Hammett, spade, falcon & Private eyes
- Dashiell Hammett was born 125 years ago on May 27, 1894. Hammett came to San Francisco in July of 1921. During his time in San Francisco, Hammett worked at the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in the James Flood Building, Suite 314. Built 100 years ago, the Flood Building lobby looks as it did when Hammett saw it. There is one exception in the building that wasn't around in Hammett's time, the glass case with a replica of the foot-tall falcon statue in the lobby.
- The Pinkerton National Detective Agency first made its name in the late 1850s for hunting down outlaws and providing private security for railroads. As the company’s profile grew, its iconic logo—a large, unblinking eye accompanied by the slogan “We Never Sleep”—gave rise to the term “private eye” as a nickname for detectives.
- The Hunter-Doolin Building at 111 Sutter Street, a 1920s skyscraper with chateau-esque brown roof tiles and green railing is where you'll find the office of Sam Spade in 'The Maltese Falcon.' There are several clues in the book all pinpointing to that one building as Spade's headquarters.
- A plaque marks the spot at Burritt Alley above the Stockton Street tunnel, where Sam Spade’s partner, Miles Archer was murdered. The plaque also spoils the ending by revealing who the killer is.
Bogart & Bacall
- One of the great film noirs set in San Francisco is the 1947 Bogart and Bacall thriller 'Dark Passage'. In it, Humphrey Bogart's character, who was convicted of killing his wife, escapes from San Quentin and is hell-bent on proving his innocence. He's picked up by Lauren Bacall, who helps hide him at her apartment at 1360 Montgomery Street. Bacall's character, Irene, lives in apartment number 10 on the third floor. Irene's apartment building was actually the Malloch building, which was built in 1937 and designed by Irvin Goldstine for father/son architects John "Jack" S. Malloch and John Rolph Malloch. Muralist Alfred DuPont was hired to design images to decorate the exterior. DuPont produced two 40-foot high silver figures on the western facade of the building, and a third on the north side. Flanking the main street entrance are two male figures. The image on the right facing left is a Spanish explorer with a telescope raised to one eye. The image on the left facing right is a bare-chested worker holding a globe, towering above the Bay Bridge, with aircraft flying above and ships moving in the bay below.
- In the bus depot scene of 'Dark Passage', there is a sign behind the waiting bus that says "Lankershim Hotel" with an arrow. The Lankershim was a real hotel at 55 5th Street just a block's walk from the cable car. And right next to the hotel, across the narrow Jessie Street at 75 5th Street, was a Greyhound bus depot by the Pickwick Hotel. Today, the Lankershim has become the Hotel Zetta, the Pickwick still stands, and the old bus depot garage can still be seen next to the Pickwick just around the corner on Mission Street.
- On one of the days of filming Humphrey Bogart's on-location scenes at the Golden Gate Bridge, more than 1,500 fans turned out to watch the filming process.
- New York Times film critic, Bosley Crowther gave the film a mixed review on September 6, 1947. Bosley made the case that the best part of the film is: "San Francisco ... is liberally and vividly employed as the realistic setting for the Warners' Dark Passage. Writer-Director Delmar Daves has very smartly and effectively used the picturesque streets of that city and its stunning panoramas ... to give a dramatic backdrop to his rather incredible yarn. So, even though bored by the story—which, because of its sag, you may be—you can usually enjoy the scenery, which is as good as a travelogue"
Hitchcock by the bay
- Alfred Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' premiered in San Francisco at the Stage Door Theater at 420 Mason Street on May 9, 1958. In the film, Stewart's character visits Gavin Elster's club. The club looks the same as when it was constructed in 1887 as the private home of James C. Flood. Its exterior walls survived the 1906 earthquake and afterwards the Pacific Union Club bought the lot and remodelled it in 1910 as their clubhouse. The building was designed by Willis Polk and it is considered the first brownstone constructed west of the Mississippi River.
- In 'Vertigo', after rescuing Madeleine from the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay, Scottie takes her to his Russian Hill home. The home's exterior scenes were filmed at 900 Lombard Street on the corner of Jones, one steep block below the famous crooked street. After the movie was filmed, the house retained its original character for over half a century. In 2012, when the current owner decided enough Vertigo-philes had knocked on his door, a wall was built across the front entrance and plastered over the red brick chimney.
- Except for a short sequence at the beginning filmed in San Francisco, most of the the 1963 film 'The Birds' exterior scenes were filmed around the two towns of Bodega and Bodega Bay. The movie does start with a short sequence shot with Tippi Hedren in Union Square. To avoid attracting unwanted attention during filming this sequence, the camera was hidden in a studio truck disguised as a furniture van.
destroying the golden gate
The Golden Gate Bridge has been ready for its close-up since the day it opened back in 1937. Since then, the bridge has appeared in dozens of films in roles ranging from cameos to star-turns. It has been a drop-dead gorgeous backdrop for silver-screen romances, a staging ground for thrilling confrontations and a featured player in science fiction and disaster epics. Here's a brief list of films that manage to destroy our golden icon.
- 'San Francisco' (1936): In this movie, based on the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, the city is, predictably, destroyed by the earthquake.
- 'It Came from Beneath the Sea' (1955): A giant mutant octopus terrorizes San Francisco and tears down the Golden Gate Bridge.
- 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' (1978): Gelatenous extraterrestrials abandon their uninhabitable planet and land in San Francsico, where they begin their invasion.
- 'Superman' (1978): A catastrophic earthquake devastates San Francisco, and Superman rescues a school bus precariously hanging off of a badly-damaged Golden Gate Bridge.
- 'A View to a Kill' (1986): James Bond thwarts Max Zorin's plans to detonate explosives at lakes near the San Andreas and Hayward faults which would cause them to flood.
- 'The Rock' (1996): A radical group of ex-Marines sieze Alcatraz and threaten San Francisco with explosives and biological weapons.
- 'The Core' (2003): The earth's core stops rotating, causing widespread destruction throughout the earth. San Francisco is struck by an an event that leads to the destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge.
- '10.5' (2004): Destroyed by a major earthquake.
- 'X-Men: The Last Stand' (2006): Magneto moves the Golden Gate bridge to provide easy access to Alcatraz island where Worthington Labs is located, destroying it.
- 'MegaShark vs Giant Octopus' (2009): MegaShark and Giant Octopus are corralled into the San Francisco Bay in order to fight to the death. While it is entering the San Francisco Bay, MegaShark jumps out of the water and destroys the Golden Gate Bridge.
- 'Monsters vs. Aliens' (2009): A standoff between the monsters and a destructive robot occurs in the San Francisco bay, and in the process the Golden Gate Bridge is destroyed.
- 'Star Trek' (2009): Captain Nero, the villain in the movie, drills in the San Francisco Bay in order to deposit Red Matter into Earth in order to destroy it.
- 'Terminator Salvation' (2009): In 2018, John Connor launches an assault on a major Skynet base in San Francisco.
- 'Meteor Storm' (2010): Destroyed by a meteor shower.
- 'Contagion' (2011): San Francisco is one of the first cities hit by the super-virus, and is used frequently to illustrate the state of the decline of civilization.
- 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol' (2011): Ethan Hunt thwarts Kurt Hendricks attempts to launch a Russian nuclear missile targeted at San Francisco.
- 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' (2011): Hyper-intelligent apes from the North Bay laboratories of "Gen-Sys" break out and wreak havoc on the city of San Francisco.
- 'Pacific Rim' (2013): A giant monster, or "Kaiju" appears from another dimension and attacks San Francisco, with the attack spanning nearly a week and killing tens of thousands.
- 'Star Trek Into Darkness' (2013): The starship USS Vengeance crashes into the downtown just after a battle against the USS Enterprise.
- 'Godzilla' (2014): You guessed it: Godzilla wreaks havoc in San Francisco, and the Golden Gate Bridge goes down in the process.
- 'San Andreas' (2015): As well as Los Angeles, the entire San Francisco is destroyed by an earthquake and then a tsunami.
- 'Terminator Genisys' (2015): San Francisco is shown destroyed in a post-apocalyptic future, as well as a major fight scene taking place on the bridge.
are you in the mood to run across the golden gate now?
Join us on July 14th at the 36th Annual Across the Bay 12k and 5k in San Francisco. Use code REPRESENT10 for a discount.
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