Dark Passage - Irene's Patio
Then ... Irene and Parry, bandaged from his facial surgery, have a cozy dinner in her apartment on a rainy night. This view is taken from her patio (but it was filmed on a studio set).
... and Now, the real patio at the back of apartment 10, 1360 Montgomery. Note the original art deco railing with it's integral plant-pot holders, and look here to see this railing recreated on the studio interior set.
Then ... The camera swings out from the patio to reveal a view of some cottages, one of them with a distinctive scalloped gable, obviously a background photograph used in the studio to set the location.
This is not the actual view from the apartment patio, which faces east. So, where was this photo taken? Finding it was fun and fell into place when I came across this undated archival photograph (below) of two cottages on the steep Filbert steps, No. 228 (on the left) and No. 226 Filbert. These are the same cottages!
But wait a minute, the slope is wrong and doesn't match the movie view... but, hang on, if the photo is reversed (below), we have a match! Compare it to the movie view two pictures above.
OK, we've figured that out, but where was the movie photograph taken from? It turns out it was taken, facing north looking across the Filbert Steps, from a rear balcony of 40 Alta Street, a cul-de-sac close to 1360 Montgomery (map). That photo was then reversed and used in the movie. Below left is a recent photo taken from close by (a little higher up, on apartment 3's balcony) - and next to it the image reversed. Comparing with the Then image above, the scalloped gable is still there and the house with the green roof can also be seen (click the image to enlarge).
... and Now
from the balcony of Apt 3, 40 Alta St The same image reversed