Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Portrait In Black - Rivera's Office

  Sheila is stressed out by the whole situation and asks her chauffeur Cobb (Ray Walston) to drive her to an appointment at Dr. Rivera's office.

Then ...  While heading east down the steep block of California Street between Jones and Taylor on Nob Hill (map), Cobb asks Sheila for a salary advance, telling her he is under pressure from creditors to pay off gambling debts.  Somewhat taken aback, she tells him she'll think about it.

... and Now,  in the same view today the Masonic Auditorium is still there over on the far left, as too is Grace Cathedral at far right.  Newer large buildings occupy the corners at Jones but the adjacent apartment buildings seen down the left side of California remain unchanged.


Then ...  They continue down California Street.  Below, Cobb approaches the Powell Street junction where two cable car lines cross.  Note the cone-roofed cable car control booth on the far right corner.  The corner building next to it was the Alta Casa Apartments - they were a featured location in the 1950 movie Woman On The Run.

... and Now,  the booth continues to control that intersection but the apartments have been demolished.  Way at the bottom of California where it intersects with Market Street is the Southern Pacific Building absent the huge S-P sign, visible in the Then image above, that used to proclaim from above it.  The sign partially visible at far left advertises the Fairmont Hotel's Tonga Room, offering exotic food and entertainment since 1945.

... in 1968 ...  Here's a capture from the 1968 movie Petulia that clearly shows the California - Powell cable car junction when the extensive Alta Casa Apartments were still there.  Did they burn down?  And why has that valuable lot not been built on since?  CitySleuth is curious to know.


Then ...  In the doctor's office Sheila tells Rivera of Cobb's predicament.  Could he be the author of the blackmail note?  He certainly has a motive.  On the other hand, perhaps Mason, who plays golf weekly with Cabot's previous doctor near to where the blackmail note was mailed, was the one?  The two lovers are becoming increasingly paranoid.

Then ...  The office was a studio set but it used window views taken from a rooftop on Telegraph Hill, thereby setting its virtual location.  In the view above we see Union Street climbing west up Russian Hill.  The white building at the top is the La Mirada apartments at 1100 Union and the line of trees across the middle is on Washington Square.  In another peek to Russian Hill, below, we see Filbert and Greenwich Streets.

... in 1958 ...  Now this is very interesting - take a look at the view from Midge's apartment in the movie Vertigo, released just two years earlier.  It's identical!  Clearly the same Vertigo background photo was re-used in this movie.  Midge's apartment building was at 296 Union Street but the interior was a studio set using this background view.  The five vertically inclined streets are, from left to right, Green, Union, Filbert, Greenwich and Lombard.

... and Now,  here's the same view today from near the same spot.

... and Now,  the movies' window view was most likely taken from the roof of this narrow 3-story white building, taking advantage of its clear view west, on Union Street near Montgomery (map).


  Rivera becomes convinced that Mason is the blackmailer and something has to be done -  "Sheila, Mason is more dangerous than a fox" ... He concocts a way to lure him into a trap.

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