Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The House On Telegraph Hill - From Belsen To New York City

  In a flashback we see Victoria (below left) and ailing fellow inmate Karin Dernakova (Natasha Lytess, who incidentally was the acting coach of Marilyn Monroe in the early 1950s) during their confinement in the infamous Belsen concentration camp.  Karin spoke of a rich relative in America - "Aunt Sophie has a big house on the hill" - and pines for her infant son who has been sent to the aunt for safety.  When Karin dies shortly before liberation the envious Victoria grabs the opportunity and surreptitiously switches identities with her.


Then ...  Victoria eventually manages to emigrate to America.  The director portrays her arrival in New York with this view looking north from downtown Manhattan.  The tower in the foreground is the Singer Building and the one behind it is the Woolworth Building.

... and Now,  the Singer Building was razed in 1967 to make way for the U.S Steel Building, now known as One Liberty Plaza (in the recent photo below it's the sleek dark building in the center).  The original Woolworth Building is still there, just visible on the left.


  Victoria has learned that Karin's aunt Sophie in San Francisco has died and left her estate to Karin's son Chris, under the care of guardian Alan Spender (Richard Basehart).  She visits the office, below, of the attorney representing the estate and demands to be reunited with 'her' son.  Both lawyer and Alan Spender are at first skeptical of her claim to be Karin but she does a convincing job of persuading them.


  Alan Spender, now reassured that Victoria is Chris's mother, buys her a fine wardrobe and wines and dines her.  It's clear he's attracted to her, a situation she privately admits she is prepared to take advantage of.

Then ...  On a Manhattan patio Alan proposes to Victoria who is only too willing to accept, assuring stability and security in her life.  Citysleuth thinks this scene was filmed on a studio soundstage using a background  photo of a bridge to imply the location ...

... in 1935 ...  Below is a vintage photo taken from Sutton Place near E 57th Street at the East River and has the same view.  This is the Queensboro (aka 59th St) Bridge, which places the virtual location of the patio as Midtown Manhattan overlooking the Sutton Place neighborhood.

... and Now,  here's the Queensboro Bridge today.

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