Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Filtering by Tag: Colma

Harold And Maude - At The Cemetery - 2

    At yet another funeral, held at the same cemetery as the earlier one, Maude peeks out from behind a fellow mourner (some think this might have been Cat Stevens, who wrote the movie's soundtrack).  She catches Harold's attention across the gathering with a loud "Pssst!".


Then ... Startled, all turn and look at Harold, including the same priest whose car Maude earlier had, shall we say, "borrowed".

... and Now,  from the same spot that's the cemetery's mausoleum in the background.

    The location is marked by the arrow in section 'J' of the Holy Cross Cemetery, 1500 Mission Road, Colma.


Then ...  With the homilies over and the Lord's Prayer said, Maude, contrarian as ever, jauntily leads the way from the ceremony beneath a bright yellow brolly.

... and Now,  the day CitySleuth visited a fallen branch had joined the linear array of headstones.


Then ...  As Harold walks towards his private hearse, Maude rounds the corner in it having unknowingly, of all cars, "borrowed" his.

... and Now,  from here we get a closer look at the mausoleum.  Things have hardly changed.


Then ...  Harold accepts her offer to give him a ride home.  By the time they reach the Hillsdale Boulevard exit from the cemetery (map) he tells her it's his car she's driving.  They change places and he gives her a ride home instead.

... and Now,  the most interesting change here is the hillside, so carefully cultivated above but since allowed to go to seed.  The nurseries across the road partially make amends.


Harold And Maude - At The Cemetery - 1

    Harold indulges in a somewhat unusual pastime - attending funerals of complete strangers.  It was at just such a ceremony that he catches his first glimpse of Maude.

Then ...  A sombre gathering finds solace in the priest's homily.

... and Now,  this scene was filmed in the Holy Cross Catholic cemetery on Mission Road in Colma (map), a small town south of San Francisco that was founded in 1924 as a necropolis.  Most of its land consists of cemeteries and its modest living population of 1,800 is outnumbered by the buried by a factor of over one thousand.  Unsurprisingly the older gravestones above are exactly as they were but additional memorials have since been added in the foreground row.  The coffin above was at the Hanlon memorial stone in front of the Kirwan gravestone cross.

    This location is in section 'T' at the spot marked by the arrow.


   Harold is distracted by the sound of a sneeze from amongst the gravestones ... 


Then ...  He sees a little old lady (Ruth Gordonnext to a tall tree munching on an apple.  She seems to be following the proceedings as intently as he.

... and Now,  everything is the same in this recent look from the same spot but the tree, behind the Donovan memorial stone, is gone.


    Holy Cross Cemetery is the final resting place of several notables, perhaps the best known being Joe DiMaggio's whose mausoleum can be found nearby in section 'I'.


Vertigo - Madeleine's Inquest and Grave Site

  An inquest is held at the San Juan Bautista mission into the death of Madeleine Elster.

Then ...  The attendees assemble at the inquest, held at the Mission San Juan Bautista Plaza Hall (map), next to the Plaza Stables.

... and Now,  the Plaza Hall today has a new coat of paint, the only significant change.


  At the inquest the jury finds that Madeleine committed suicide while of unsound mind but not before the coroner (Henry Jones) subjects Scottie to a scathing excoriation, making no attempt to hide his contempt for his inability to prevent Madeleine's fatal jump.  This scene was filmed on a Paramount Studio set which was carefully constructed to mimic the actual Plaza Hall interior.


  Afterwards, Scottie visits Madeleine's grave.  This was filmed in Colma, just south of San Francisco, in the East Side Gardens of the Cypress Lawn Memorial Park at 1370 El Camino Real (map).

Then ...  As he approaches the gravesite he walks past a 19th century memorial cross.

... and Now,  the cross is still there in section 'I' at the cemetery (this is a useful marker for those readers who may want to visit the site).


Then ...  He stands, bereft, in front of her gravestone.  We can only guess at the thoughts swirling around inside his head.

... and Now,  not surprisingly the gravestones seen in the movie view are still there; Madeleine's of course is not - it had been placed close to where the arrow points in this recent picture.


  A little trivia - most San Franciscans and many visitors have seen the Beach Blanket Babylon musical revue show in North Beach.  It turns out that Steve Silver, the creator of that venerable show, is buried very close to Madeleine's grave, in the adjacent section 'F'.  Here's his gravestone.

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