Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The Laughing Policeman - Carnage

Then ...  The 14-Mission bus approaches, heading north on Mission Street; it has just crossed  Army Street and is about to overtake the sedan in the foreground whose driver is lying in wait (map).  At far right is a corner Doggie Diner at 3100 Mission and beyond that a Sears Roebuck store at 3120 Mission.  On the left at 3101 Mission the corner building housed the Sears Catalog Department.

... and Now,  Army Street was renamed Cesar Chavez Street in 1990. The Sears building is still there on Mission, that's its grey tower at far right, but the store has closed - it now houses a career development office on the ground floor and various businesses populate the offices above. The Doggie Diner the Sears Catalog building opposite have since been demolished and replaced.

... in 1975 ...  here's a contemporaneous photo with a daytime view of the Sears Roebuck store and the Doggie Diner.

 

Then ...  In the next shot - it's just a bock from the previous one - we see the bus being overtaken by the sedan.  It pulls over and the driver gets out and boards the bus when it stops at the curb on the left.

... and Now,  what's interesting about this location is that the bus is off route because this is 26th Street with Mission crossing in the background (map) - the real 14-Mission bus of course would cross 26th as it passes along Mission.  There is indeed a bus stop here but it's for the 27-Bryant.  The Auto-Torium parts store, above at 2999 Mission, is now one of four local Casa Guadalupe restaurants, riotously muraled at right.

 

Then ...  The bus continues on; you will be forgiven if the store signs in Chinese and oriental-styled street lamps make you think this is Chinatown ...

... and Now,  ... because that's exactly where this is, facing east on Clay Street approaching Grant Avenue (map).  Typical of Chinatown, it's essentially unchanged.  This by the way is way off the real 14-Mission route.

 

    As the bus proceeds down Clay the mystery passenger methodically assembles an automatic weapon.  He suddenly stands up and with a hail of bullets methodically and mercilessly shoots everybody on board including the driver.  Total, shocking carnage.

 

Then ...  With the driver slumped over the wheel the bus swerves and comes to a halt after taking out the  Brenham Place street sign on the corner of Portsmouth Square (map).  The gunman calmly alights and walks away.

... and Now,  Brenham Place ran along the west side of Portsmouth Square and is now Walter U Lum Place, renamed in 1985 in honor of a local advocate for Chinese-American rights.

 

    The first responders to the massacre include Sgt Jake Martin of the SFPD (Walter Matthau).  He is shocked to find his partner Dave Evans, who had called in sick a few days earlier, amongst the victims.  He and Inspector Leo Larsen (Bruce Dern) sit down at the scene and try to make sense of it all.

 

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