Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Woman On The Run - Laffing Sal Has The Last Laugh

  In the amusement park Eleanor and Leggett notice that police Inspector Ferris has followed them.

Then ...  Behind them are two attractions, The Whip and The Skooter.

...  from a vintage video ...  the amusement park is long gone now but the same attractions are seen here from a short vintage home movie taken at Ocean Park Pier in 1954.


  Leggett suggests they split up to help avoid the police.  He sends Eleanor off on the rollercoaster while he looks for her husband Frank but as she pulls away he carelessly mentions something only the killer would have known - the police had shared it with Eleanor so she suddenly realizes with horror that Leggett is the killer and that because Frank had witnessed the crime his life is now in great jeopardy.

  Below is a vintage photo of the rollercoaster at Ocean Park Pier and, in the movie, Eleanor, beside herself with fear and helpless to warn her husband, is tossed about on the hair-raising ride.


  Leggett finds Frank - he knows of his weak heart and so attacks him hoping to provoke a heart attack.  Eleanor hears a shot as she rushes over to them and fears the worst.


... but, phew!, it was Inspector Ferris who got there just in time and shot Leggett, bringing his investigation to a fitting end and leaving the way clear for Frank and Eleanor to be reunited.

Then ...  The movie fades out with a shot of the amusement park's Laffing Sal cackling away (below) at Legget's fate.

 ...  from a vintage video ...  The home movie mentioned above also showed the same Laffing Sal (below).  There's a change of clothing but the display, with mirrors, a beach ball and a dangling parrot, is the same.

... and Now, but a different one ...  San Francisco's Playland-at-the-Beach amusement park also had a Laffing Sal.  There were in fact many Laffing Sals at funhouses across the country at that time, all built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. of Germantown, Pennsylvania in the 1930s.  Playland has disappeared but its Laffing Sal display still cackles away today at  the Musee Mecanique at Pier 45 in San Francisco.

... and Now, yet another one ...  Over the years Playland had more than one Laffing Sal.  Here's another of them, on display at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.  They claim it's the original Playland display but CitySleuth is staying neutral on that.

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