Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The House Across The Bay - Brenda Skips Town

    Larwitt's lawyer Slant arrives in San Francisco and asks Brenda to stop by his hotel.  He delivers bad news - the money Larwitt set aside for her has run out.  No more fashionista outfits, at least until after her husband serves out his sentence.


Then ...  He has also discovered that she is seeing Tim Nolan and, after again professing his love for her, implies he'll tell Larwitt if she doesn't spend time with him.  When she refuses he gestures out the window towards Alcatraz and threatens to tell Larwitt that it was she who put the IRS onto him.  But she brushes him off anyway.  Belvedere Island is to the left of Alcatraz and that's the original Pier 39 in the foreground at center.

... and Now,  Slant's hotel in the movie, the Ritz Curson, was fictional - this scene was filmed on a studio soundstage using for the window view a backdrop from a photo taken at the parking circle at the base of Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill (map).  There's now a sprawling tourist replacement at Pier 39 but, as seen below, it's not visible from the same place because of encircling trees.  This view is at the one spot where en pointe visitors can just glimpse Alcatraz and Belvedere.


Then ...  Brenda worries that Tim will be dragged in so she leaves San Francisco hoping he'll give up on her.  But he tracks down her friend Mary, she works at a hairdresser's, and finds out that she has taken a job singing in a nightclub in Alameda.  As they talk a cable car climbs by outside the window and we see a store across the street, H. L. Ladd, and unique street-lamp globes; these three clues led CitySleuth to the location ...

    Here's an ad for H.L. Ladd from the  1927 San Francisco Blue Book and Club Directory - it was a pharmacy at 343 Powell Street and was still at that location when the movie was filmed in 1940.

... and Now,  here's today's matching photo.  343, now the boutique Cop Copine, is next to the corner boutique, Goyard.  That same row of lamp globes still stylishly traverse the whole block in front of the hotel.  Cable cars still stop here; the line of tourists on the street island are waiting for the next one.

... a vintage photo ... the arrow in this 1928 image points out the H.L. Ladd pharmacy.  But wait ... that's Union Square opposite, there never was any store there, so the scene at the hairdresser's must have been on a studio soundstage with the location implied using video filmed at the corner of the square (map).  Now we know.

... and Now,  the same view, taken from the top floor of Saks Fifth Avenue.  Those folks on the island will be lucky if they manage to get on the already packed cable car. (CitySleuth has heard that the cable car operators refer to this stop, the first one from the busy Powell Street turnaround,  as 'Fantasy Island' because the cable cars are usually jam-packed).


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