Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films


The Movie

    Film critics and box office were unkind to  Harold And Maude when it was released but gradually over the years the quirky love story became a widely beloved cult classic.  The fact that he is a privileged twenty-year-old and she a soon-to-be-eighty year old for whom joire de vivre is a way of life is neither here nor there.  The story was written as a masters thesis by UCLA student Colin Higgins and sold to Paramount with the understanding that he would direct the movie.  The studio however brought in Hal Ashby as director and Higgins was credited as co-producer.  Ashby was an oscar-winning film editor but had directed only one movie before this one.  He went on to carve a successful career, along the way directing 10 different actors in oscar-nominated performances.  As a bonus the movie is uplifted throughout by a rousing soundtrack composed and sung by Cat Stevens.

    (Here's an interview of Cat Stevens talking about how Hal Ashby persisted in persuading him to write the soundtrack music).

    (Listen to Cat Stevens' catchy 'If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out' here).

The Story

   Harold Chasen (Bud Cort) is an introverted young man living with his overbearing socialite mother (Vivian Pickles) in a swanky mansion in Northern California.  His idea of fun is to stage elaborately faked suicides to shock first his mother then a succession of potential girlfriends who she has lined up.  He also enjoys attending strangers' funerals where he first notices Maude (Ruth Gordon), a septuagenarian with a carefree philosophy of life, the very antithesis of his.  Their growing friendship opens his eyes to a new world; he falls for her and wants to marry but Maude, in keeping with her approach to life and to death, has a different plan...

The Locations

  1. Faux Suicides  10 Stacey Court, Hillsborough  ---  San Carlos Auto Wreckers (now Skyway Landing offices) ---  959 Sky Way Road, San Carlos
  2. At The Cemetery - 1   Section 'T', Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 1500 Mission Road, Colma
  3. Harold's Residence  815 Eucalyptus Avenue, Hillsborough  ---  10 Stacey Court, Hillsborough
  4. They Meet   St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 751 Waverley Street, Palo Alto
  5. At The Cemetery - 2  Section 'J', Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 1500 Mission Road, Colma
  6. Dates From Hell  Rosecourt Mansion, 10 Stacey Court, Hillsborough
  7. Glaucus's Studio  Stall 1, Machine and Erecting Shops, SP Rail Yard, Brisbane
  8. Maude's Rail Car  Oyster Point Boulevard, South San Francisco, between Eccles Avenue and Gull Drive
  9. Inside The Rail Car  Oyster Point Boulevard, South San Francisco, between Eccles Avenue and Gull Drive ( now on display at the Western Railway Museum, 5848 CA-12, Suisun City, Solano County
  10. Demolition  Lot next to 170 Harbor Way, South San Francisco---  Sneath Lane between El Camino and Cherry Ave, San Bruno
  11. Sunflowers And Daisies  Cozzolino Nursery Farm, 11881 San Mateo Road, Half Moon Bay ---  Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno  ---  House Of Doors, 11880 San Mateo Road, Half Moon Bay
  12. Save That Tree!  Guadalupe Canyon Parkway, Visitacion Valley  ---  Courthouse, Redwood City
  13. Hapless Cop - 1  Dumbarton Bridge, Highway 84, Fremont
  14. Hapless Cop - 2  Marshlands Road,  Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Fremont
  15. Uncle Victor  Sutro Heights Park, Land's End, San Francisco
  16. "What Have You Done?!"  Sutro Baths, Lands End
  17. Tarzan Yell  Sand Hill Road near Interstate 280, Woodside
  18. Glorious Birds  Mudflats Sculpture Garden, Emeryville
  19. Amusement Park  Santa Cruz Boardwalk
  20. Shocking News  Peninsula Hospital, Burlingame ... Sneath Lane view of Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno
  21. Bereft  Sharp Park Road overpass at Highway 1, Pacifica  ---  Pescadero Creek Road, between Pescadero and the Pacific Coast  ---  Pescadero Creek Road  between Alpine Road and Loma Mar   ---  Sneath Lane at Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno  ---  Pescadero Creek Road at Highway 1, Pescadero  ---  Mori Point Road at Highway 1, Pacifica
  22. Dead Hearse  Lishumsha Trail, Mori Point, Pacifica  ---  Mori Point, Pacifica


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