Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Portrait In Black - Cabot Gets the Needle, Blake Gets the Shaft

Then ...  Sheila's step-daughter Cathy Cabot (Sandra Dee) speeds across the bay to her boyfriend's tugboat.  This was filmed on the bay east of Telegraph Hill (map).  In the distance are the Ferry Building on the waterfront at far left and the tall Shell Building at 100 Bush Street at far right.  Between them along Market Street are the Southern Pacific Building with its twin 'SP' billboards on top and the PGE/Matson Building with its narrow tower.

... and Now,  From near the same spot we can still see the Ferry Building and the Southern Pacific Building, sans billboards, next to it but the others, although still there, are hidden by the phalanx of Financial District highrises.

... in 1956 ...  CitySleuth thought you'd enjoy this cool shot down Market Street taken from the Ferry Building - it includes the billboards and the buildings mentioned above.


Then ...  Cathy vaults aboard, greeted by boyfriend Blake Richards (John Saxon) and excitedly tells him that her father plans to award him a contract for Cabot Shipping Lines' entire towing needs.  This part of the scene, involving conversation requiring good sound quality, was clearly filmed in a studio with a Telegraph Hill video projected behind them.

... and Now,  the same view today looks very similar but it does have newer buildings along the waterfront behind the piers.  Fifty more years of tree growth atop Telegraph Hill has unfortunately completely obscured the once magnificent panoramic view that rewarded visitors to Pioneer Park (to the right of Coit Tower).


  Later, Cathy's father suddenly dies - Dr. Rivera's dastardly needle deed has been done.  The burial ceremony below appears to CitySleuth to have been filmed on a back lot using a backdrop photo of a golf course.


Then ...  Blake goes to Cabot Shipping's headquarters in the Crocker Building at Post and Market (described earlier) where Cabot's assistant Howard Mason is now calling the shots.  Mason lies when he denies knowledge of Cabot's plans and in a heated exchange tells Blake that the tugboat contract has gone to somebody else.  Through the office window is a clear view of an elevated freeway, the Pier 20 bulkhead and the Bay Bridge.

... and Now,  even CitySleuth can be forgiven for not duplicating this view.  Why?  For one, the ill-fated 480 (Embarcadero) freeway has been demolished and not replaced.  For another, so too has Pier 20.  What's more, the Crocker Building is gone too, replaced by the Aetna Building, from whence new high rises would today block this view.  Instead, we turn to Google Earth to duplicate the viewpoint from the building site today.  Looking at this, CitySleuth thinks, because of the alignments, that the window view wasn't from the Crocker Building, but was taken from a location a little further south, across Market street.


... in 1958 ...  before it was torn down after being damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, here's what the 480 freeway seen from Mason's office window looked like in the final scene from the movie The Lineup.


Then ...  Blake angrily storms from the Crocker Building's Post Street exit where Cathy is waiting for him.  Across the street Montgomery tees in from the left - there's a bank on each corner - and Market Street is straight ahead.  (Coincidentally, this exact shot was seen in the 1951 movie The House On Telegraph Hill.  See it here).

... and Now,  there's a little garden at right, in front of the Aetna Building, where the flatiron Crocker Building's pointed end used to be.  What was the Crocker-Anglo bank at far left on the corner of Montgomery (incidentally featured here in the 1962 movie Experiment In Terror) is today a Wells Fargo bank and the Well Fargo bank opposite it, left of center above, is now a glass-walled building housing Fidelity Investments.

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