The last time I rode the “Hyde Street Grip” up over Russian Hill to Downtown San Francisco I was able to get a spot to hang on to the outside of the cable car as we passed over the top of Russian Hill. This picture is looking down Lombard Street as we pass. The next block we approached is Greenwich and Hyde Streets; ‘Dark Passage’ territory. ‘Dark Passage’, of course, is the 1947 film noir set in San Francisco starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
As we rattled toward Greenwich Street, we’re approaching the spot in the film where Humphrey Bogart boarded a cable car in his escape after causing Agnes Moorehead’s accidental death.
On the west side of Hyde Street at Greenwich is the Tamalpais Apartment Building. In her top floor apartment here, Agnes Moorhead panics as Bogart tries to make her confess to killing his wife, which he went to prison for. She crashes through the window of her apartment and falls to her death. Well, there goes his alibi!
Bogart goes the roof of the building and climbs down the fire escape.
In this cutaway shot of Bogie descending the stairs, you can see the old Hyde Street Reservoir.
Bogie jumps to the ground from a ladder below the stairs that no longer exists. You can see the fastening markers where the ladder used to be in my picture.
As sirens approach, Bogart crosses Hyde Street to catch a convenient passing cable car to make his escape. Well, they did run more often back then, and as of right now they’re not running at all. This is looking down Greenwich Street toward Telegraph Hill.
We’re getting ready to hook up with Bogie as we approach Greenwich.
And right about here is where he jumped on a cable car, but he wouldn’t have found much room on ours. Bogie climbed on just about where the first parked car we’re approaching is.
Once on board, Bogie looks back at the Tamalpais Apartment Building. He can’t worry too much about Agnes Moorehead now; he’s got a date with the Dame de la crème, Lauren Bacall. I’ll close with a link to a film clip of the Tamalpais Apartments escape scene below.