Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Filtering by Tag: Russian Hill

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers - Cab ride

Then … The pod mob continues to chase Matthew and Elizabeth, here passing Beppino’s, a Ristorante and Bar inside the PSA San Francisco Hotel at 1231 Market near 8th Street (map).

… and Now, the hotel is now the Hotel Whitcomb. Beppino’s is long gone; its entrance too, having been closed off with a convincing match to the exterior facade.

 

Then … We next see them walking on Broadway at Columbus in the North Beach red light district having apparently shaken off their pursuers. The brick arches behind them belong to the Condor Club (map), notorious since the 1960s for being the first club in the nation to feature topless (and later, bottomless) entertainment by their star stripper Carol Doda.

… and Now, the brightly back-lit posters above belonged to the adjacent topless club, Big Al’s. It segued over the years into an adult bookstore then a grocery store and finally a smoke shop before closing down. It has been shuttered for years.

CitySleuth would be remiss not to let us sneak a peek at why Ms. Doda was smirkily dubbed “the new Twin Peaks of San Francisco”. Forty four injections of silicone reportedly boosted her reputation.

 

Then … A short way along the block they pass the Roaring 20s club then get into a cab parked alongside the Hungry I club (for some reason its sign had been sanitized by masking the word ‘NUDE’).

… and Now, the Hungry I was, and still is, on the corner of Romolo Place, a steep alley that heralds the slopes of Telegraph Hill. (But don’t confuse it with the historic 1950s beat/folk era Hungry I club which used to be located in the basement of the International Hotel two blocks away at 599 Jackson Street). After all these years the Roaring 20s too is still there; it too had a predecessor - Varni’s Roaring 20s at 807 Montgomery Street.

 

As the cab pulls away take a look at who’s driving, in a cameo role. It’s Don Siegel who was the director of the original 1956 version of this movie. Siegel directed many other movies including the 1971 San Francisco classic Dirty Harry, starring Clint Eastwood.

 

Then … On their way through a tunnel the cabbie is unusually curious about where they are going. He wants to know why and the simultaneous appearance of a pair of motorcycle cops makes them fear that they are in the hands of pod people.

… and Now, this is the Robert C. Levy, aka Broadway, Tunnel (map), an underground link between Larkin and Powell Streets in the Russian Hill neighborhood. Built in 1952, it has aged well over the years. CitySleuth has driven through this tunnel dozens of times but only occasionally has he seen a pedestrian on the noisy six-block-long walkway on the right.

 

Then … When the cab stops at a police roadblock they slip out and run off. The overpass in the background has an ‘early freeway’ look which may have been upgraded or demolished today - CitySleuth had a hard time finding it.

… and Now, but reader Notcom (see comments below) identified it as the Essex Street on-ramp leading to eastbound I-80 on Harrison Street (map). The overpass at right crossing Harrison is the Fremont/Folsom exit from westbound I-80. Upgrades have since changed this exit structure significantly. The commercial building at left wasn’t built until 1982, after the movie scene was filmed.

 
 

Play It Again, Sam - They Do It

With husband Dick out of town Linda visits Allan who, with constant prompting from his imaginary hero Humphrey Bogart, makes his move.

Bogart: “Now move closer to her”.

Allan: “How close?”

Bogart: “The length of your lips”.

It works. Just like Rick and Ilsa in ‘Casablanca’ they finally embrace and share a long passionate kiss, professing their love for each other.

 

Then, oh my! They do it.

For Bogart fans curious about the poster behind them, this advertises the 1942 movie ‘Across The Pacific’, co-starring Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet. Here’s a look at a lobby card (with slightly different credits) that shows the whole image …

Then … We had seen the poster in an earlier scene in Allan’s bedroom, previously described here.

… and Now, here’s the same bedroom recently photographed by CitySleuth at a realtor’s open house at 1212 Lombard Street in Russian Hill.

 

The next morning they travel back to Linda’s home on one of San Francisco’s iconic cable cars. In voiceover they talk about how they should break the news to Dick.

Then … The camera zooms out, revealing where this was filmed …

… and Now, it’s the Powell-Hyde line looking south along Hyde from Bay Street in Russian Hill (map). Patience rewarded CitySleuth when a cable car finally came along to allow a matching shot. The cars have been renumbered since the movie was filmed … # 517 above became car 17 in 1973: the one below, # 18, used to be car 518.

 

Play It Again, Sam - Allan's Apartment, Interior

    A previous post identified Allan's apartment as 15 Fresno Street in North Beach.  Here he is outside the front door with his best friend Dick.

Then ...  Later in the movie Dick and his wife Linda (Diane Keaton) visit Allan; she is seen here just inside his front entrance.  But the apartment's interior scenes were filmed elsewhere.  (Note the continuity goof - the front door's letter box is at a different height).

... and Now,  this is 1212 Lombard Street in Russian Hill, a block from the city's famous Crooked Street (map).  It's the first floor flat of a luxury two flat property, addressed 1210 and 1212 Lombard, that fortunately for CitySleuth was on the market (asking price $5.8M) when he visited, allowing him to take photos during an open house.  1212 has a different front door now.

 

Then ...   To say that Allan is down on himself after his rejection/divorce is an understatement.  Dick and Linda try to help by lining up a series of blind dates for him.  This view across the North Bay from the living room captures the incongruously bulky Fontana Towers condominiums whose construction in 1962 on the site of an old pasta factory spawned a successful campaign by concerned neighbors for a 40 foot height limit for future projects near the waterfront.  A dollar short and a day late.

... and Now, here are those same towers today.  On the left side of the balcony a mirrored wall now extends out a few feet and the railing has been replaced to meet evolving safety standards.

 

Then ...   The imminent arrival of the first date, Sharon, prompts him to douse himself in deodorant; for good measure he adds baby powder and after-shave.

... and Now, the bathroom has since been remodeled; a shower has replaced the tiny corner sink.

 

    As he gets ready in the bedroom his imagination conjures an appearance by his hero Humphrey Bogart for some sage advise on how to handle women.  But first Bogie chastises him ... "For Christ's sake kid, you're gonna smell like a French cat-house ... it's her job to smell nice for you".

 

Then ...  Bogie stresses the importance of not being nervous.  "And whatever you do don't tell her you don't drink, she'll think you're a boy scout".  

... and Now, the bedroom is accessed via the door to the side of the entrance seen in the first Then and Now photos in this post.  The bathroom door in the corner, in an unusual traffic pattern, links through its shower, making a right turn into the bathroom shown above.  Note too the modified fireplace.

 

Then ...  His apartment is a jumbled mess with movie lobby cards and half sheet and one sheet posters  plastered all over the walls. After all, he is a movie nut.  He charges around in a tizzy clearing up right before she arrives.

... and Now, in this view looking away from the living room's picture windows towards the front door at the far end we see that the fireplace on the left is unchanged but over on the right a staircase leading to the lower level has since been added.  The closed door right of center leads into the bathroom.

 

    Sharon (Jennifer Salt) is gobsmacked and Dick and Linda shrink in embarrassment as Allan makes a fool of himself trying to come across as irresistibly macho.

 

Fog Over Frisco - A Cryptic Telegram

    We learned in the prior post that Arlene has been murdered but Val is unaware.  When she receives a telegram signed by Arlene asking for help at the Butcher Town bridge she rushes to meet her.

... a vintage photo ...  Butchertown really did exist in San Francisco.  It was an area in the Bayview neighborhood that housed all of the city's animal slaughterhouses and associated businesses.  The photo below was taken at a slaughterhouse at 3rd and Evans Avenue (map) in 1921.  Butchertown's prime (excuse the pun) was in the late 1800s through 1906 but it wasn't until 1971 that its last slaughterhouse finally closed.

 

Then ...  Val, driving Arlene's car, doesn't know that her sister's lifeless body is stuffed into the trunk.  She heads down a steep hill on her way to the bridge. 

... a vintage photo ...  but the shot above was filmed not in San Francisco; this is Bunker Hill, Los Angeles.  Below is a 1948 image of the same street, viewed south towards Olive St. from Grand Avenue down 2nd St. (map).  CitySleuth recognized it from a couple of movies he has already covered:  1952's Sudden Fear, where Gloria Grahame meets a sudden end, and 1962's Days Of Wine And Roses where Lee Remick visits Jack Lemmon in the Chaspeak Apartments at 512 W. 2nd, the Victorian on the far right.

... and Now,  this location looks completely different today after the Bunker Hill neighborhood was razed in the 1950s and 60s.  Nostalgists like CitySleuth are grateful that the unique character of the old neighborhood can still be experienced in several old movies.

 

Then ...  Val's reporter friend Tony who had found Arlene's body hears of the telegram and commandeers a Yellow Cab to rush to Butchertown bridge.  But now we are back in San Francisco as the cab heads down Hyde Street...

... and Now,  with Alcatraz in the distance this view down Hyde was filmed from Lombard (map).  Turning 90 degrees to the right would have revealed Lombard's famous crooked street, constructed 12 years before the movie was filmed.  Better had they sent the cab down there!

 

Then ...  The cab continues down Hyde, seen here from Beach Street.  The tall building at the top of the hill is the View Tower Apartments at 2238 Hyde, built in 1928.  Note the vertical garage sign at far right...

... and Now,  in the same view today a cable car waits its turn until a departing one at the Hyde Street Pier terminus, just off the right side, makes room for it.  The blue and red store up the block on the right occupies the site of the garage mentioned above...

    ... it's Blazing Saddles, a bike rental store at 2715 Hyde Street.  If you peer long enough at the Then image above, as CitySleuth would, you can see that this building and the adjacent one next to it uphill appear little changed for almost a century since being built in 1925.

 

Then ...  Val's father, alerted to Arlene's murder by the reporter, joins the frantic rush down Hyde Street in his limousine, filmed here from Francisco Street.

... and Now,  back in the 1930s there were more cable car lines than nowadays but this, the Powell/Hyde line, is one of the survivors. 

 

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