Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

D.O.A. - The Philips' Apartment

  Bigelow doesn't buy Halliday's story that Philips had committed suicide.  He goes to Eugene Philips' apartment (below) and threatens to kill Mrs Philips if she doesn't come clean about her husband's suicide.  She blurts out that in fact her lover Halliday had pushed him over her balcony when Philips confronted them about their affair, this after Halliday had framed Phillips, telling the police he had stolen the iridium.  Because Bigelow had a copy of a bill of sale proving Philips' innocence, Halliday had poisoned him.  Bigelow now knows his murderer's name.


Then ...   As they struggle on the balcony we get a good look at the view outside, it looks across a park with a large tower and building in the distance.  But this apartment scene was filmed on a studio set using a background photo to set the location.  So where is this view from?

... a vintage photo ...  It turns out this is the view across Lafayette Park looking west down Wilshire Blvd in the Westlake neighborhood towards the Bullock's Wilshire tower and the Town House hotel .  Below is a circa 1940 photo of this precise view.  The Philips' balcony view photo was taken from very close to this same spot.

... and Now ,  here's the same view today taken at street level alongside Lafayette Park (map).  Built as a luxury hotel in 1929 , the Town House has since been converted to low-income housing units.  The art deco department store and tower, also dating from 1929, is now part of the Law School of Southwestern University but still displays Bullocks Wilshire name plaques on the outside.




Then ...   When Bigelow leaves the building he runs into Majak and his thugs coming after him to avenge the death of Chester. Here they are, below, in front of the Philips apartment building.

... an undated photo,  this is the Chateau Chaumont, 855 S. Serrano Avenue, corner of 9th Street in Koreatown (map).  Below is a photo of the building which turns out to be over a mile away from where the window view photo was taken.  The 6-story multi-family structure was built in 1929 in a French Renaissance style.  CitySleuth thanks fellow sleuth Phil Stufflebean for finding it.

... and Now ,  it's remarkably unchanged (below), including the low flagstone planter walls.  The same cannot be said of the apartments' sales prices, currently around $650,000 for a 2 bed, 2 bath unit.


Then ...   He peeks out from inside the garage archway before making his getaway, giving us a good look at a classy house across the street.

... and Now ,  this is the house (below), opposite the Chateau Chaumont.  It too looks just as it did back then.

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