Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The Penalty - Dr. Ferris, Famous Surgeon

Then ...  Dr. Ferris has moved on from the shameful malpractice and cover-up of his early days - Blizzard's double amputation - and has become the most famous surgeon in his field.  He works at a hospital whose elevated entrance accessed by symmetrical curved stairways is seen here through elaborately wrought metal gates.

    This was St. Mary's Hospital on the Hayes Street block between Stanyan and Shrader Streets in the Northern Panhandle neighborhood (map).  Here's a contemporary image of  the hospital as it looked when the movie was filmed.  The U-shaped building bordered a manicured garden.

... and Now,  the original is gone but a hospital still occupies the site - the rebuilt St. Mary's Medical Center.  This part of the new hospital viewed from the same spot was built within the garden area in the 1960s.


    Ferris, resplendently sartorial, descends the curved stairway with his assistant, Dr. Wilmot Allen (Kenneth Harlan).  Note the building's fine craftsmanship: ornate masonry work around the entrance, arched windows, elegant marble steps.  By comparison the current hospital buildings may best be described as functional but architecturally blah.

    The front gates and the curved stairways are clearly visible in this vintage image.  The hospital opened in 1911 but its Sisters Of Mercy origins date back to the 1850s.

    By 1940 St. Mary's still looked the same but the entrance stairways had been reworked.

... and Now,  viewed from street level across Hayes, the only surviving feature is the ramped side road paralleling Shrader Street on the right.  The main building at the rear was completed in 1974.


   Ferris climbs into his waiting car little suspecting that his every move is being monitored for Blizzard by one of his spies, the chauffeur.  Blizzard wants revenge.


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