Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The House On Telegraph Hill (1951)

The Movie

    The House On Telegraph Hill, based on the book 'The Frightened Child' by Dana Lyon, was released in May, 1951.  Deception, mystery and a murder plot unfold amongst mid-century San Francisco locations (filmed in 1950).  The movie's leading man and woman Richard Basehart and Italian actress Valentina Cortese became romantically involved during filming and married soon afterwards. This was Valentina Cortese's second movie set in San Francisco following the 1949 Thieves' Highway.  Director Robert Wise crafted a thoroughly enjoyable movie and for good measure threw in a hair-raising runaway car scene down the vertiginous streets of Telegraph Hill.  Wise went on to achieve great success directing movies such as I Want To Live, West Side Story and The Sound Of Music. 

The Story

    Victoria Kovelska (Valentina Cortese), a Polish survivor of a WW II concentration camp, assumes the identity of fellow inmate Karin Dernakova after she died, just before liberation.  She emigrates to San Francisco by way of New York to join Karin's son Chris who is too young to recognize the deception.  Chris has just inherited his aunt's considerable estate and Victoria's life seems rosy when she marries his guardian Alan Spender (Richard Basehart).  But her good fortune begins to disintegrate when she realizes her new husband has an agenda of his own.  She turns to the sympathetic Marc Bennett (William Lundigan), a friend of Alan's, for help ...

    (Watch the trailer)

  The Locations

  1. City Panorama   Vista from Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill
  2. From Belsen To New York City   Downtown Manhattan View of the Singer Building and Woolworth Building --- Patio view of Queensboro Bridge overlooking Sutton Place, Manhattan
  3. Arrival In San Francisco   Union Station, Los Angeles --- Twin Peaks Vista, San Francisco
  4. The House   Julius Castle, 1541 Montgomery Street, Telegraph Hill
  5. The Garden   Base of Coit Tower, Pioneer Park, Telegraph Hill
  6. Corner Store   Speedy's, 301 Union Street at Montgomery, Telegraph Hill
  7. Garden Shed: A Close Call   View north from the parking lot at Pioneer Park  ---  View down to the Lombard/Montgomery junction from the parking lot at Pioneer Park
  8. Runaway Car   Montgomery from Greenwich to Filbert  ---  Telegraph Hill Blvd  --- Lombard Street near Grant  ---  Chestnut at Leavenworth  ---  Union at Calhoun  ---  Montgomery cul-de-sac at Union
  9. Crash Site   Montgomery Street at Montague Place, Telegraph Hill
  10. Larry's Garage   Verdi Place, off Montgomery Street between Broadway and Pacific, Jackson Square
  11. Marc Bennett's Office   Crocker Building (now the Aetna Building), One Post Street at Market
  12. Yacht Harbor   West Harbor, Marina Boulevard, Marina
  13. Denouement   Twentieth Century Fox Studios, Century City, Los Angeles

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