Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The Man Who Cheated Himself - They Find The Gun!

  A pawn shop tip leads the police to a gun used in a recent liquor store hold-up.  The retrieved bullets match exactly those pumped into Cullen's lover's husband.  Cullen is gob-smacked, after all hadn't he personally thrown the gun from the Golden Gate Bridge into the depths of the bay?

Then ...  Cullen and brother Andy follow up the lead, interviewing the fisherman whose wife had pawned the gun.  In one of of those happenstances that any noir movie worth its salt simply has to have, it turns out he had snagged the gun in his net.

... and Now,  this was filmed at the north edge of the Fisherman's Wharf harbor (map).  in both images we see a boardwalk mid-harbor and beyond that the neighborhood rises to the top of Russian Hill.

... and Now, an aerial view,  the arrow marks the spot where the movie camera filmed the scene, aimed across the harbor in the direction of the arrow.

... the same aerial in 1951,  In the vintage photo below note that when the movie was filmed the boardwalk connected across the harbor via a footbridge, since removed.  On a trivia note, the 1950 San Francisco movie Woman On The Run did a location shoot on this same boardwalk.


Then ...  The detectives take the fisherman to his house to interview the wife - they are seen here on the steps leading to both of the gabled houses; it isn't made clear which of them was meant to be the fisherman's place because the scene faded out at this point but CitySleuth opts for the upstairs unit of the smaller one, given his modest income.  This is 287A Union Street (map) just above the Calhoun Terrace cul-de-sac near the top of Telegraph Hill.

... and Now,  these historic houses (amongst the lucky few at the top of Telegraph Hill that narrowly escaped the 1906 fire) have since seen a number of changes.  The stairs have been redesigned, almost hiding the smaller gable from this angle, and the house with the taller gable, number 289, has gained height.  Again, coincidentally, these same houses also made an appearance in Woman On The Run.  The boxy apartments now on the corner of Calhoun Terrace were built on the site of the notorious bohemian Hoeffler compound, the revolving-door home to artists and writers in the early 20th century.


Then ...  Inside the house the wife swears up and down that nobody else had seen the gun before she pawned it, but concedes they have a 20 year old unemployed son living with them.  This scene was obviously filmed on a studio soundstage because the view from their window is from a completely different location.  Fortunately CitySleuth recognized it.

... and Now,   that gabled building is the Brocklebank Apartments at 1000 Mason Street on Nob Hill, famously the home of Kim Novak's mysterious Madeleine in the 1958 classic Vertigo.  Based on the direction and angle, this view must have been taken from the roof of the Bently Nob Hill apartments at 1360 Jones Street.  CitySleuth was once on that roof to match another rooftop shot from 1947's The Lady From Shanghai) but he got this close match from 1310 Jones on the same block.

... and Now,   in a reverse view this recent photo of Nob Hill taken from the Hilton Hotel at Portsmouth Square shows 1360 Jones (arrow at right) and the Brocklebank (arrow at left).  Back in 1950 when the movie was filmed 1360 Jones and its highrise neighbor at 1250 Jones - the taller one with the mast - punctuated the skyline as lone sentinels with no other tall buildings around them.


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