the boy but one of them hits him.  In the background are the two freeway ramps seen in the accident site photo at the top of this page.

... and Now,  no elevated freeway, no ramps.  The large office tower on the left is part of the Embarcadero Center on Clay Street.

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