Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Born To Kill - Sam calls on Helen

Then ...  After checking into a hotel in San Francisco Sam makes an unannounced visit to Helen's home, a very swanky mansion.

... and Now,  this was filmed not in San Francisco but in Southern California at the Villa Arden at 1145 Arden Road, Pasadena (map).  A great favorite with movie-makers over the decades, this residence has appeared in over 200 TV and movie productions including Dynasty, Remington Steele and Knight RiderMore shots of the home will be seen later in the movie.


  Surprised to see Sam, Helen introduces him to her fiancé Fred (Phillip Terry) and her foster sister Georgia (Audrey Long).  Since they were about to go out dancing at a night club they feel obliged to invite him along.


Then ...  At the club the window view looks east down California Street and across the Financial District to the Bay Bridge and Ferry Building at upper left, revealing where this is - the popular Top of the Mark at the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill (map).

... in the 1950s ...  here's a vintage photo snapped at the Top of the Mark not long after the movie was made.  It shows the same view in the left window pane but the different windows suggest that the movie scene was shot in a studio using a projected window view to set the location.  What's more, as we shall see in a later post, the same studio soundstage using those plants and flowers, above, will be used again to represent the Fairmont Hotel.

... and Now,  high-rise congestion in the Financial District offers visitors to the famous bar a different vista.  The tall building left of center is the formerly named Bank of America Building at 555 California Street.


  At the club Sam's blatant focus on Helen is rebuffed.  When the conversation turns to money he learns that Georgia is a rich woman having inherited her father's newspaper business and the palatial family home.  The schemer switches his attention to her and quickly senses that his macho swagger is drawing her in like a fish to a lure.


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