Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

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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