‘The Laughing Policman’

'The Laughing Policman'

First off, Walter Matthau does not laugh very often, if
at all, in the 1974 film ‘The Laughing Policeman’. The
title refers to an old song from the 1920’s. The opening
scenes are a precursor to real tragedies of the future as
passengers on the number 14 Mission bus leaving the
Transbay Terminal are all massacred by a maniac using
a machine gun. The modern photograph was taken in 2010
on the day that the Transbay Bus Terminal closed forever.

‘The Enforcer’

'The Enforcer'

2nd and Minna, just east of the previous Buster Keaton location. Clint Eastwood, “Dirty Harry” is trying to negotiate a hostage situation with three hold up men in the store on the corner in the 1976 film ‘The Enforcer’.. When they demand a get away car, he drives one through the front door, and dispatches them all in Dirty Harry fashion with his .44 Magnum. The pole has been relocated making Harry’s entrance impossible today. Click on the link below for a post from September of 2015 featuring a movie trailer about this film.




In the 1922 silent film ‘Daydreams’ Buster Keaton is chased west on Minna St from 2nd by just about every police officer on the 1922 force. The remarkable chase scene runs from this South of Market location all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf! Fifty four years later an entirely different police presence would be portrayed at this location.

‘Dark Passage’

'Dark Passage'

Fugitive from San Quentin Humphrey struggles up the old wooden Filbert Steps after plastic surgery to hide his identity in the 1947 film ‘Dark Passage’. The men down below are yelling insults up to him including, “Had a hard night, buddy?” and “Having trouble with the little lady?” Oh, they were clever, weren’t they? These wooden steps extended down to the street into the 1980’s before they were replaced.

‘Born to Kill’

'Born to Kill'

After philosophizing (is that a word?) Walter Slezak crosses the Embarcadero to leave San Francisco by the Ferry Building in ‘Born to Kill’. Most people arrived and departed San Francisco in the movies during the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s by way of the Ferry Building because of the bustling atmosphere, and the fact that, probably, most people did arrive and depart from the Ferry Building during those decades.

‘Born to Kill’

'Born to Kill'

“The way of the transgressor is hard.”
So a philosophical detective played by Walter Slezak quotes at the foot of Market Street kiddie corner from the southern Pacific Building after reading in the paper that his main antagonist, Claire Trevor, in a very unsympathetic role, has been murdered by her lover and partner in crime Lawrence Tierney. With the destruction of the Embarcadero Freeway, and the creation of a vintage streetcar line running along the waterfront, the foot of Market Street now looks very similar to the way it appears in the 1947 film ‘Born to Kill’.

‘Portrait in Black’

'Portrait in Black'

Anthony Quinn and Lana Turner meeting clandestinely in the Japanese Tea Gardens In Golden Gate Park after killing her husband in the 1960 film ‘Portrait in Black’. Well, they certainly picked a safe spot. As one of San Francisco’s major tourist attractions with millions of visitors annually, they’ll, probably, never be seen here! Lana is, obviously, not dealing with this well. If you guessed that Anthony Quinn will decide to kill her next because of the way she’s handling things, go to the head of the class.