Off Angle Location Comparisons


Time, technology, and terrorism have made some San Francisco movie location comparisons impossible for me to line up exactly, but pretty close. Left to right, the woody pulling up to 1360 Montgomery Street on Telegraph hill contains San Quentin escapee Humphrey Bogart, and the young artist who befriends him, Lauren Bacall in the 1947 movie ‘Dark Passage’. Lauren Bacall, actually, lived in this apartment before she broke into Hollywood, so it’s an interesting choice of locations. The movie shot was taken from a camera crane, so my picture is from a lower angle. Second from the left, Burt Lancaster, portraying Robert Stroud, the “Birdman of Alcatraz” being released at Pier 41 in the 1962 film of the same name. The landing dock of Pier 41 is gone, so an exact comparison can’t be taken anymore. Interestingly, although the movie was made while Robert Stroud was still alive, he was never allowed to see the film. He died in November of 1963. Second from the right, Edmond O’Brien goes back to the nightclub at Merchant Street and the Embarcadero in the 1950 film ‘D.O.A.’. O’Brien was given a slow acting poison, placed in his drink while he was dancing, and is returning to the Fisherman Nightclub to try to learn why. Most of the prints I’ve seen of this movie are grainy, and difficult to get a clear copy from. This image from D.O.A. is from the City Sleuth – Reel SF page; about the best San Francisco film locations site I’ve seen. This movie made me nervous to leave my drink at the table, that’s why I always take it with me when I go to the restroom. (Not really) Since the development of the Embarcadero Center and Maritime Plaza, Merchant Street no longer cuts through to the Embarcadero. At the right, although many film scholars site ‘Vertigo’ as the quintessential San Francisco movie locations flick, my pick is “Dark Passage’ from 1947. This film has more off beat and lesser know settings, such as the Filbert Steps on Telegraph Hill or the Golden Gate Bridge tollbooths. Here, Humphrey Bogart has been waylaid and forced to drive to a spot directly underneath the Golden Gate Bridge by a shady little creep for some serious blackmail talk. You know Bogie’s going to get the drop on this punk before the encounter is over. This area is strictly off limits since 9/11 for obvious reasons, but can be viewed from the hiking trail that runs along the hill above the area. (Thumbnail image)

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