Possibly the Best Use of San Francisco in a Film, Ever

Possibly the Best Use of San Francisco in a Film, Ever

Sure, we’ve got Bullitt, Dirty Harry, Streets of San Francisco, and Trauma. But hot damn, if this isn’t the awesomest use of a San Francisco setting for a film sequence I’ve seen yet…

It’s from the 1958 noir, The Lineup, and I challenge you to watch to the end of this 9-minute collection of clips. I promise you, if you haven’t seen it before, the reward is tremendous.

Not only do you get to see the outside and inside of the Sutro Baths just 8 years before they burned down during demolition, but what’s happening in these shots is downright fascinating. I won’t spoil it except to say it involves one terribly sketchy Eli Wallach, a mysterious dude in a wheelchair, a cop, a blimp, and nuns.

Oh, and a climactic act of violence that has to be seen to be believed.

Part of me now wants to see the whole movie, but part of me just wants to hold in my memory the jarring assembly of clips below as a unified and complete work in itself. Check it out:

Sutro Baths Fire, 1966, San Francisco
Sutro Baths fire, 1966. Photo Copyright Brad Schram

(Video Spotted @)

Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve

Skyline view from Sutro Forest

At first I was a little ashamed that I’d never been in the forest on Mount Sutro, officially known as the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve, even after living in the city for almost 14 years. But, after asking around, I discovered most of my long-time-resident friends haven’t been there either. So now it’s their turn to feel ashamed. (More after the jump.)
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