Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Harold And Maude - Inside The Rail Car

    Maude lives in a railroad Pullman car parked near Oyster point in South San Francisco.  When Harold first steps inside he is amazed by what he sees.

Then...  The railcar is chock full of Maude's collectibles, a reflection of who she is.  A piano, sculptures large and small, plants, porcelains, pottery, paintings, decorative plates, lamp shades, a smiling corpulent Buddha, a hookah, books, empty picture frames, bric-a-brac of all kinds and much more.

... and Now,  the railcar used in the movie was  Western Pacific's lounge car number 653 (see the previous post for more information). The car is on public display at the Western Railway Museum located between Fairfield and Rio Vista, California (map). This 2015 photo (and the next one, both courtesy of Hunter Lohse of the Western Railway Museum) shows the car preserved in 1930s style.  The multi-paned art deco partitions are in the center of the car .  For the movie a faux fireplace, partially visible above, covered the door at the far end of the carriage.


Then...  In this view from the opposite direction Harold and Maude stand next to a piano beyond the sculpture.  There's a round dining table on this side of the central glass partitions and Maude's bed with peacock headboards is in the left foreground.

... and Now,  at the Railway Museum, the same view today.


Then...  Maude sits at the piano and treats Harold to an impromptu rendition of If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out. (Watch it here, or listen to Cat Stevens' version - he composed the song for the movie - here). 

... and Now,  Maude had a stained-glass window on the left side of the partition wall, above, but the original car has plain glass panels.


     In this scene by the fireplace at the bedroom end of the car she pauses damp-eyed while reminiscing about her husband Frederick, a doctor in Vienna.  A later glimpse of a tattooed number on her arm suggests she had been imprisoned in a concentration camp; perhaps Frederick was a Holocaust victim?  This might explain why Maude embraces life so passionately, and why she has no time for convention or authority.

    Oh, and in case you were wondering what that gadget is on the left? ... it's Maude's "olfactory banquet" ... a device that delivers an aromatic  experience to the user.  Watch the movie for a demonstration!


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