Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The Movie

     Based on the novel 'Deadlier Than The Male' by James Gunn, Born To Kill was directed by Robert Wise whose stellar directorial career was at that time in its early stage following his start in the movie business as a film editor.  Even as an editor he excelled (example, Citizen Kane - not half bad!) and he quickly demonstrated a confident segue as a director within the world of noir and neo-noir (Born To Kill, The Setup, Odds Against Tomorrow).  Born To Kill is noir incarnate pitting an homme fatale against a femme fatale.  If looks could kill then all under Lawrence Tierney's simmering gaze were doomed and in fact, that is exactly how it plays out in a tale that has it all - alcohol, gambling, jealousy, rage, murder.  Oh, and sex.

The Story

     Helen Brent (Claire Trevor) spends the required six weeks in Reno to secure a divorce.  When she discovers the still warm bodies of her boarding housemate and her man friend and refrains from calling the police, instead returning that night to her fiancé in San Francisco, we suspect the dark side is about to assert itself.  On the train she encounters the magnetic but volatile Sam Wild (Lawrence Tierney), a man she had briefly met at a gambling casino.  Sam senses her attraction and visits her home, meeting and soon marrying her rich foster sister Georgia Staples (Audrey Long), for money, not love.  But Sam and Helen are having an ongoing affair during which a detective (Walter Slezak) shows up and confirms for Helen what she has already suspected - that Sam is the brutal double murderer.  Her lust for him transcends normal behavior and she considers buying off the detective but balks at the asking price.  After Sam becomes aware that he is likely to be exposed his sociopathic response doesn't bode well for friend and foe alike. 

The Locations

  1. Divorce Reno Style  Reno Arch, Virginia Street at Commercial Row, Reno, Nevada---  Washoe County Courthouse, 75 Court Street, Reno, Nevada
  2. The Northern Club  15 E. Fremont Street, Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Two Murders   ( ... still searching for this location)
  4. They Meet Again  Reno SP Depot, E. Commercial Row at Lake Street, Reno, Nevada---  Bay Bridge, San Francisco
  5. Mrs. Kraft Hires A Detective  Northwest corner of Virginia Street at Commercial Row, Reno, Nevada --- Washoe County Courthouse, 75 Court Street, Reno, Nevada
  6. Sam calls on Helen  Villa Arden, 1145 Arden Road, Pasadena---  Top of the Mark, Mark Hopkins Hotel, One Nob Hill, San Francisco
  7. Marty Joins Sam  Ferry Building, the Embarcadero, San Francisco
  8. The Wedding  Villa Arden, 1145 Arden Road, Pasadena
  9. Two Meetings  Fairmont Hotel, Nob Hill---  Bay Bridge access road, Yerba Buena Island
  10. Two Visitors - Felton Hotel  1401 Powell Street at Broadway, Russian Hill/North Beach/Chinatown
  11. Murder In The Dunes  The beach at El Segundo, Southern California
  12. Snares and Nets   One Ferry Building, The Embarcadero, San Francisco

Interactive Map

       Click here for a photo map of the locations in this movie.

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