Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The Conversation - Payday At The Director's Office

  Stett, the Director's assistant, phones Caul and confirms he has the tapes.  He tells Caul to come to the office for his fee.

Then ...  Caul makes his way along a corridor at One Embarcadero Center (described here earlier).  The camera glimpses a building through the corridor window with other construction activity behind it.

and Now ...  This is the 33-story 100 Pine Center office building, barely completed when the movie was filmed.  It is now surrounded by many more Financial District high-rises built during the construction bonanza starting in the 1960s.  The shot was filmed high up on the south side of One Embarcadero Center.


Then ...  Citing leaseholder privacy the Center's owners were reluctant to allow CitySleuth to search out the office so he will use clues from its window views to deduce the specific location.  From inside the office this view looks northeast across Treasure Island to the East Bay hills.

and Now ...  using the amazing Google Earth app we can hover above One Embarcadero to see the same view today, indicated by the arrow.  The above view could only be seen from a north or east facing window from One Embarcadero, the only one of the Center's four high-rises built at that time (clue # 1).


Then ...  Stett and the Director (Robert Duvall, in an uncredited cameo role) are listening to the tapes, the confirmation of his wife's affair making the Director both agitated and angry.  From here there's a window view looking west between Sacramento and Clay towards the Fairmont Hotel Tower (with the flag) and the tall, narrow 1250 Jones apartments to the right.

and Now ...  One Embarcadero is at center in the lower foreground and the yellow arrow indicates its west view; the white arrows point out those two buildings mentioned above.  Armed with this clue # 2 we surmise that the Director's office must have windows facing west and north.


Then ...  The camera has panned to the left of the movie frame  above (the orange artwork is the link between these two interior shots); it shows Caul taking his money and we see there's a corner part to the office with windows looking out to the south and west.  Interestingly the model of One Embarcadero Center in the corner coupled with another model of the site area on the table in the interior shot above suggests the Director is the developer of the Center.

and Now ...  here's that same view today, far more cluttered.  This clue # 3 then tells us this office must have windows facing north, west and also south.  Only a small number of offices at One Embarcadero can boast of this but ... which of those is it?


    This recent photo of the west side of One Embarcadero Center reveals that only the top three floors of the two tallest columns have windows facing north + west + south.  Now refer back to the Then image (three above) that looks out from a north facing window across Treasure Island.  It offers clue # 4 - see the narrow deck outside the windows?  As viewed from the third office it appears to be at the rooftop of the column of offices on the far left in the photo below.  Too, clue # 5, in the south view above there appears to be a concrete detail outside the window; it looks like the rooftop corner of the office column next to it.  So the location is the 41st floor and the office is suite 4150, outlined below; the current lessee is Kokka & Backus, an I.P. law firm.


Then ...  Our guilt-stricken protagonist takes the packet of money but disgustedly flings it across the lawn in front of the Alcoa Building across Clay Street from One Embarcadero Center (map).  But second thoughts give him pause ...

and Now ...  note the seismic bracing at ground level, a fairly recent addition.


Then ...  Greed trumps guilt and he picks up the money.  The building's entrance has its name on it - The Alcoa Building.

and Now ...   there's since been a name change - it's now One Maritime Plaza.  The seismic upgrade continues around the perimeter, advisable perhaps in this shake-prone city but detracting from the building's original levitated appearance.


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