Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Impact - Desperately Seeking Su Lin - 2

  Marsha despairs at Walter's trial as the prosecution builds up a compelling case.  Was this a studio set or were the courtroom scenes filmed in one of the Hall of Justice's actual courtrooms at 750 Kearny Street?  CitySleuth cannot find a confirming vintage photograph that matches it (unlike the courtroom used in The Lady From Shanghai, filmed two years earlier, similar in layout to this one but not the same.  See it and its matching photo here).

 

  Marsha suddenly spots the missing Su Lin, who may be able to help with his defense but is reluctant to do so, sitting in the courtroom.  Alarmed at being recognized, Su Lin hastily takes off closely pursued by Marsha.

 

Then ...  Su Lin pushes through the crowd blocking the courtroom exit where the sign outside the room reads 'Superior Court Dept. No. 11'.  Through the window we can see a giant Shasta billboard on the rear wall of a building labelled the Sentinel Building.

... in 1961 ...  this vintage photo of the entrance to Superior Court Dept. 11 taken in the old Hall of Justice 12 years after the movie was released has many matching features with the movie view above such as the same sign, the wall columns and the molding details.  It appears to be a different doorway however because it isn't next to to the end of the corridor.  CitySleuth believes that the corridor scene above was filmed at the north end of the Hall of Justice.

 

... in 1961 ...  Check out this vintage photo of a Hall of Justice office - it looks out to the rear of the Sentinel Building, which was two blocks to the north, a confirmation that the 'Then' scene above was indeed a location shoot.  By that time though there was no billboard on the building's rear wall.  Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill can also be seen in this view.

... circa 1950s ...   here's the Sentinel Building, an architectural icon in North Beach since 1907, viewed from its front with the Hall of Justice, arrowed, two blocks down Kearny Street.  There was an unimpeded view between the two buildings then.

... and Now,  the building, also known as the Columbus Tower, is still there today on Columbus at Kearny (map).  In this recent photo we see it flanked by San Francisco's two tallest buildings, the Transamerica Pyramid on the left and the Bank of America building in the background at right.  The Hall of Justice is no longer there; it was demolished in the 1960s.

 

Then ...  Su Lin rushes out of the main entrance, hoping to catch a passing cab.

... in 1961 ...  we see the same entrance in this vintage photo of the Hall of Justice, taken a few years before its demolition.  The Portsmouth Square plaza across Kearny was fenced off at that time (just visible at lower right) for construction of an underground garage.

... and Now,  the courthouse was subsequently replaced with a Holiday Inn hotel which became today's Hilton San Francisco Financial District.  Below is the matching entrance photo with the building at far right across Merchant street being the lone matching survivor.

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