MURDER IN SAN FRANCISCO – Long ago, authors and filmmakers realized that San Francisco was a delicious place for bumping people off. It ranks right up there with Gotham City as the quintessential local for murder and mayhem. At left, Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry”, or “Dirty Harold” as Borat calls him, investigating the murder of a child at Texas and Sierra below Potrero Hill, and Potrero Hill from Texas and Sierra today minus the ugly water tower. A building today now occupies the exact spot where Eastwood was standing in the 1971 first and best movie of the series ‘Dirty Harry’. Left center Eli Wallach going into the YMCA Building on the Embarcadero (Called the Seaman’s Club in the movie) to commit the first of many murders he’ll do throughout San Francisco in the 1958 movie ‘The Lineup’. He plays a wonderful villain in this who goes by the name of “Dancer”. Right Center, sometimes you have to put a little effort into catching a San Francisco murderer as Ella Raines finds when she chases Anna May Wong, who’s not really a murderess, but knows who the guilty one is, through Chinatown in the 1949 movie ‘Impact’. The pursuit turns south onto Grant from Washington which would be against traffic today. The girls eventually end up in a foot chase through Chinatown alleys in a perfectly atmospheric place for a San Francisco mystery movie to end. Right, you can’t have a San Francisco murder movie collection without Humphrey Bogart, it, simply, isn’t done! Bogie didn’t, actually, commit murder here because the punk went for the gun, but the cops will never believe it. This 1947 scene from ‘Dark Passage’ was filmed in a area below the Golden Gate Bridge now closed off to the public since 9/11, but the roof of Fort Point puts you almost level with the filming spot for as close of a comparison as possible. That shot of Bogart and the bridge is, probably, my all time favorite San Francisco movie image.

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