Growing by the Bay

Category: film

A Jitney Elopement

Just yesterday I was talking about films shot in San Francisco and noting that the San Francisco Chronicle‘s list seemed a little slim. And today Sparkletack posts on a Chaplin film shot in Golden Gate Park, called A Jitney Elopment (more info on the film at Sparkletack).

Movies filmed in San Francisco

In the context of an article about filmmakers avoiding SF because of its expense, SFGate has put together a nice interactive map mashup showing the location of several movies filmed in San Francisco.

movies filmed in san francisco

The map can be dragged. The movies icons are coded by genre. Clicking on an icon brings up information about the movie, its SF locations, and even a link to the trailer.

invasion of the body snatchers, filmed in san francisco

The list of movies doesn’t seem very complete to me. One I can think of right away that’s missed is Eric von Stroheim’s Greed, which was at least partially shot in the city. The site lists only the following. What else is missing?

  • D.O.A.
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • Dirty Harry
  • Vertigo
  • What’s Up Doc?
  • The Conversation
  • Pal Joey
  • Bullitt
  • Petulia
  • Dark Passage
  • Flower Drum Song
  • The Towering Inferno
  • Zodiac
  • Milk


San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gate

Many people think of Tony Bennett and his left-behind heart when they think of San Francisco tunes. But residents know that our theme song is really “San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gate.”

Frisco Vista has suffered some connectivity problems recently (please let me know if you have trouble accessing the site or making comments). I think I have the problems repaired now, so we’re back open for business. On that note, let’s hear the original Jeanette Macdonald version of the city spreading her wings, from the MGM movie San Francisco (1936), starring Clark Gable as Blackie Norton:

Vertigo at Fort Point

fort point in the movie vertigo

Fort Point, at the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge, figures prominently in the Hitchcock film Vertigo. It is here where Kim Novak plunges off the fort into the water and is saved by Jimmy Stewart.

The story is told — I don’t know if it is true or not, although it sounds plausible — that Novak and Hitchcock squabbled throughout the filming of the movie. Novak, it is said, constantly complained that her wardrobe was not glamorous enough.

In the filming of this scene Hitchcock exacted his reverge. Claiming to be dissatisfied with the first couple of dozen takes, he made Novak enter the chilly water 25 times.

Lady from Shanghai

I’ve always enjoyed Orson Wells’s The Lady from Shanghai (1948). It was shot in San Francisco and Sausalito (and L.A.). Here are a few images, taken from the excellent site Film in America. At that site there are more images and commentary. I’ve taken the liberty of adjusting the tone of the images for clarity and photographic quality.

The Bay Bridge is visible from this shot in Sausalito

SF Trek

trekking in san francisco

via Laughing Squid

Oakland Hillbillies

max baer, jr.The provocative Mr. Charles Barkley, an NBA legend in his own estimation and currently a TNT network commentator, referred a moment ago to “Golden State” as a “a “smoky little town” full of hillbillies. Certainly an original take from Barkley (who was born and raised in rural Leeds, Alabama), as you’d be hard-pressed to find a home in the Oakland Hills for under half a million dollars.

Still, I can think of one Oakland Hillbilly. Max Baer, Jr. (Maximilian Adalbert Baer, Jr.), was born in Oakland in 1937. His father was the heavyweight boxer Max Baer, Sr. At the University of Santa Clara he studied business administration and philosophy, but he ended up pursuing a career as an actor. His best-known role? Jethro Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies.

It would be a great part for Barkley — known as the Round Clown of Rebound — if they ever do another remake.

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