Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Walk A Crooked Mile - Bus Ride

The search for the FBI agent’s killer is on. When O’Hara hears that Anton Radchek, a communist sympathizer seen hanging around Lakeview, has bought a bus ticket to San Francisco, he decides to tail him there hoping he might lead him to bigger fish.

Then … The bus approaches San Francisco, interestingly seen here on Yerba Buena Island looking down on the western span of the Bay Bridge (map). Was there a bus service back in the 1940s from Southern California to San Francisco that traveled via Oakland with a stop on Yerba Buena Island? Or was this simply directorial artifice to include a scenic city approach in the movie?

… and Now, viewed from that same stretch of road. The new Salesforce Tower at far right, over 1000 feet tall, now dominates the San Francisco skyline.


Then … They take the access road onto the bridge towards San Francisco. Just 12 years old when this was filmed, the bridge at that time had two-way auto traffic on the upper deck while autos and trains shared the lower deck.

… and Now, the bridge today is auto only: the upper deck is one-way west and the lower deck one-way east.

Here’s a vintage photo of the one of the trains on the lower deck. They were part of the Key System, a privately owned company. The rail service was discontinued in 1958.

In this 1946 photo of a State Belt Railroad diesel train, one of many used to shuttle goods along the Embarcadero, a lower deck train is seen passing by on the bridge.


Then … Back to the story - looking out from the bus we see part of Yerba Buena and Treasure Island on the right with Angel Island on the left.

… and Now, it’s just the same 70 years later.


Then … As they approach the city shoreline O’Hara has a view of piers aligned along the Embarcadero as well as Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill. The Ferry Building is just out of view beyond the left side of the image.

… and Now, these piers to the north of the Ferry Building, the odd-numbered ones, are mostly still there - unlike their even-numbered counterparts to the south, many of which have not survived.

2 - bridge 4 now.png

Then … The bus heads to the terminal via the first San Francisco exit, signposted to Fifth and First Streets. (CitySleuth is curious as to the purpose of that kiosk).

… and Now, the same exit today has been rebuilt and widened and is now signposted to Fremont and Folsom Streets.


From the bus terminal the suspect takes a cab to a rooming house in an older section of the city (to be revealed in the next post).


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