Hi, everybody! I’m Joe Cianciotto and welcome to my site! This post is dedicated to all the great films that were filmed in my neck of the woods: San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay Area has long been a familiar setting for movie makers and some of the most famous films ever to grace the silver screen. Hundreds of films have been filmed entirely or partially here, from cinema classics like “Dark Passage,” “Dirty Harry,” “Harold and Maude” and “The Graduate”. But whittling down the list to a select few is an arduous task and certainly up for a tremendous amount of debate. While the following movies may all seem outdated to many movie fans, all have withstood the test of time and are widely viewed as among the greatest films ever made.
The Birds. Loosely based upon a real event that occurred south of Santa Cruz in 1961, “The Birds” was Alfred Hitchcock’s follow up to his 1960 horror masterpiece, “Psycho.” Much of the filming took place in Bodega Bay, but one of the most memorable scenes occurred at the now iconic Potter School House in the nearby town of Bodega.
Bullitt. Filmed almost entirely in San Francisco, “Bullitt” featured one of the most thrilling and most famous car chases in cinematic history. The action film starred Steve McQueen as San Francisco police detective Frank Bullitt, who was assigned to protect a mob informant prior to testimony. Other prominent locations displayed in the film were the Golden Gate Bridge, Grace Cathedral, the Mark Hopkins Hotel and the former Enrico’s Sidewalk Cafe.
The Maltese Falcon. The movie featured the legendary San Francisco private investigator Sam Spade and the priceless figurine encrusted with rare jewels with a layer of black enamel to hide its true value. Among the familiar San Francisco filming locations were the San Francisco Ferry Building and the Golden Gate Bridge, with 111 Sutter Street as the fictional location of the detective agency. A replica of the Maltese Falcon is on display at John’s Grill, a former haunt of Sam Spade and his creator Dashiell Hammett.
Vertigo. Many prominent locations in San Francisco were featured in the film, most notably Fort Point, where Kim Novak’s character Madeleine plunges into the chilly waters of the San Francisco Bay only to be saved by John Ferguson ( James Stewart), who battles his acrophobia to save her.
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