Alfred Hitchcock made several movies with scenes in San Francisco — with lavish backdrops like the Flood Mansion in Nob Hill, Grace Cathedral, Mission Dolores, Union Square, Palace of the Legion of Honor and of course the Golden Gate Bridge. One of his most memorable films shot here is Vertigo, made in 1957. Starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, there are enough familiar scenes in this murder mystery to create many a walking tour. But hats off to San Francisco City Guides and the true movie buffs who take you on the journey down the side streets and back streets you might otherwise miss — and for keeping it free of charge.
On many a Sunday afternoon, crowds gather at the fountain in Huntington Park off of Sacramento, for a chance to follow along to catch Madeleine’s apartment building, the site of the Podesta Baldocchi Floral shop, or the site of the exclusive Pacific Union Club. I always wanted to know where the pet shop filmed in the opening of The Birds sits — and now I know it was Maiden Lane, but not the brown building I would have suspected.
It’s also worthy of note that this June 14th, Kim Novak, the star of Vertigo, will receive the San Francisco Cinematic Icon Award. Also — Saturday, April 7 at 2:00 pm at the Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop on the Main Post in the Presidio of San Francisco, contributors to a new book – The San Francisco of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo: Place, Pilgrimage and Commemoration will be on hand for a signing. Hitchcock made his mark in San Francisco and his work and legacy live on.