‘The Streets of San Francisco’ was often corny and pat, but just as often realistic and exciting. However, one thing it always had going for it was great San Francisco location shooting. Probably, no television show will ever again have as many on location scenes. Yesterday was a perfect day to take a Buddy Boy” and “Papa Cop” tour of San Francisco.
Karl Malden played Inspector Michael Stone and Michael Douglas played Inspector Steve Keller. They got along just as well with each other as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin did in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and saved each other’s life about as often. Here they are at the old Rustic Bridge at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. In the dialog at this point Malden is saying, “It’s so peaceful, we should come here more often.” This is about one of the most peaceful spots in San Francisco. The path is different and there are more trees here now.
They walk along Stow Lake past the bridge for awhile.
“Alright, Buddy Boy, I’ll pull them over and you plant the dope next time. Okay?”
Actually, they were pretty honest and fair.
In one episode Steve Keller actually sleeps with one of the costars. That was a rarity! However, they didn’t live happily ever after. The girl he’s sleeping with, Brenda Vaccaro, turns out to be a hit lady for the mob who’s killed at least ten people. Somehow, that’s not a turn off to me! Maybe, it’s a “guy thing”. At the end of the episode, she goes to the Palace of Fine Arts to make another “whack”.
This was about where she was sitting.
Keller confronts her after the killing at the Palace, and finds out who she is. He hesitates shooting her. Well, that’s love!
She’s not as sweet, and is about to silence him with a silencer.
Papa Cop, Stone, pulls up here on Baker Street just in the nick of time.
Stone prevents her from spoiling every good memory Keller had of her, and she’s off to jail.
Now, off to Mission Street and the Embacadero under the old Embarcdero Freeway where there’s Salvation Army Band playing music to the winos in the area. This may have been one of the corny moments I was telling you about.
A miserable drunk stumbles across the Embarcadero. Oh, wait, that’s not polite! I mean, an intoxicated homeless person finds comfort in the bottle while living on the streets.
Why, it’s Leslie “Don’t call me Shirley” Nielsen! Nielsen plays an alcoholic cop who accidentally gets his partner killed while drunk on the job.
“Well, time for a little R&R!” They sure tidied this spot up today. That’s the old YMCA Building in the background.
Hot on the scene of another murder, the boys pull into the old Brocklebank Apartments on the northeast corner of Mason and Sacramento Streets, Nob Hill. The entrance to the Brocklebank is very similar to the entrance of the Mark Hopkins Hotel.
Keller heads across California Street from the Mark Hopkins Hotel to a telephone booth.
“Welcome to Tenderloin Travel.”
Now, this one throws me! At the close of one episode Stone and Keller drop Stefanie Powers off at an airport at O’Farrell and Taylor Streets in the Tenderloin. There never has been an airport in the Tenderloin! Look at the old UHF Channel 44 Building in the background.
There was some type of busy terminal here once but it couldn’t have been an airport. The “Airlines Terminal” sign may have been doctored for the episode. There’s a Hilton Hotel here now.
As the boys say goodbye to Stefanie, we’ll say goodbye to the boys. Karl Malden is dead now, and I don’t read much about Michael Douglas’s health nowadays. I hope he lives as long as his dad has.
2 thoughts on “A ‘The Streets of San Francisco’ tour”
There was an ‘Airlines Terminal’ in the Tenderloin. You arrived, checked your baggage and checked in for your flight, and were delivered to the airport by bus. In the days before TSA Kabuki theatre, it was a convenient way to get yourself sorted and on your way.
Well, thank you for the update, Stephen! That’s an interesting piece of San Francisco history to learn about. Now that seems like something that would benefit San Francisco more today than another expensive hotel! Thank you again.