Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The Man Who Cheated Himself - Rooftop Chase

Then ...  The shooting suspect flees from the rear of the 322 Club ( see previous location) closely chased by detectives Ed and Andy Cullen.  By way of the power pole he climbs to a fire escape ladder leading to the roof.

... and Now,  this is in Wentworth Place in Chinatown, looking south to Washington (map), largely unchanged other than newer lampposts.

 

Then ...  Viewed in the opposite direction passers-by watch as Andy climbs in pursuit of the suspect.

... and Now,  with Jackson Street crossing at the end of the narrow street it's hard to know if this is 1950 or 2013.  Don't you just love Chinatown!

 

Then ...  But as Andy steps onto the roof we are back in Telegraph Hill!  Note the semi-circular tiled bay window roof on the house across the street ...

... and Now,  here's that same house, it's at 330 - 334 Union Street.  The Russian Hill skyline is in the distance.

... and Now,  across the street the arrow shows the ladder that Andy used, above - it's the fire escape of the corner building complex that housed the old Speedy's Grocery store, now Acre/SF (map).  The doorway next to the store was the entrance to the 322 Club as described in the previous location.  Montgomery Street is on the left.

 

Then ...  The rooftop chase reveals some cross-city views, this one towards Nob Hill.  On the skyline we see, from left to right, the Brocklebank Apartments (used as Madeleine's home in Vertigo), the partially built Grace Cathedral - then with only one tower, the 1250 Jones Street Apartments dead center and the Bently Nob Hill Apartments at 1360 Jones.

... and Now,  there are many more buildings dotting the skyline these days but those mentioned above are still there.  The completed Grace Cathedral has twin towers; from the vantage point below they are hidden by the dark grey newer building but we can see its spire, yet to be built in the view above.  Today 1250 Jones is even more recognizable by its radio mast.

 

Then ...  The suspect desperately looks for a way down ... the view past him follows Montgomery Street to the south.  The white building partially visible on the left is the Appraisers building at 630 Sansome Street.  Note that tiled hexagonal roof (arrowed) ...

... and Now,  believe it or not, this is the same view down Montgomery - the financial district became the most developed part of the city.

... and Now,  the tiled roof arrowed in the Then image above is at 1235 Montgomery (left arrow, below) and the suspect was on the roof of number 1255 (right arrow).  1255 has been remodeled since then and the original roof was a little lower.  The contemporary white building in the center wasn't there in 1950, it was a vacant lot.

 

Then ...  It's supposedly the same roof but this shot cuts to a different location, obviously chosen because of three convenient level changes down to the street allowing for an easy (for the agile that is) descent.

... and Now,  he was on the rooftop of 23 - 25 Castle Street, a narrow alley between Union and Green just a half block from where the preceding rooftop shot was filmed (map).  This nicely framed view from Green is enhanced by the nearby Coit Tower.

 

  The pursuing Andy looks on as his brother Ed nabs the suspect right after he climbs down.  They've caught the liquor store killer but Ed's lame attempt to blame his lover's husband's murder on him (remember, it was the same gun) doesn't fit the known facts.

7 rooftop chase 7 alt.jpg
 

Click in this box to search this site ...