Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Filtering by Tag: Sausalito

Play It Again, Sam - On The Waterfront

Then ...  So far it's been three dates, three strikeouts from Linda and Dick's efforts to find a girlfriend for Allan.  Undeterred, Dick takes him to a waterfront restaurant to meet Julie, a girl at his office.  As they pull up the telephoto lens expands a ship berthed at a pier in the background.

... and Now,  this was filmed outside the Spinnaker restaurant at the end of Spinnaker Drive in Sausalito (map); across the water is the Sausalito Ferry Pier.  The ship was the Southern Pacific Railroads' Berkeley, one of the many ferries that plied the bay during the first half of the 20th century.  After retiring from service in 1958 it spent 12 years moored here operating as a gift shop, the Trade Fair.  Below is the pier today, viewed from the same spot, but the Berkeley is no longer there.

   Here's a vintage postcard of the ferry during its time in Sausalito.

    In 1973 the 1700 passenger ferryboat, whose proudest moments were spent carrying survivors across to Oakland after the 1906 earthquake, was towed to the Maritime Museum of San Diego.  There, lovingly restored, it continues to be on display to this day.


Then ...  But when they enter the restaurant, this is not the Spinnaker - it's the Trident at 558 Bridgeway in Sausalito (map - the Trident is arrowed in red and the Spinnaker in blue.  The ferry pier is equidistant between them).

... and Now,  there have been some changes over the years but the basic interior look and feel remains the same.


Then ...  Their view of the bay through floor-to-ceiling windows as they head to the back patio is expansive.  Note the decorative Japanese Torii gate outside at far left.

... and Now,  the windows have since been replaced and restyled.


Then ...  Dick spots Julie with friends on the patio and urges Allan, resisting strenuously, to meet her.  (Was the waitress in the diaphanous outfit hired straight from a red-light club on Broadway?)

... and Now,  the Torii gate is no longer there at the far end and the elevated section at near right is now hemmed in by railings.  You'll have to take CitySleuth at his word when he says that the spectacular patio view takes in Belvedere, Angel Island, Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge - east and west, the glorious San Francisco skyline and, from the far end, the hills of Sausalito.


    Allan nervously thumps the table causing lettuce and croutons to fly all over the place as he once again makes a fool of himself.  Surprisingly Julie, the one in red and white, agrees to a date.  (Stay tuned, this should be good).


Days of Wine and Roses - A Rocky Start

   Joe Clay (Jack Lemmon) works at a public relations agency.  One of his unofficial duties is to provide escorts for his clients.  The movie begins with Joe working the phone, rounding up girls for a party being held on a yacht on the bay.


Then ...  A cab pulls up alongside the bay and a young woman gets out.

... and Now,  this is the St Francis Yacht Club parking lot at the West Harbor in the Marina district (map).  The bridge needs no introduction.


Then ...  She makes her way towards a small boat berthed at the yacht club - in the background is a domed structure very familiar to San Franciscans.

... and Now,  it's the Palace of Fine Arts fronting Baker Street at the eastern edge of the Presidio (map), built in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific Exposition.  Fans of Vertigo may remember that Scottie and Judy were once there.


Then ...  Joe and the girls are waiting for her in the boat - she climbs aboard to a sharp dressing-down from Joe for not dressing up ...

"You're dressed wrong, it's supposed to be a cocktail dress ... something peek-a-boo!"

... and Now,  as they head out Fort Mason is straight ahead with Marina Boulevard alongside the harbor off to the right.


Then ...  Their tender pulls alongside the party yacht.

... and Now,  Citysleuth never could reconcile this location to the Bay Area.  He had asked Ann Brebner, the movie's location casting director, about it and she recalled that the yacht shoot was moved to Southern California because of poor weather in San Francisco. Reader Natalie commented (see below) that it looked like Newport Beach but it took a comment from Mr. Newport Beach to nail the precise spot.  This is the turning basin of Newport Harbor (map).  The Lido Isle is to the right and the trees at far right border the approach to the Lido bridge.  The recent photo was taken from the same spot at the Lido Marina Village.

    The yacht, built in 1927, was the 'Pioneer', so-named by owner George Washington Vanderbilt III.  When Citysleuth read that it was berthed in Newport Beach for most of the 1950s into the early 1960s he looked for it on aerial photos from that era.  Bingo!  Here it was in 1953 moored at the same spot as in the Then movie image above.

  Further confirmation was found in this clipping from a 1962 newspaper.


On the yacht Joe realizes that the underdressed woman isn't one of the escorts after all, she's Kirsten Arnesen (Lee Remick), the secretary of the client hosting the party.  He tries to make amends but she plays it cool.  They couldn't have gotten off to a rockier start.


Impact - "Meet me in Sausalito"

  Walter is looking forward to a trip to Tahoe with his wife Irene.  To save him returning to San Francisco that day from a meeting in San Rafael she suggests they meet up "in Sausalito ... there's a drugstore on the corner opposite the square".

Then ...  the camera pan gives us a good look at the drugstore, Rexall's, at 690 Bridgeway and El Portal Street, below the Hotel Sausalito and close by the Sausalito ferry terminal (map).

... and Now,  the Mission-Revival styled Sausalito Hotel is still there, in fact, since 1915.  One of the pair of elephant statues alongside the compact Vina Del Mar park can be seen to the left - brought there in 1915 from San Francisco's Panama-Pacific Exposition.


Then ...  Walter pulls up in his Packard roadster and crosses over to the drugstore to wait for Irene.

... and Now,  more than 60 years on it's no surprise that all of the stores' tenants have changed.  The drugstore is now a Fine Arts gallery.


Then ...  Irene doesn't show up so Walter goes into the store and calls her. 

... and Now,  the phone scene was filmed in a studio with a background photo of the San Francisco skyline across the bay.  Here's the same skyline today taken just steps from the store.  It spans Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill at far left to the Marina Green at far right where the lone highrise on the skyline is the apartment building at 2500 Steiner at Jackson.


  Irene (Helen Walker) tells him she can't join him because of a toothache but asks him to go anyway and take along her cousin Jim who needs a ride across country.  Walter hasn't met Jim but, because it's she who must be obeyed, he agrees.


Then ...  'Cousin Jim' Torrence (Tony Barrett) is really Irene's lover so we fear for the worst when he shows up to meet Walter, below, outside the store at the edge of the bay.  (CitySleuth's mind boggles - how can Irene, who has everything in Walter ... a doting husband ... the trappings of wealth, fall for a loser like this?  Welcome to the wonderful world of noir!)

... and Now,  the imposing hoist is gone and instead we see the ferry docking pier.  The background, as above, shows Belvedere on the left and Angel Island on the right.


Then ...  Walter and Torrence exit El Portal Street and begin the drive east.  The stores opposite include a bank on the right at 715 Bridgeway and that's a clock (a closer look is shown below) hanging from the bank's vertical sign.

... and Now,  the traffic on El Portal now flows the other way and that building still houses a bank, Wells Fargo.




Then ...  Here's a closer look at the bank's clock outside 715 Bridgeway.  Note the pair of globe light fixtures below it ...

... and Now, ... there are still globe fixtures on either side of the stairway but the bank sign has been replaced by a smaller Wells Fargo sign and the clock is gone.

The Lady From Shanghai - Two Murders

  O'Hara has signed the 'confession' for Grisby's fake murder believing that he can't be convicted because Grisby will have disappeared from view.  No body, no conviction.  They are ready to stage the murder but the event is bookmarked by two real murders.

  Bannister's assistant Broome has overheard some of the plotting - concluding that Grisby is about to kill his boss -  but when he threatens blackmail Grisby without hesitation pulls a gun and fires.


Then ...  O'Hara, unaware of Broome's shooting, returns with Grisby to the Walhalla bar (at 201 Bridgeway in Sausalito, described previously here) and fires off a few shots to catch people's attention while Grisby slips away.

... and Now,  the building is still there but has been widened and extended out closer to the boardwalk.


Then ...  while O'Hara is attracting a startled crowd Grisby jumps unseen into a motor boat and heads past the anchored Circe towards the glittering San Francisco shore.  Reader Wallace Berry has pointed out that this boat wasn't the Zaca (used for the Acapulco scenes), but a stand-in, the White Cloud.

... and Now,  the same skyline, though far more developed, is as beautiful as ever - the Bay Bridge, as strings of pearls, only enhances the scene.  A few skeletal remains are all that is left of the pier.


Then ...  Grisby completes the crossing and arrives at a marina.

... and Now,  this is the West Harbor in the San Francisco Marina district, in front of the St. Francis Yacht Club (map).  Fort Mason is In the background at left and Russian Hill at right.  (Incidentally, the 1951 movie The House On Telegraph Hill featured the same pier - see it here).


Then ...  O'Hara phones Elsa only to reach the mortally wounded Broome whose gasping last words tell him Grisby is on his way to kill his law partner (Bannister), planning on pinning the murder on O'Hara.  O'Hara frantically drives over the Golden Gate Bridge to Bannister's office in San Francisco.

... and Now,  CitySleuth snapped this matching shot at the south end of the bridge from a location off limits to pedestrians (only cyclists can use this side) for which he was rebuked by the authorities.  If you look carefully you can see the recent addition of a safety railing, elegantly done on each side, between the pedestrians/bikers and road traffic.


Then ...  The camera pivots, following the car, and we see the Round House on the right, opened as a restaurant for passing motorists in 1938, one year after the bridge was inaugurated.  In the distance just left of center is the dome of the Palace of Fine Arts and Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill is discernible at far left.

... and Now,  the Round House is still there, now a gift shop for the ubiquitous visitors.


Then ...  O'Hara arrives at Bannister's office and finds the police are out front responding to yet another murder.  But, surprise, it's Grisby who has been shot!  The police find the confession on O'Hara and promptly arrest him.

   Wouldn't you know it, this scene was filmed on the Columbia Ranch, the original back lot for Columbia Pictures, in Burbank (map).  Below is an image from a 1949 Batman and Robin TV episode filmed at the ranch showing the same building, known as the Kirby Building.  It was subsequently destroyed in a devastating 1974 fire but the ranch is still operational, now called the Warner Ranch.


  Just to dot the i's, below is the Columbia Ranch layout as it was when the movie was filmed, with the Kirby Building corner shown arrowed.  The two views above look across New York Street with Brownstone Street teeing in on the right.  (CitySleuth is indebted to the excellent Columbia Ranch website for these images).

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