Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Impact - Larkspur - Walter Lies Low

  The two-timing Irene has been arrested and accused of Walter's murder while the police continue to look for Torrence.  Walter follows the news in the papers but decides to lie low in Larkspur under an assumed name and let his wife suffer in jail.

Then ...  Marsha suggests he room in her house next to the garage and It soon becomes clear that they are falling for each other.  In this scene they chat on the porch of her house, in real life the home of garage owner Hil Probert, at 234 Magnolia Avenue in Larkspur (map).  That's Hil's greenhouse next to the house.

... and Now,  the house today is the Tavern at Lark Creek restaurant (formerly the Lark Creek Inn) and the greenhouse and surrounding garden is now a parking lot.

... and Now,  here's a wider view of the house.  The newer structure in the front was appended in the early 1970s when the Probert house became a restaurant.  The garage site, described in the previous location, is next door to the left, just off the picture.


Then ...  Walter readily adapts to quiet rural town life, even joining the local Volunteer Fire Brigade.  Below, he attends the local church, St. Patrick's, which faced onto King Street at the corner of  Locust (map).  For this scene the director chose the older, quainter church over the newer St. Patrick's that was built eight years earlier at the end of the block at Magnolia.

... and Now,  the old church has been replaced by St. Patrick's Parochial School, seen below.  A good cause, yes, but what a pity such a picturesque structure was abandoned.


Then ...  They take a stroll across a bridge at a nearby lake.  Did I say nearby?  This scene was filmed in Southern California at the Corriganville Movie Ranch, an outdoors spread in Simi Valley including extensive Western town sets and used by countless movies from 1937 - 1965.  The lake was known as Robin Hood lake after the Robin Hood movies filmed there.

... and Now, the Western town on the ranch today has reverted to foundations and hiking trails and is open to the public as Corriganville Park.  The cement-lined man-made lake, located on the Corriganville loop trail near the 118 freeway (map), is now dry and exposed.  The bridge is gone but the supports are still there.  If Marsha and Walter were re-creating the above scene below, they would be approaching from the left.


Then ...  In this pastoral setting Walter admits to her that he is married but before she can ask how he ended up in Larkspur the town's fire horn (the real one) blares out, beckoning the volunteer brigade.  Note the large rock across the lake ...

... and Now,  the rock, now with a safety railing, used to be called the stunt rock.

... a vintage photo...  here's a circa 1950s shot of Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, taken from the same spot, again showing the stunt rock across the lake.


  In this not-to-scale map of the Corriganville movie ranch in its heyday, the lake, which was a mile from the Western town, is sketched in over to the right (click on the map to enlarge it).

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