Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Fog Over Frisco (1934)

The Movie

     This is a relatively short (68 minutes) but highly entertaining murder mystery, one of Bette Davis' favorites, perhaps because during its filming she heard that studio head Jack Warner had finally agreed to loan her to RKO Pictures for a role she had long coveted - Mildred in Of Human Bondage, a drama which would shortly vault her to stardom.  In Fog Over Frisco though she played a smaller but dazzling part, promoted to top billing only after Warner picked up on the buzz being generated by her great Mildred rushes.  William Dieterle directed, making sure the San Francisco setting was authenticated with lots of location shots (with some from Southern California mixed in for good measure).  The movie was filmed in only 19 days from Jan 22 to Feb 10, 1934 and released on June 2, 1934.

The Story

    Arlene Bradford (Bette Davis) lives in her stepfather's grand San Francisco mansion with his daughter Val (Margaret Lindsay).  Arlene is a social live wire  who has fallen in with the wrong crowd; they are using her as a conduit to her banker fiancé Spencer Carleton (Lyle Talbot) to fence stolen bonds.  Arlene is a willing participant; Spencer's objections melt in the face of her feminine charms while she revels in the thrill of it all.  Her stepfather constantly criticizes her insouciant ways but stepsister Val, sweetly naive and do-goody, always springs to her defense.  After receiving a call from a mystery man Arlene informs her criminal friends that she won't take any more bonds then suddenly disappears and it's left to Val and Tony, a reporter friend (Donald Woods), to try to find her.  The action becomes ever faster paced as they race across the city in a frantic search that puts Val herself in danger ...

The Locations

  1.  Arlene's Secret  Piers 35 and 37 viewed from Telegraph Hill
  2.  A Tale Of Two Sisters  Piers 33, 35, 37 and 39 viewed from Telegraph Hill
  3. Lafayette Park  Octavia Street between Jackson and Pacific  ---  2080 Washington Street  ---  Lafayette Park, Pacific Heights
  4. The Bradford Mansion  2180 Washington Street,  Pacific Heights
  5. The Bradford's Garage: A Grisly Find  Washington Street garage of 2080 Gough Street, Pacific Heights
  6. A Cryptic Telegram  W. 2nd from Grand Avenue, Bunker Hill, Los Angeles --- Hyde Street at Lombard, Francisco and Beach Streets, Russian Hill
  7. To The Bridge!  4th and Market, Union Square  ---  Mission at 4th, SoMa  ---  Drumm Street at Commercial, Financial District
  8. Butchertown Bridge  Henry Ford Bridge, Terminal Island, Southern California
  9. Kidnapped  Waterfront at 14th Street, San Pedro  ---  Old San Pedro Bridge, Turning Basin, Los Angeles Harbor
  10.  Find The Killer!  Wilmington, Southern California  ---  San Pedro coastline viewed from the Los Angeles Lighthouse  ---  Turning Basin and Clock Tower, Los Angeles Harbor  ---   San Francisco Bay

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