A ‘Harbor Command’ Tour (For Victoria)

HCOpeneruse‘Harbor Command’ was a thirty minute television show that ran from October of 1957 until July of 1958. The show starred Wendell Corey as police captain Ralph Baxter. You may recognize Wendell Corey as the fall guy in a 1949 movie shown regularly at Christmastime called ‘Holiday Affair’ with Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh. The TV show has some terrific San Francisco locations, mostly along the San Francisco waterfront.

HCFBuildingfrontuseHarbor Command was a fictional law enforcement agency that worked along with the Coast Guard. Their headquarters was located in the Ferry Building.

HCEfreewayuseThe Embarcadero Freeway was being built during filming of the show and construction of the highway can be seen on the left.

HCPier391useBaxter and another officer in pursuit of a mob leader are shown at the entrance to the old Pier 39. In 1978 the pier was demolished and the tourist attraction that’s there today was built on the old foundation of the pier. The bottom photo is the entrance to pier 39 today.

HCPier392useThe same episode with the previous picture ends with a shoot-out that resulted in Baxter killing the mob boss on the eastern side of Pier 39. Below is the eastern side of Pier 39 today.

HCVNPieruseA shoot-out with Ralph Baxter is a poor prospect, as another bad guy taking cover in the background learns on the old Van Ness Pier in the episode titled ‘Contraband Diamonds’.

HCtower1useIn ‘The Final Score’ a fugitive falsely identified as a murderer climbs the old public announcement tower on the west side of the Maritime Museum and shoots back at pursuing Harbor Command police.

HCtower2useThe Harbor Command police return fire, and the bottom photo is the tower today. Don’t worry, this one ends happily and the innocent man is cleared.

HCAquaticParkuseIn the same episode as the previous picture, as the police pursue the fugitive a sinking ferryboat is shown in Aquatic Park near the Maritime Museum. I’ll have to research what that was all about.  The old and now closed snack bar and restroom building can be seen on the right in both photos.

HCBV1useIn ‘Smallpox’ a man with a vendetta and out to kill the man who framed him, approaches Beach Street from Hyde. He is unaware that he has smallpox and may be infecting many people in San Francisco.

HCBV2useThe camera moves up to show the location is where the Buena Vista Café is. The Buena Vista is still there but with a different sign now.

HCEagle1useLater in the ‘Smallpox’ episode, the carrier is shown at the corner of Jefferson and Powell Streets going in to the old Eagle Café.

HCeagle2useA parking garage for Pier 39 was built on the corner where the Eagle Café was located in the top photo. The Eagle Café was rescued from demolishment and moved across the street and relocated at the top level of Pier 39, shown in the bottom photo.

HCPier17useIn one clever episode entitled ‘Gold Smugglers’ two dental assistants have been forging the doctor’s signature to order gold shipments delivered to his office. They have used the dentist’s molding plates to shape the gold into hubcaps in an attempt to smuggle the gold out of San Francisco on a car ferry. When the doctor discovers their plan they kill him. Here they are seen parking in from of Pier 17 on the Embarcadero where the Exploratorium is now located.

HCEmbarcaderouseLooking north along the Embarcadero and the old Belt Line Railroad tracks from Pier 17:

HCBryanttwouseA Harbor Command squad car races down Bryant Street next to the Bay Bridge entrance heading toward the Embarcadero:

HarborfbuildfbookThe episode ‘Clay Pigeon’ ends in a shoot-out in the southern wing of the Ferry Building with Baxter and his partner chasing a parolee who has been trying to kill Baxter for sending him to prison. Maybe not as loud as gunfire, but it’s a lot noisier in this section of the Ferry Building today.



Morton Alley

MortonAlleyuse Morton Alley on St. Patrick’s Day 1948, and all dressed up at Christmastime nowadays: Morton Alley was the original name for Maiden Lane, just off Union Square.  The name of the street was changed to Maiden Lane after the 1906 Earthquake. No offense to Lombard Street, but I don’t see why more tourists don’t flock to Maiden Lane as well as Lombard Street; it has a more interesting history. Somebody had a sense of humor when they renamed Maiden Lane. The “maidens” of Morton Alley were, well, let’s just say far from maidenly!

StPat's2019 Also, a green carnation for all of the lovely lasses who come in to the office over St. Patrick’s Day weekend and lots of Irish jokes. I’m part Irish so I can take that license.
What do you call a tipsy Irishman bouncing off the walls?
Rick O’Shea.

Photoshopping movie locations in San Francisco

I’m getting tired of telling clients why The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act didn’t bring them good news on their 2018 tax returns, so I spent the afternoon yesterday not looking at any tax returns at all. Thanks to my assistant, Kendrick, who taught me how to use the Photoshop program, I had a chance to have some fun photoshopping movie location pictures I’ve posted in the past.

BornToKillElisha Cook Jr., “Wilmer” in ‘The Maltese Falcon’, arrives at the Ferry Building on a mission to kill in the 1947 film ‘Born to Kill’.

GE DIGITAL CAMERARay Harryhaussen’s giant octopus devours the Ferry Building in the 1955 science fiction film ‘It Came From Beneath the Sea’.

LPoliceuseWalter Matthau and Bruce Dern approaching the intersection of Broadway and Kearny Street in the 1974 movie ‘The Laughing Policeman’.

BullituseSteve McQueen chasing the hit men in the black Dodge Charger down the north side of Larkin Street on Russian Hill in the 1968 film ‘Bullitt’. That’s McQueen’s reflection in the rear view mirror.

MaybeCharlie Chaplin, being chased along an unpaved Great Highway at Ocean Beach, backs into Count Chloride de Lime in his 1915 short film ‘Jitney Elopement’, produced in Niles, California. The building behind Charlie is still there.

DaysWineuseLee Remick chases after Jack Lemmon along Market Street after hurting his feelings in ‘The Days of Wine and Roses’ from 1962: That’s the old PG&E Building they’re coming out of. You can see the old Embarcadero Freeway in the background of the movie image.

LineupuseAh, the Cliff House that I loved the best from a scene near the end of one of my favorite San Francisco movies, 1958’s ‘The Lineup’.

STouchuse.jpgGlenn Ford, being chased by the police, exits Varennes Alley onto Union Street in North Beach in the 1949 crime thriller, ‘Mr. Soft Touch’.

THighwayBarbara Lawrence walks down the stairs that so many millions of commuters arriving at the Ferry Building have walked down in the 1949 movie ‘Thieves Highway’. In its day, the Ferry Building was second in the world only the Charing Cross Station in London for passenger travel, and the stairs are still there.

HouseTHillbestValentina Cortese crashes her car at Montgomery Street and Montague Place on Telegraph Hill in ‘House on Telegraph Hill’ from 1951, although she survives. Her husband, Richard Basehart, has tampered with her brakes in an attempt to kill her. Valentina’s having a bad day!

PJoeyFrank Sinatra and Kim Novak wander off into the sunset behind the St. Francis Yacht Harbor in the Marina in ‘Pal Joey’ from 1957. That’s quite a sunset!