Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The Exiles - Hill 'X'

  (A Bunker Hill movie in a San Francisco blog?  CitySleuth explains why).

  The bars have closed but the night is not over for the Indian community.  In a tradition known as a '49', they congregate at an out of the way spot to continue drinking, to meet old friends, to chant and to dance, to sing traditional tribal songs, to remember old times.

  A procession of cars makes its way up to the top of a hill they call Hill 'X'.  The carousers spill out and the party is on!


Then ...  In the glittering view across Los Angeles the City Hall tower, its upper portion illuminated, is the main feature at right of center and at far left is the dark outline of the downtown gasworks (click image to enlarge).

... in 1960 ...  this vintage photo shows us where they were (arrowed).  This is the Chavez Ravine hill (map) and even though this was taken only two years after the filming, the hill had already been transformed by the partially built Dodger Stadium with the Indians' former gathering spot now swallowed up by the stadium parking lot.  In the distance City Hall is dead center; the gasworks is to the left alongside the Los Angeles river.

... and Now,  in this recent aerial view the faintly visible City Hall is left of center but the gasworks is long gone.


  It doesn't take long for the music to begin.  For this shoot, director MacKenzie hired professional entertainer Eddie Sunrise, center, who was performing at Disneyland at the time.  As the night wears on everyone is drawn in by the drumming, becoming part of the singing and dancing.  Beer flows, skirmishes erupt, a good time is had by all.


Then ...  Dawn finally breaks over the cool, grey city giving the worn-out celebrants a different, sobering view (click image to enlarge).

... and Now,  City Hall is still there but it's the towering downtown structures that now command attention from here.


  The party breaks up, people disperse and Homer and friends head for their cars to return to the real world.  Or is their real world the one they are about to leave?


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